ABSOLUTE’S GREEN INITIATIVE
In 2005, Absolute was a founding member of the Toronto film industry’s, ‘Green Screen Initiative’. This initiative was aimed at lessening the collective carbon foot print created by the local screen based industries and the footprint of its many and varied suppliers. As a major supplier to the film industry, it gave us cause to look more closely at our own business practices, to see how we could improve service delivery and lessen our impact on the environment at the same time.
While the simple act of ‘renting’ embodies the 2nd tenet of eco awareness, ‘reducing, reusing, recycling‘, we felt we could do more. We struck a staff committee that meets monthly and what follows is some of their recommendations put into practice.
This list is by no means exhaustive and is a constant work in progress, but what follows is just a sampling of what we have done to leave this earth just a little bit greener than in which we found it. The next time you are planning an event we encourage you to consider renting, rather than consuming, so that we can all live:’
- Our renovated, turn of the century warehouse has been fitted with energy efficient T8 and T12 compact fluorescent fixtures.
- Through the use of large windows and the installation of countless sky-lights, we use daylight most often to light our work spaces.
- Interior rooms without windows have lights on motion detectors to help save energy.
- We installed 30 circulating ceiling fans at a height of almost 50′ to better distribute heating and cooling down to the shop floor.
- We maintain office/warehouse temperatures of 18/16C respectively in winter during operating hours.
- Overnight temperatures in our office/warehouse are allowed to fall to 14/10C in winter.
- We distribute mock neck Absolute uniforms to staff, intended to be worn under their street clothes to compensate for the lower than normal interior temperatures.
- All HVAC is on smart thermostats that adjust temperatures throughout the day and on weekends.
- We have installed ‘freezer’ blankets to help keep heat in the warehouse when overhead doors must be opened.
- We use radiant heat, rather than forced air to heat our warehouse. We warm people and things, not spaces.
- We use a ‘man door’ rather than overheads for small warehouse pick ups and returns.
- We work toward 100% waste diversion and run all but organic recycling programs in our work place.
- We host a waste and recycling transfer facility on site, so that our film/event customers can dispose of waste and recycling responsibly. (for a fee)
- We have replaced most of our fleet of trucks to newer, more energy efficient models.
- We have replaced our fleet with high crew capacity trucks, so that as many as 7 crew persons can travel with the load to save on sending multiple trucks to an install.
- Our used office paper is cut into quarters, and the reverse is used as scratch pads.
- We run an afternoon shift and grave yard shifts so that ‘energy hog’ equipment such as washers/dryers and dish washing machines are run in off peak hours.
- We use eco friendly cleaning products and have banned the use of phosphates in our cleaning processes.
- We try to ‘buy smart’ inventory. A well made plastic item will frequently win out over a less robust wood or metal product.
- We are cognisant of the fact that Canadian made is better and so we try to buy locally whenever possible. This is becoming increasingly difficult with Canada’s manufacturing base moving off shore.
- We use glass, china and linen and company events. Partly because we own it and mostly because it is a better choice than paper or plastic.
- We are replacing many of our old halogen and tungsten lights with low energy consuming LED fixtures.
- Damaged vinyl from large tents and marquees is taken apart, resewn and recycled into smaller wall panels.
- We have installed solar panels so that much of our fleet of high-end portable rest-room trailers will now operate on solar energy alone.
These are just some of the ways that we are trying to make our footprint just a little less large. If you have any suggestions on how we can further improve our practices, please let us know.
Paul E. Kenyon
Please be sure to check back with us regularly for our Party and Tent Rental Information series.
Also, you won’t want to miss some of our own events being profiled here in our Special Events Inspiration series.