Paper packaging targeted by European sustainability report

A pan-European project that aims to revolutionize paper packaging being coordinated by the UK’s Sheffield Hallam University, has secured EU funding in-excess of €3m. It is expected to result in the development of “NewGenPack'”- the next generation of environmentally friendly paper packaging.

Experts from across Europe are pooling ideas and resources to ‘change the face of paper packaging’ and create innovative sustainable packaging with enhanced properties.

Carol Hammond, head of R&D at Chesapeake, who is one of the research partners, declared that the expertise bought together for the project has the potential to create a new generation of packaging.

“Cardboard products are inherently made from a very sustainable material. If it is enhanced with greater functionality, such as barrier properties to prevent moisture loss or has increased shape flexibility, its use can be extended to a greater number of market applications”, she said. “The team of experts is focused on developing the next generation of environmentally-friendly products that could change the face of paper packaging.”

The group, with specialists from Sweden, Poland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, said it will focus on the development of new packaging that is both sustainable and economically viable. The participants are carrying out top level, individual research projects to advance in three major fields: next generation packaging composites; cellulose fibre based active packaging and the effect of packaging production on the environment, the economy and society as a whole.

The initiative has the brief to foster the next generation of research experts equipped with the know-how and multi-disciplinary skills to develop future sustainable packaging solutions.

Project coordinator, Professor Chris Breen, of the University’s Materials and Engineering Research Institute, said, Currently very few researchers are trained to deal with such a broad variety of disciplines, and are therefore insufficiently prepared to assist with the commercial challenges of delivering sustainable packages that are both economically viable and environmentally fit for purpose.”

He added the training aspect of the project was a major part to create the experts, “who will drive continuing progress in sustainable packaging.”

Source: Packaging Digest

10 tips for sustainable package design

For nearly a decade, the biggest buzz in packaging has been the move toward sustainability, or “green” packaging. Driven by retailer requirements, public perception, economic pressures (petroleum, in particular), and government policies, sustainability impacts every aspect of a package-from the source of its raw materials to its end of life-and as such has proven to be an incredibly complex issue.

But over the years of debate and discovery, we have learned some core truths about the topic. First, there is no such thing today as a completely sustainable package. Instead, sustainability is a journey. The goal is to make incremental improvements over time in the sustainability of a package to reduce its overall environmental impact.

Second, in sustainability terms, packaging materials-including glass, plastic, paper, and aluminum-cannot be classified as good or bad. Each has its advantages and shortcomings, depending upon the product application and the goals and mission of the packager. Trade-offs are an inherent part of pursuing sustainability.

And last, packaging must be put into perspective by understanding its role in the full product supply chain. Packaging typically makes up less than 10% of the carbon footprint of a product; raw material production and consumer use often comprise the largest proportion. While packaging’s footprint may be small, its importance cannot be understated. If the package fails in its primary functions-protecting the product through the supply chain, enticing consumers to purchase, and facilitating consumption-all the energy consumed in manufacturing the product is lost when the product is wasted.

With these fundamentals in mind, following are some areas to consider when implementing changes to your packaging for improved sustainability:

1. Take a life-cycle approach to package design. There are many Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools available today to help package designers understand the environmental impacts represented by different packaging options. One is the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s COMPASS® (Comparative Packaging Assessment) online design software, which helps users make more informed material selections and design decisions by providing visual guidance on a common set of environmental indicators. PackageSmart LCA Software, one of several software-based LCA tools from EarthShift,
also allows packaging designers to evaluate the environmental impacts of their design selections.

One caveat, however: Sustainability metrics and standards are still evolving, so pick a program, and stick with it. Using different tools to measure the same package may yield slightly different results. The key is to be consistent and make sure you are moving in the right direction in the core environmental areas that are of greatest concern to your company.

2. Evaluate each component of your package. Ask yourself, “Can changes be made to use less material without compromising product integrity?” One successful example is all-natural sports drink-maker LIV Organic’s move from a traditional PET bottle to one with Amcor’s Groovy finish technology, which uses 31% less resin than a standard 38-mm finish. After LIV implemented the new design, the total weight of its 16.9-oz bottle was reduced 14.6%, from 36.8 g to 31.4 g. The technology also enabled the use of caps with 20% to 25% less resin.

Another example is GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare’s Os-Cal calcium supplement. In 2010, GSK rolled out redesigned packaging that included a high-density polyethylene supplement bottle in a bold, full-body shrink-sleeve label capable of holding all product information. Scrapped were the product’s secondary carton and an insert with outdated graphics. On an annual basis, GSK says the new package saves approximately 208 tons of paper, or 1,440 trees; eliminates nearly 330,000 lb of CO2 emissions (the equivalent of removing 30 cars from the road); and conserves about 2,052 million BTUs, or the energy used by 23 U.S. homes.

Suppliers are continually innovating with containers, caps, labels, and other components that improve the package-to-product ratio, resulting in a smaller footprint, and oftentimes in a smaller price tag, as well.

3. Consider new alternatives for distribution packaging. New machinery and material technologies are enabling packagers to use fewer materials to create multipacks, bundles, and pallets, as well as create shelf-ready packaging that minimizes waste at the retailer level.

For water distributor Unlimited Water Processing, Inc., switching from corrugated cases to new shrink-pack technology for its bottled water bundles was a risk that paid off. The Nested Pack™ from Polypack positions bottles in a staggered-row configuration that results in a sturdy, stable shrink-wrapped bundle that eliminates the need for corrugated trays or pads. After implementing the Nested Pack, Unlimited Water reduced its cost per case from roughly 45 cents to just 10 cents. And, according to company owner Elliott Henry, customers love the new package because it uses fewer materials, is easier to dispose of, and is more attractive.

Several options exist for more sustainable stretch wrapping/palletizing, including machines engineered to optimize film use. Another method is the elimination of stretch wrap and hot melt in favor of removable adhesives, such as those from Lock n’ Pop, that stabilize loads while reducing the footprint of the pallet. In California, artisanal food maker Premier Organics is employing a reusable polypropylene pallet cover that can be used up to 250 times. The company estimates that the system will eliminate 4,500 lb of material annually, or about 40% of its pallet-wrap usage.

4. Look for opportunities to make your packaging reusable—where it makes sense. In Costa Rica, Pizza Hut customers have been introduced to a new pizza box design that allows the box to be broken down into plates and a smaller box for leftovers. In 2010, Kentucky Fried Chicken debuted its Reusable KFC Sides Container. Made of polypropylene, with patented “ventless vent technology” that allows moisture to escape without requiring a hole in the lid, the clear container with red lid is promoted as being reusable, and microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

But reusability is not just for food packaging. PUMA garnered great attention when it introduced its “Clever Little Bag,” an attractive, reusable, red shoe bag used to package its footwear. As a result of the change, PUMA reduced its paper consumption by 65% and estimated it would reduce water, energy, and diesel consumption at the manufacturing level by more than 60% per year.

5. Consider changes in your product. The best example of a product category that has undergone significant change to accommodate more sustainable packaging is household cleaning products. Beginning with laundry detergents and rippling through other cleaner and chemical products, CPGs have turned to concentrated formulas to reduce the amount of water shipped from factory to retail shelf and to enable smaller package sizes. Perhaps the most compact of all: Method’s 8X-concentrated laundry detergent formula can wash 50 loads per 20-oz bottle, and 25 loads per 10-oz bottle. Also popular in the cleaning products industry have been systems that combine concentrated product refills with reusable packaging.

Another lesser-known yet very innovative example of a product modified to affect changes in packaging is General Mills’ Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper. Several years ago, the company reengineered the physical properties of the noodles within the meals to enable the design of a smaller carton size. The change resulted in a savings of 890,000 lb/yr of paper fiber, an 11% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and the elimination of 500 trucks on the road per year.

6. Whenever possible, design for recyclability. One of the most effective ways to preserve the energy expended in manufacturing packaging materials is through recycling. While many materials, such as paper and PET, may be widely recycled, oftentimes coatings, labels, and other elements added to enhance package functionality or aesthetics may render them unfit for the recycling stream. But new options are emerging.

One promising technology is from Smart Planet Technologies. The company’s EarthCoating can be used as an alternative to 100% polyethylene coatings in high-barrier folding carton applications. EarthCoating’s formulation includes powdered minerals, which reduces the plastic content in the coating, allowing the finished packaging material to be recycled under ISRI recyclability standards.

From PaperWorks Industries, a filmless holographic technology called HoloBrite™ is now being used for packaging to achieve a shimmering holographic appearance without the use of a film lamination. This process results in a package that can be recycled in traditional paperboard recycling streams without contamination from polyester and metal. In 2010, GSK Consumer Healthcare used the decorative process with a metallic coating from Henkel to create eye-catching, recyclable paperboard packaging for its Aquafresh White & Shine toothpaste brand.

Another new recyclable (and recycled-content) package technology that has caused consumers to take a second look is molded-pulp packaging from Ecologic Brands. The most well publicized application of the material is from Seventh Generation, which launched its 4X-concentrated liquid laundry detergent in the package in 2011. The container consists of a molded-pulp outer shell made from 70% recycled cardboard (OCC) and 30% old newspapers (ONP) that can be recycled up to seven times. The package’s inner film pouch with spout has been constructed of polyethylene only, making it suitable for recycling with plastic grocery bags, while the pack’s polypropylene closure is recyclable through Preserve’s Gimme 5 recycling program.

7. Employ packaging strategies that encourage product consumption. Approximately 34 million tons of food waste are generated in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So packaging that increases the likelihood that the majority of a product is consumed provides a tremendous sustainability advantage. Among the technologies that can be used to help reduce food waste are reclosable features, clearly marked use-by dates, and technologies that assist in evacuating all of a product from its package. Hellmann’s Easy Out! Mayonnaise package employs a nonstick surface on the inside of the container that provides the slip properties needed to get the last bit of mayo from the jar.

And, while bulk packaging may seem a more sustainable alternative than single-serve packages, given its smaller package-to-product ratio, single-serve may prove a more environmentally friendly option if it ensures product consumption.

8. Know where your packaging materials come from. Increasingly, retailers and consumers are looking to CPGs for transparency. It is to your benefit to make sure you are using responsibly sourced packaging materials. For example, toy manufacturer Mattel recently faced very vocal criticism from Greenpeace, which accused Mattel of using paperboard packaging that contained significant amounts of timber from Indonesian rain forests. Since then, Mattel has launched new sustainable sourcing principles to guide its procurement of paper and wood fiber. Hasbro quickly followed suit.

For Stonyfield Farm, the use of non-Genetically Modified (GM) crops is a core value. When it switched to corn-based bioplastic for some of its yogurt cups, it learned its resin supplier could not guarantee the use of non-GMO corn in its feedstock. So Stonyfield became the first major purchaser of offsets through the Working Landscapes Certificates, which ensures that an equivalent amount of corn is grown to sustainable agriculture standards.

9. Evaluate your distribution system for space-saving opportunities. In a presentation at Michigan State University’s second annual Packaging Executives Forum, consultant Kevin Howard of Packnomics, LLC, emphasized the importance of designing packaging “from the outside in, rather than from the inside out,” to minimize distribution logistics costs. “It is vital to understand what is happening in your own environment,” he said. “Some packages that don’t pass ISTM [International Safe Transit Assn.] standards pass real-world tests and vice versa. Walk through your distribution pipeline.”

His message, in “Space…The Final Frontier,” was that wasted space in packaging results in excess materials, transport, handling, and storage. To reduce a package size while maintaining its integrity, he noted that the packager must begin by understanding the known sizing of the transport mode that will be used and then minimizing the package size to hold everything at the lowest possible cost.

Other takeaways: “Space is found around components, inside of boxes, on pallets and between pallets,” “Maximizing load density is vital to minimizing environmental impact,” and “Space costs money… minimize it!”

10. Consider materials made from renewable feedstock. Packaging based on renewable feedstocks-from bioplastics made of corn or sugarcane, to protective packaging constructed of mushroom roots-is a rapidly growing area. But there are many questions still to be answered regarding the viability of some of these technologies and their relative sustainability versus traditional materials.

When evaluating renewable feedstocks for use in packaging materials, as advised above: Use a full life-cycle approach; understand how these materials perform in the recycling stream; know where the raw materials are sourced from; and ensure that the resulting packaging provides the required functionality for your product.

Above all, be very wary of additives and other technologies that promise to make packaging “just disappear.” While it is a very alluring idea, many scientific experts debate the environmental safety of such technologies.

Source: Packaging World

Biodegradation standard in development for plastic additives

The Plastics Environmental Council (PEC) has announced its sponsorship of a research study to product the first specification standards for landfill biodegradation of plastics that have derived from natural gas or petroleum. These plastics have been treated with additives that would enhance the biodegradability of the product. Plastic additives that do not interfere with the performance of the product during use are critical to the reduction of plastic waste in landfills and the PEC is undertaking the development of the biodegradation standards.

Despite consumer awareness concerning the volume of plastics in landfills and separate their consumer plastics such as milk and soda, the majority of plastics simply cannot be recycled for numerous reasons most commonly due to contamination and collection. According to the United States environmental Protection Agency, 13 million tons of plastic containers and packaging find their way to landfills in 2008. The PEC’s sponsorship to develop a landfill biodegradation specification standard is intended to address this issue.

Senator Robert McKnight, PEC chairman stated, “While we already know from various independent laboratory tests that our member companies’ additives are expected to be effective at speeding up the biodegradation of petroleum and natural gas-derived plastics in landfills, this will be the first-of-its-kind study to verify biodegradation rates of plastic waste treated with such additives under both laboratory and field conditions.” He continued, “The new standard will allow us to develop a simple certification seal that will inspire confidence in these additives from businesses, consumers and regulators.”

While most plastics that are derived from hydrocarbons are recyclable, they are simply not biodegradable without the addition of chemical additives. Without the additives they will remain in landfills essentially forever. Many of these chemical additives have been approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), are added to the plastic resins during the manufacturing process and will in no way alter the final product’s integrity, these chemicals are undetectable by the end user, and products containing them can be processed through current recycling methods.

The goals for PEC’s landfill biodegradability certification seal is to be available in approximately 18 months.

For further reading: Plastics Environmental Council/Packaging Digest

Canadian retailers address PET thermoform recycling

In a demand by grocery members of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) in conjunction with the Association of Postconsumer Recyclers and the National Association for PET Container Resources to increase the availability of recycled packaging in their stores, a new protocol has been introduced to determine the environmental impact of labels and adhesives on PET thermoform packaging recycling capabilities.

The dilemma at hand is the glue used to attach labels to the container is often to strong and thus prevent the label from being removed and recycled properly. The protocol being developed will help identify and adhesive that both satisfies the need for the label adhere to the packaging and the need for proper removal and recycling. Also taking part in crafting new guidelines for adhesive labeling is The Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC).

According to Allen Langdon, vice president of sustainability for RCC, “This protocol will play a pivotal role in allowing PET thermoformed packaging to be recycled in the most efficient way possible.”

One of the fastest growing types of packaging in the market is PET thermoformed packaging, according to RCC; its use is extensive by grocers ranging from the in-house packaging of food products such as produce, nuts, dried fruit, and baked goods. With support from Waste Diversion Ontario, Stewardship Ontario, and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, RCC grocery members have been working with NAPCOR and APR to remove the obstacles preventing the recycling of PET thermoformed packaging.

To read more click here:

http://www.greenerpackage.com/recycling/canadian_retailers_address_pet_thermoform_recycling

Source: Packaging World

Bio plastics global demand expected to quadruple

According to The Global Outlook for Biodegradable Packaging, due to rising oil prices and the depletion of fossil fuels there will be an increased interest in the use of plant-based polymers. These drivers are expected to push global demand for biodegradable or plant based plastics, causing the market for these products to quadruple by 2013.

Researchers have noted that currently, bio plastics account for less than ten percent of global plastics use, and the sector faces increasing regulation and competition as large corporation move in on the industry. Furthermore, the study also noted that sector growth is around seventeen to twenty percent since 2006.

The report provided an overview of the biodegradable packaging market in Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific, and provides in-depth analysis of the leading players and cutting-edge technology that will propel the industry forward. Additionally, the article provides a comprehensive outline of the regulatory and legislative framework in Europe, the United States and Asia-Pacific, and lastly outlines the key cost factors inhibiting development of biodegradable packaging, explores the future of the biodegradable packaging market, and the types of product are best placed to benefit from expansion.

For further reading:

http://www.reportlinker.com/p0570473/The -Global-Outlook-for-Biodegradable-Packaging.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_campaign=Plastic

Cheertainer bag in box used for beverages

The idea of bringing great tasting beverages to consumers in an ecologically friendly way is the entire idea behind Big Easy Blends. In 2007 Antonio LaMartina and Craig Cordes in an entrepreneurial venture had manufactured all natural margarita beverages; their next venture is to find a durable and ecological packaging.

The product formally launched earlier this year, the product was marketed under the Cordina Mar-GO-rita brand and now has expanded from Louisiana to Florida, Texas and California with further expansion on the horizon to South Korea, Vietnam, Brazil and Israel.

The creation of the Cordina Mar-GO-rita came after there was a dispute on a public beach where the use of glass containers was prohibited. The company, according to Craig Cordes, “wanted a better way to carry premixed beverages” that was permitted in public areas.

The launch of the Big Easy Blends on-the-go pouch has come with great success, not only with packing but with the product itself. The company has sold the single-serve retail product, but in addition to that they have ventured out into the restaurants industry which requires larger capacity packaging. “Restaurants liked the drink mix, but wanted a version to better control inventory and to deliver a more consistent product to the consumer,” explained Cordes.

In April 2009, while attending the Nation Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago, IL, Big Easy Blends was introduced to the CDF Corporation. The CDF Corporation, the manufacturer of the Cheertainer, a flexible form-fit bag-in-box, provided the ideal solution to Cordes’ need.

Now instead of selling their pouches directly to bars and restaurants Big Easy Blends fills their products in CDF’s five gallon bag-in-box. The company then distributes the completed package to restaurants across the southern United States as a more cost effective to market their product in bulk.

Cheertainer’s strength, durability and ease-of-use is one of the things that has impressed Cordes, further noting “the structural quality if amazing” and has had no complaints with leaking or flex cracking; two significant detractors for competitive products.

As oppose to traditional packaging, the Cheertainer is an environmentally conscious, innovative, alternative. Manufactured in standard sizes of 5, 10 and 20 liters (1,2,5 gallons), the form-fit, square design allows for seamless filling and full dispensing of the product.

Due to its unique design and material strength, the Cheetainer improves efficiencies in the restaurant industry because it can be stored in many capacities; whether it is frozen or needed to be kept dry. The Cheertainer solves many of the common problems associated with competitive products, like fitment positioning, dispense operation and flex cracking. The Cheertainer provides and eco-smart choice for the customer, without sacrificing the quality and reliability demanded throughout the marketplace. Its reduced plastic consumption minimizes packaging requirements and maximizes transportation and storage efficiencies.

For Big Easy Blends, the Cheertainer has aided in the company’s expansion into new markets. In addition to the restaurant industry, Big Easy Blends product has expanded into retail outlets, liquor stores and convenience stores. Furthermore, the company is looking to grow to include daiquiris and mojitos. The Cheetainer has aided this growth, providing consumers with a user-friendly product that improves efficiencies and turnover.

By moving forward with cost-effective and an environmentally responsible direction, Big Easy Blends will realize continued growth, expanded opportunity and a sustainable future.

CDF’s bag in box on exhibit at Wal-Mart sustainability show

CDF Corporation, a leading manufacturer of liners for drums, pails, intermediate bulk containers and flexible packaging, will display Cheertainer’s flexible packaging solutions at the Packaging Sustainable Value Network’s 6th Annual Sustainable Packaging Exposition.

The Packaging Sustainable Value Network’s (SVN) 6th Annual Sustainable Packaging Exposition for Walmart and Sam’s Club will be held April 12th and 13th at the John Q Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, Arkansas. This event combines the exhibition of hundreds of packaging suppliers’ products and services, highlighting their successes in developing and delivering innovative and sustainable packaging to Walmart and Sam’s Club over the past year. The interesting and valuable information sessions are designed to provide you with the most up to date information on achievements and challenges to the industry. Read more

CDF eco-smart packaging solutions

Since 1971, CDF has been an industry leader in sustainable packaging. Decades ago, we launched the 55 gallon drum liner. For the first time, this 55 gallon steel drum liner allowed drums to be reused, eliminating cleaning costs and landfill waste.

In the 1980’s CDF introduced round bottom technology to manufacture economical, lighter weight liners and barrier films for oxygen, moisture and hot filling applications. These innovations permitted the outer rigid container to be easily reused or recycled.

CDF’s intermediate bulk container liners were introduced in the 1990’s to reduce the need for expensive rigid packaging. With the use of our IBC liners, CDF’s customers are able to reduce transportation costs of rigid containers. The patented design maximized product efficiency, allowing the customer to get the most product possible out of the container.

CDF continues to be a pioneer in introducing product breakthroughs that result in environmental benefits and reduce customer cost.

The Cheertainer bag in box is an environmentally-friendly, alternative to traditional packaging. Its form-fit, square design provides an eco-smart bag in box option; its reduced plastic consumption minimizes packaging requirements, while maximizing transportation and storage efficiency.

The Smart Pail is a semi-rigid, flexible vacuum-formed plastic liner with a hermetically sealed plastic lid and/or snap-on plastic cover, corrugated box and corrugated lid. Due to its design, the Smart Pail reduces plastic consumption by 76% and is able to achieve one extra skidded layer during transport than standard rigid pails, equating to 33% more transportation and warehousing efficiency.

CDF announces replacement for rigid pails

In an effort to create a sustainable replacement for rigid pails, CDF Corporation, the leading manufacturer of drum, pail and intermediate bulk container liners and flexible packaging, has developed the Smart Pail, an environmentally-friendly liner-in-box system.  The Smart Pail consists of a light-weight, cubed shaped liner designed for use with a 100% recyclable corrugate overpack.  The Smart Pail provides a significant cost-savings opportunity for the user by reducing input energy and maximizing overall efficiencies without sacrificing the quality and reliability required of pail systems.

The Smart Pail can be seamlessly integrated into existing single and multi-head filling lines, providing companies a means to increase profit and promote sustainable business practice.  The pail liner weighs 87% less than a rigid pail, allowing the customer to maximize energy efficiencies and productivity rates.  In terms of energy savings, one truckload of empty Smart Pails is equal to 5 truckloads of empty rigid pails.  This reduces inbound transportation costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while maximizing inventory space. 

Due to its cubed construction, the Smart Pail is able to achieve one extra skidded layer over rigid pails, equating to 33% more product-per-pallet.  The corrugate container is 100% recyclable and the liner, made from high-density polyethylene, has recycle code 2 certification.  And, at the end of use, the Smart Pail occupies 76% less space in landfills than rigid pails.

“In today’s business climate, it is becoming all the more important to be cost-effective and environmentally-conscious,” says CDF Chief Operating Officer Laura Beechwood.  “The Smart Pail is a revolutionary product that will cut costs, help drive future business growth, and improve company environmental efforts – creating an all-around smart system.”

Two different lidding options are available for the Smart Pail.  For users handling products that need to maintain freshness or storing capacity, the Smart Pail can be hermetically sealed with a wide range of film structures, creating an air-tight, tamper-proof seal to ensure product purity.  For users that require quick turnaround for their product, the Smart Pail can be used with a snap-on lid to increase the ease of use when filling and emptying the product.

The Smart Pail is designed for use with thick viscous products which are traditionally packed in steel or plastic pails such as paints, inks, cosmetic compounds, drywall mud, roof sealants, powders and flakes.

  The Smart Pail is one of many innovative products in flexible packaging technology offered by CDF.  Such innovations have included the Cheer Pack®, Cheertainer® bag-in-box, EZ-Strainer™ inserts for drums and pails and Air-Assist™ IBC liners.

CDF’s green operations

Our goal is to eliminate unnecessary waste. As a company, it is our mission to reduce, reuse and recycle.

CDF’s Plant Green program recycles over 150,000 lbs of cardboard product and over 25,000 lbs of co-mingled material annually. We are also recycling 98% of excess packaging received from suppliers. The Plastic Regrind Program is a longstanding initiative that has allowed us to recycle over 3 million lbs of internally generated plastic per year.

As a company we have decreased our energy consumption by changing to 100% high-efficiency lighting and installing energy efficient air compression systems used throughout our manufacturing facility, resulting in significantly reduced HVAC usage. We have also invested in an energy transfer system to distribute heat from manufacturing to other parts of the production facility. Our investment in energy-efficient machinery that has lead us to produce better quality products and contributed to annual energy savings of 70% over previous equipment.