FiberCore Wins Crain’s Emerald Award for Sustainable Business Practices
Following is an excerpt from The Cleveland Emerald Award Submission. Crain’s Emerald Award celebrates companies promoting sustainable business practices. Sustainable is defined as promoting People, Planet and Profits. We were honored at a dinner at Cleveland State University in September of 2011.
FiberCore’s mission has always been to provide Economical and Ecological products to the pet, research and consumer products industries. Five years ago we revitalized a stagnant product line and began to offer environmentally friendly alternatives to non sustainable products in a staid marketplace. Not only are FiberCore’s products environmentally friendlier than the existing alternatives, our products are in many ways superior to traditional small pet and lab animal bedding as well as Styrofoam packing peanuts. Since starting the company, we have increased sales ten times over the first year. The economic advantages are not limited to FiberCore.
Used effectively, our pet product line is as economical or more than any other product on the market. used in large applications (in-store use) our Eco-Bedding products can save retailers up to 50% on their in-store bedding needs. Additionally, Eco-Bedding dramatically reduces dust and dirt in stores. Not only does this improve the health and welfare of the retailer’s animals, but employees report reduced respiratory issues and asthma related ailments related to their workplace. All of this is effective in reducing cost and increasing profit.
From the beginning, people have been an integral part of the entire process at FiberCore. Since the start, we have utilized Deepwood Industries in Mentor, Ohio to assemble virtually all of our retail packaging for thousands of outlets across the nation and around the world. Depend Industries’ workforce consists of developmentally disabled adults who perform a variety of light assembly, clerical, mailing services and other functions for a variety of local businesses. FiberCore is Deepwood’s largest contract customer and at any given time, we have over 150 adults with special needs assembling our retail products. The socially and economically symbiotic relations has provided jobs and a sense of satisfaction among both FiberCore and Deepwood teams.
After participating in a number of studies at Purdue University, it became evident that Eco-Bedding has a positive impact on the environment and lives of mice and other lab animals. Armed with this information, we set out to improve the health and welfare of pets and those who care for them.
Our sustainable practices carry over from people to production. We are currently working on two major projects that will reduce our energy consumtion and increase profit margins. The first initiative is completely updating our building’s lighting system. in conjunction with First Energy the lighting update will increase lighting efficiencies in our plant and reduce power consumption by up to 59 KW.
The second initiative will reduce the transportation costs between Deepwood and FiberCore and improve Lake County’s MR/DD overall logistical capabilities. The plan is to buy and donate a more efficient truck to Deepwood. By cutting in half the number of trips between our two facilities, we could realize a significant cost reduction, more than enough to pay for the truck in a year. Additionally, Lake County Board of MR/DD and/or Deepwood would see additional benefits derived from having a more efficient vehicle.