Silver Star Goes Greener
Change is not always easy, but executives at Silver Star Communications are convinced that the effort to make their operation more environmentally friendly is paying off.
“We’ve always been efficiency driven, but our Sustainability Program has helped us to make company-wide operational improvements, ultimately reducing our costs. To put it simply, sustainability is just doing the right thing for our community and our planet, in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Ron McCue, chief operations officer.
Silver Star recently graduated from the Yellowstone Business Partnership’s two year Leadership in Sustainability program, along with eight other businesses from the region. Requirements for graduation included showing specific programs implemented, actions taken to make improvements and measureable results in the areas of waste, water and energy management, transportation efficiency, social investment in employees, community support, and responsible purchasing.
The push to be greener came from Jennifer Brannen, Silver Star’s marketing manager, when she requested that the company participate in the UnCommon Sense Program, which teaches regional businesses how to operate sustainably. “In my opinion, the progress we’ve made is truly remarkable. Changing personal practices and operational procedures is no simple task, but seeing the incredible improvements we’ve made in just two years gives me great encouragement about what we will be able to accomplish as we move forward. We’re really just getting started,” said Brannen. Continuing she stated, “I believe that focusing on the three pillars of sustainability, social responsibility, profitability and environmental impact, is not only a best practice for businesses but a necessity.”
The company’s support of its communities is evident to the public; however, many other efforts are not as visible. Implementing a full-scale recycling program including typical recyclables along with cell phones, electronics, copper, HDPE, and scrap metal, the company saw a 225% reduction in waste and recycled 30,000 pounds of material since the start of the program. While the waste reduction is impressive, Cody Luthi, facilities maintenance technician, acknowledges that the slower economy could be a contributor. Moving forward with quarterly audits, the company will have a clear picture of its waste production year-round. In addition to working on waste management, the company recently completed an extensive lighting project, replacing all of the fluorescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting. In their Star Valley facilities, the company projects an annual savings of $3000 in lighting costs alone.
The company’s “Green Team,” who call themselves the “Lean Operations Initiative,” has been working hard to create improvement programs to meet their 2010 goals to reduce paper use, vehicle miles driven, and energy and water consumption. Customers interested in joining Silver Star’s sustainability efforts may choose electronic statements and personally help Silver Star reduce paper usage.
Click here to learn more about Silver Star’s Sustainability Program.