SPI is surveying members on sustainability practices to provide guidance for companies to improve their own practices. A Zero Waste Zone at NPE will highlight sustainable practices.

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Last month, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), Washington, D.C., launched the plastics industry Sustainability Benchmarking Tool. Fred Daniell, SPI chairman and president of Kureha America, New York, said that as this country’s third-largest manufacturing sector, the plastics industry has an important environmental story to tell: “The industry is achieving environmental success through the sustainability benefits of our products and the strides the industry is taking to ensure the manufacturing of those products is done in a way that is efficient and minimizes the environmental impacts where possible.”

Organized by SPI’s Recycling Committee, the Sustainability Benchmarking effort involves a confidential online survey that will gather data from SPI member companies on their environmental efforts, energy usage, and more. “Together, this information will help us understand where sustainability efforts are working and where they can be improved,” Daniell said. All SPI member companies were sent a link to the survey, conducted for SPI by Veris Consulting. The information collected will remain confidential. Only aggregated industry information will be publicly shared.

Besides providing a database to help tell the industry’s “positive environmental story,” Daniell said this program offers participants numerous benefits:
• Benchmarking your company’s sustainability practices.
• Undertaking an inventory of sustainability activities if your company has not yet done this.
• Generating varying levels of reports through the tools to share with customers, or being the first step in generating your own corporate sustainability report.
• Identifying areas of success and opportunities for improvement.
• Having the information to tell about your own sustainability activities to your employees, community, and customers.

Meanwhile, SPI will dedicate a special sector of the exhibit floor at NPE2015 in Orlando next month as a “Zero Waste Zone.” Reflecting SPI’s commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics, the Zero Waste Zone will present recycling demonstrations, displays of products made with post-consumer recycled material, a cradle-to-cradle education experience, and special events.

Surrounding the Zero Waste Zone will be the Recycling Pavilion, with exhibits by recycling companies and suppliers of recycling technologies; and the Sustainability Pavilion, featuring other technologies that benefit the environment. The entire sector will be in the South Hall of the Orange County Convention Center.