Regions Southwest Virginia

Factory finds savings in ‘green’ efforts

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Print this page by Joan Tupponce

“Green begets green.”  That’s the philosophy that motivates Ted Anderson and his manufacturing company. “Green does beget green money when you reduce costs by managing your waste stream,” he says.

Anderson heads Pulaski-based BondCote Corp., which makes coated and laminated fabrics and single-ply roofing systems. Recently, the company was producing fabric for booms used in efforts to control the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BondCote began focusing on saving energy and reducing wastes in 2004 when it received ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 14000 certification. The process requires companies to meet international environmental management standards.

Anderson believes that small businesses such as BondCote — which has about 100 employees and annual revenues under $40 million — can save energy and money if management supports environmental initiatives. “You have to have that buy-in. If you don’t, the needle won’t move,” he says. “That commitment has to flow down to the employees.”

BondCote has adopted a number of conservation practices, including recycling aluminum cans and centralizing computer printing stations to eliminate desktop printers. The company also has asked vendors to ship on palettes that meet BondCote’s specifications so they can be reused.

Because of its recycling program, BondCote diverted more than 500,000 pounds of waste from the local landfill last year. From 2004 to 2009, it also cut water use by 40 percent, mainly by fixing water leaks.

These efforts are paying off, literally. Comparing fiscal years 2008 and 2009, the company saved $64,946 because of its green initiatives. Much of the savings resulted from employee suggestions.

(In August, the Wall Street Journal reported BP had cancelled orders for containment boom, leaving many manufacturers in debt.  BondCote did not have contracts directly with BP, but Anderson says it will feel the effects of the oil company’s actions. “It’s a hit,” he says. “Our customers who have been supplying BP have been affected, and that may affect us.”)

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