Here at PPC Broadband, we're constantly looking for ways to minimize our environmental footprint through a commitment to energy efficiency, recycling, waste reduction and conservation.
We're excited to announce the Environmental Management System (EMS) in operation at our East Syracuse headquarters has been awarded ISO 14001:2015 certification.
ISO 14001 certification
ISO 14001 comprises of a family of internationally agreed standards that have been developed by ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 207 and its subcommittees.
It helps companies to minimize their impact on the environment by encouraging them to take stock of all the environmental issues that are relevant to their operation – things such as air pollution, water and sewage, waste management, soil contamination and climate change mitigation.
As with all ISO standards, ISO 14001 has a commitment to continuous improvement and encourages organizations to give prominence to environmental management within their strategic planning processes.
While accredited ISO 14001 certification isn't a requirement, achieving this recognition through independent third-party certification sends a clear signal to customers, stakeholders and suppliers that the standard has been thoroughly understood and implemented.
For PPC, this latest ISO certification has provided a means to:
- demonstrate compliance with current (and future) statutory and regulatory requirements
- increase leadership involvement and employee engagement
- encourage improved environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organization's business systems
- secure a greater competitive advantage through improved efficiency and reduced costs
PPC's Sustainability Management Plan
As part of its program of environmental responsibility, PPC has created a Sustainability Management Plan, which formalizes those already-achieved goals and sets out the company's plans for the future.
The plan is organized into five areas of focus: Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Supply; Waste Management and Recycling; Clean Transportation; Greenhouse Gas Management; and Employee and Community Well-Being.
So what has been achieved so far?
Innovative recycling practices
PPC's East Syracuse, NY headquarters is a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) certified low-quantity waste generator, which means it aims to achieve less than 2,000 pounds of waste per month.
PPC has done even better than that though. The introduction of advanced recycling programs means the company is actually currently generating less than 500 pounds of waste per month, placing it well within the DEC requirement.
Where PPC once used up to 100,000 gallons of oil per year, the implementation of an on-site oil recycling system has seen that figure dramatically reduce to just 3,500 gallons per year.
In other innovative recycling practices, all scrap metal chips are spun in a centrifuge to achieve a moisture content of less than 2%; 100 tons of paper and cardboard are recycled annually; pallets are chipped into landscape mulch and reclaimed soap is used for floor cleaning.
Improved energy efficiency
Work is ongoing at PPC to improve energy efficiency through the automation of all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls.
New equipment has been installed which balances the air flow and optimizes ventilation throughout the building.
The introduction of LED lighting, motion-controlled lighting systems and low-energy consumption air compressors is also helping to reduce energy use.
Waste reduction products
Much has been done to reduce the amount of product packaging for PPC's customers.
The traditional cardboard cable reel and box has been upgraded to the Cable Tote – a reusable plastic reel and zippered branded bag – which eliminates two cubic feet of cardboard, two plastic frames, four nylon straps and up to 50 feet of cable waste per reel.
The Cable Tote has enabled PPC to eliminate more than 1.7 million cubic feet of cardboard and over 800,000 pounds of plastic waste.
It has also enabled a massive reduction in required storage space, with 40,000 feet of cable now fitting into the equivalent amount of space as 27,000 feet of the old cardboard reel or boxed packaging.
Continuing the momentum
PPC takes its responsibility to environmental sustainability very seriously. And while much has been achieved so far, there is plenty more to be done.
Among our goals for the next few years are:
- the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
- the elimination of plastic from all outgoing packaging
- the development of an incentive program of carpooling parking spots and public transportation stipends to reduce employee travel-related emissions
- the conversion of all company-owned vehicles to hybrid, alternative fuel or electric
- the initiation of on-site renewable energy generation, to offset future growth and energy demands