Why? Three reasons sum it up: less waste, reduced carbon emissions and more jobs.
Several Central Indiana companies are taking the lead and making great strides to increase their recycling efforts and reduce their carbon footprint. Some companies, such as Subaru and National Starch, have gone all the way to “zero waste,” meaning virtually all waste is reused, reduced, recycled or composted. This decision has helped their bottom line and helped reduce global warming.
Wal-Mart, the largest employer in Indiana, has taken sustainability one step further and is looking at the carbon footprint of its suppliers. For example, Wal-Mart has committed to reducing its supplier packaging across its global supply chain by five percent by 2013. It is also looking at products that can be purchased or created more efficiently and more sustainably, with less impact on the planet.
These companies are leaders and view climate change as an opportunity to be innovative.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
People are often surprised to learn that recycling is one of the easiest and least expensive ways Hoosier businesses can reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, according to a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report, 42 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 came from the provision of consumer products, food and packaging: sources whose emissions can be significantly reduced via waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting.
In addition, recycling is a comparatively cheap way to reduce a business’ carbon footprint because when we recycle material we save twice: Once in reduced energy needed to produce those materials and, again in reduced energy to transport those materials. Of course, recycling also saves significant natural resources by reducing the amount of raw materials such as trees, water, minerals and fossil fuels needed for manufacturing.
Recycling is a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry in the United States and Indiana deserves to have its share of that. The Daniels Administration recently reported that for every 10,000 tons of waste recycled 36 jobs are generated verses six jobs for landfilling and one job for incineration. In fact, Alexin LLC recently invested $58 million in Indiana by building an aluminum recycling plant in Bluffton leveraging a $1 million loan from the Indiana Recycling Market Development Program. Alexin, which recycles scrap aluminum from a 300 mile radius, has created more than 50 well-paying jobs in Central Indiana.
Recycling those aluminum cans in your company’s break room really does have a positive impact on Central Indiana. Your recycling effort supports business and the environment. For example, it takes 95% less energy to produce new aluminum cans from recycled aluminum than to produce new cans from new aluminum – using less electricity and creating fewer emissions – which benefits us all. With more recycling programs we can create even more jobs, spur economic development, reduce resource depletion and curtail our carbon emissions.
Indiana’s Voice for Recycling
The Indiana Recycling Coalition works to affect positive change by educating Hoosiers about the connection between recycling and reducing carbon emissions and by promoting policies and programs that increase recycling in Indiana. Recycling reduces our state’s overall carbon footprint, reduces manufacturing costs, saves money, creates jobs. As many forward-thinking companies already know, recycling makes good business sense.
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