We believe that sustainable practices are critical for our business and for our clients' businesses as well. We work hard to minimize the environmental impact of our products and manufacturing processes and constantly seek ways to increase our efficient use of resources.
Some of the most significant environmental impacts in our industry are the production and use of paper, as well as energy consumption. SEC is committed to the responsible use of this renewable resource and participates in the several programs that work to reduce our impact on the environment.
Managed for Sustainability
Seeking ways to reduce waste on the press room floor is a good place to start, but to have a global impact, we realized we needed to do more by earning an FSC® Chain of Custody Certification. FSC is a nonprofit entity that promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests.
By working with FSC, SEC can assure customers that the paper we use has been produced as a sustainable resource from harvested trees to the printed piece. Only products that have been subjected to FSC's chain of custody certification process throughout every step of production can carry the FSC label.
Envirostar Five Star Rating
EnviroStars is a Washington State program that certifies businesses for their efforts in preventing pollution and reducing hazardous waste. Certified EnviroStar businesses are given a two-to-five star rating based on their commitment to reducing hazardous waste. The higher the star rating, the more proactive the business has been in protecting the environment.
Renewable Energy Use
SEC is participating in with two innovative organizations to ensure that we are taking responsibility for our environmental impact and helping create a more sustainable future. Through our partnerships with Seattle City Light Green Up and 3Degrees, we are offsetting 100% of our electricity usage with renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint.
EPA's Green Power Leadership Club
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power. SEC is partnering with the EPA to reduce its carbon footprint by using green power that is produced from a subset of renewable resources, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro.
SEC ranks number 17 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Top 20 Printers List of the largest green power purchasers. We are purchasing nearly 2.6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 100 percent of our purchased electricity use.
Mail and the Environment
Thanks to sustainable forestry practices throughout North America, the amount of forested lands has grown significantly in recent years, providing for a steady, responsible supply of fiber used to make paper. Over 2.5 billion trees are planted in the U.S. each year, and we now have more acres under forest than we did in 1940. We plant much more than we harvest and follow strict sustainability and harvesting guidelines established by the global Forest Stewardship Council and the U.S. Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Mail also has a very small environmental footprint. Discarded direct mail represents only 2.4% of municipal solid waste, and the carbon footprint of the total quantity an individual household receives in one year is equal to operating a coffeemaker one hour per day for a year.
Download the complete legislative briefing to see how the mailing industry is taking positive steps to address environmental concerns, while providing jobs for 8.7 million people nationwide.