Sustainability Practices

Our Culture - Sustainability:
Being Good Corporate Citizens

We believe deeply in the potential of corporate culture to be a positive, uplifting force on the planet. And, part of being a good corporate citizen at a highly conscious organization, like ours, means always looking for new and better ways to operate in harmony with our planet (after all, we live here, too, right?).

The steps we’ve taken, so far, are part of an ongoing journey towards our future as a 100% sustainable enterprise, with a zero-carbon footprint – one of the goals that drives our business decisions. With active support from our Sustainability C4um (an employee-led group, embodying our C4 values, and focused on greening our personal and professional worlds), our Green Initiatives – Conscious Sourcing, Conscious Waste & Conscious Resource Consumption – have gotten bigger and better, with even more participation and more impactful solutions.

Conscious Sourcing
Conscious Waste
Conscious Resource Consumption
 

Our Conscious Sourcing Initiative

  • We will never purchase endangered species wood, or buy from protected forests
     
  • We use eco-responsible materials wherever possible, leveraging the best of what’s sustainable and recycled for our moulding (e.g. bamboo, reclaimed barn wood & fence board, felled plantation trees, finger-joined scrap wood from domestic lumber mills, etc.)
     
  • We offer wood materials that are certified as sustainably managed, whenever possible
     
  • We only offer aluminum moulding from domestic suppliers, because America’s EPA standards for the mining and production of aluminum are far more environmentally protective than anywhere else producing the same materials for our customers’ needs
     
  • We purchase domestic moulding, whenever possible, because of the superior carbon footprint that comes with buying materials Made in the USA (not to mention the fact that, quite frankly, we’d rather keep these jobs in America)
     
  • The paper used in our catalog comes from sustainably managed forests, certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, our office paper also has a percentage of post-consumer content, and we’ve even added a new paper choice to our Print & Frame Shop that’s made from naturally sustainable bamboo (it makes for beautiful prints, by the way!)
     
  • In our quest for greener packaging materials, we’ve been able to find suppliers who can both provide more air & less plastic in our bubble wrap, as well as bubble wrap that has a higher percentage of recycled content to begin with (our green bubble wrap has a minimum of 15% recycled content, and we’ve just found an alternative that has a minimum of 50%, that we’re starting to test, to ensure that it does its job to protect your presentations)

Our Conscious Waste Initiative

  • We’re aiming to hit a goal of 0% moulding scrap, which means we’re on top of everything from new saws that reduce moulding waste, to rigorous quality-focused efforts that ensure we “cut it right, the first time”
     
  • A “send it forward” project has us remailing & repurposing as many of the boxes we receive, as possible, because maintaining the original shape lengthens the life of that box, before the recycling process shortens fibers, preventing it from being recycled more than 6 or 7 times (bonus: in the future, we may even make it possible to look up a tracking number and see where a box has traveled!)
     
  • We recycle as many of the ingredients of doing business as we can (aluminum, cardboard, acrylic glazing, bubble wrap, office paper, gently-used equipment, moulding scrap, pallets, etc.) – in fact, we increased the number of items that are recycled to 14 different raw materials and their by-products, further reducing landfill – in the last two years, alone, we’ve been able to reduce waste per order by 66%!
     
  • What we can’t use or recycle, is donated to schools, art programs and non-profits that can take advantage of the material as building blocks of creativity
     
  • We’ve added a “Freecycling Center,” so that our work family’s gently used personal goods, have a home for re-use (Spring cleaning, anyone?)
     
  • Our Outlet Frame Center is another outgrowth of our commitment to being eco-responsible, as it not only makes overstocked, end runs and returned frames highly accessible to our creative community in the Piedmont Triad, but it prevents these items from going into landfill
     
  • To make it easier than ever to participate in our recycling efforts, new recycling locations have been added, and new maps have been posted throughout our facilities
     
  • A new trash compactor has also improved efficiency while decreasing the number of trash hauls and carbon emissions, and a new can crusher means that our beverage consumption requires fewer trash bags & trips to the recycling center (plus, there’s that ever so satisfying *crunch* sound you get, when you crush a can in it!)
     
  • An expanded relationship with a local ink & toner fulfillment company that refills and recycles ink & toner cartridges, ensures they don’t end up in landfill
     
  • We take electronic waste, batteries and other toxic household rubbish like CFL light bulbs to special processing locations, to prevent them from leaching into our soil & groundwater, and we make this service available to our work family, so it’s easy to make conscious choices
     
  • None of the by-products created in printing our beautiful, award-winning catalog, including excess paper, end up in a landfill – everything is recycled

Conscious Resource Consumption

  • As a picture frame provider, we are, and have always been, conscious of the consumption of natural resources used in our industry – back in 1992, we co-founded Woodlands 2000 (an organization devoted to ensuring that more trees were planted in America, than were being consumed by the picture framing industry) and we are now a proud donor for American Forests’ Global ReLeaf division where every dollar donated plants a tree
     
  • In an effort to reduce energy waste and pollution, we’ve increased volume purchasing & improved scheduling, because fewer shipments mean less carbon emissions
     
  • We recently replaced our HVAC units with the most energy-efficient ones available anywhere, and installed a new white roof, designed to be heat reflective and eco-friendly (which means using even less air conditioning during those many warm months, down here in NC!)
     
  • To bring down the energy consumed by lighting, we switched to T8 lighting (a more efficient type of fluorescent), replaced all incandescent lighting with high-efficiency (LED or CFL) bulbs, added skylights over our break area to further increase natural light, and installed motion sensor switches in common areas to automatically turn lights off when no one’s there
     
  • To consume less water, we replaced our toilets with high efficiency, low water use units, and produce our catalog where water conservation system filters reuse the water needed for the printing presses (let’s hear it for “gray water!”)
     
  • Our Technology Team implemented a computer power-saving plan, to support our efforts to use less energy – last estimates have our computers using half as much electricity as the previous year [“fun fact” below might work better than including this one]
     
  • Our shift to a paperless payroll saves about 816 lbs of greenhouse gases, 986 lbs of paper & over 35,000 gallons of water per year
     
  • The printing of our catalog actually helps clean the air – not pollute it, thanks to state-of-the-art pollution control equipment used during the printing process

True progress comes from collaboration, so we welcome your insight on how we're doing and how we might do even better. Contact Us!

 

Energy-efficient HVAC units.

It's COOL to be Green. Energy-efficient HVAC units installed on our new heat reflective roof.

Eco-Friendly Recycled Green Bubble Wrap!

Even our bubble wrap is green! (Made from a minimum of 15% recycled content.)

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!

Our Sustainability Motto - Words to live by