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Pella’s Environmental Manager Jim Nieboer talks about the priority the company places on making the best use out of the company’s by-products for future generations.
Essentially in sustainability what we are trying to do is responsibly use the resources that come to us, whether it’s wood or vinyl or fiberglass, glass, various kinds of metals, and obviously, saw dust as well. What we need to do is eliminate the concept of waste and see everything as a byproduct that could be re-used by somebody else within the company or another entity outside the company. An interesting fact that people don’t often think about, in terms of material utilization and being able to re-claim by-products, is simply convenience. Making floor space to segregate by-products at the assembly line and making it easy for our team members to take by-products and segregate them at the line and make them available for recycling. If you don’t make it convenient for them, it will get thrown in what is the most convenient container, which may be the landfill container. We are going to take a look at the technologies that are out there that are on the horizon, and try to incorporate them in a way that allows us to operate more responsibly, operate cleaner, operate with fewer by-products that have to be recycled, and just be more efficient. And combine all of those things, and you will find it goes right down to the bottom line of being a responsible business and being a successful business now and in the future.