Finelite Recognized for Sustainability

California’s StopWaste.Org recently honored the high-performance lighting systems manufacturer Finelite with a 2011 StopWaste Partnership Business Efficiency Award. Lauded for their creative efforts to minimize their environmental footprint, Finelite was singled out with the Leadership and Achievement in Sustainability Award.

Finelite first started working with the StopWaste Partnership in 2005. Since then, the company has reduced waste by 84%, saving over $27,000 annually. Under CEO Terry Clark’s leadership, employees apply the company’s trademark principle of efficiency to the production process itself. Management actively seeks out employee suggestions on how to reduce waste. The company now recycles paper, cardboard, metal, wood, and other materials, and reuses incoming packaging materials or returns it to their supplier partners for reuse.

One outstanding example came when Dean Mayes, Finelite’s director of manufacturing, was inspired by a StopWaste Partnership workshop on reusable transport packaging. As a replacement solution to wasteful plastic film, Finelite designed a custom-tailored tarp to stretch around pendant lighting racks that transport material from the supply painter to the Finelite factory. Ingeniously, it is also reusable. This alone saves the company an astounding 3 tons of plastic film a year.

These efficient waste reduction innovations could not happen without the employees and supply partners who continually provide insight and recommendations. Finelite’s powder coating supply partner, Maas Brothers, invested resources and ideas for the reusable, custom-tailored tarp and is currently providing recommendations for further improvements.

Finelite will continue the green momentum well into the future. Plans include expanding the scope of materials to be recycled such as paper towels in the office and factory areas. Finelite’s supplier partners will be looking to develop a dowel delivery rack system for the recessed lighting products, which will also save on cardboard and delivery.

Check out more details here.

About the StopWaste Partnership

Businesses generate 57% of waste going to Alameda County, California, landfills. Participation in waste prevention, recycling, and organics composting is critical to achieving state and county diversion goals. The StopWaste Partnership, a program of public agency StopWaste.Org, offers free sustainability consulting services, grants and educational resources to Alameda County organizations, to help reduce waste, conserve resources, and cut costs. The Business Efficiency Awards honor leading Alameda County organizations that have achieved outstanding results in continuous environmental performance and business efficiency. Celebrated for the 12th consecutive year, the awards are highly regarded throughout the region for their prestige within the sustainable business community.