Attends Green Activities
Attends Healthcare Products is committed to the environment, with a strong focus on sustainability in our manufacturing process.
In an effort to drive better efficiency and product performance, Attends Healthcare Products recently phased out the use of in-house, raw material reclamation. Instead of sending this waste to the landfill, we partnered with companies who use our scrap as raw materials in their own products. As part of the arrangement, we require that our partners not send any part of Attends’ waste to a landfill. We have since identified additional waste streams beyond the project’s original scope that, formerly destined for the landfill, are now being recycled, as well.
In the end, we reached our goals of better manufacturing efficiency and product performance while exceeding our goal of shipping zero net tonnage of solid waste to a landfill. This project not only improved the environmental impact of Attends Healthcare Products, but helped other companies improve theirs, as well.
- We reduced the solid waste sent to a landfill
- We created new jobs for our recycling partners
- We now recycle approximately 9,352,044 pounds of solid waste annually…
- 416,284 pounds of metal
- 4,201,520 pounds of plastic
- 516,880 pounds of pulp
- 4,217,360 pounds of whole briefs, protective underwear, and underpads
- Alone, the plastic we recycle annually is equivalent to…
- Energy – 205.8 billion BTUs
- Natural Resources – 1.4 million gallons of oil
- Landfill Space – 63,022 cubic yards of land
Due to our recycling program, widely used consumer goods can be made from our waste instead of virgin raw materials. These items include storage shelves, roofing tiles, footlockers and trash cans, just to name a few. And some of them can be made directly from the whole briefs, protective underwear, and underpads we recycle without having to separate their contents first.
To ship Attends products more efficiently and reduce our transportation carbon footprint, we have found ways to improve space utilization on trailers. By optimizing order patterns, we now ship more often in fully loaded trucks. In addition, we created more compact packaging, which led to a 40% increase in the number of cases we can ship on a full trailer. And getting more cases on a trailer means fewer shipments, less fuel consumed, and lower CO2 emissions per case shipped.
During 2009, Attends Healthcare Products started an additional project to reduce the environmental impact of our shipping requirements. This entailed creating our own transportation department to manage freight instead of hiring a third party logistics company. As a result of the project, we have shipped a growing number of cases while cutting the number of outbound trucks by over 8%, reducing emissions and fuel consumption in the process. We also positively impacted our environmental impact with:
- A 20% increase in modality (fullness of a trailer)
- Increased railroad utilization for west coast shipments
Attends Healthcare Products strives to work with suppliers who focus on continuous improvement, recycling, and green initiatives.
A good example of this is our choice of non-woven fabric used in several Attends products. Our suppliers recycle their trim and waste material back into the production of new materials. In this way, we are able to avoid generating excess waste.
Corrugated cardboard is another raw material where Attends Healthcare Products works with suppliers focused on green initiatives. All corrugated cardboard received at Attends Healthcare Products has various levels of recycled content. This allows us to achieve a desired recycling level while still retaining the strength needed to deliver our products free of shipping damage.
Attends works with our pulp supplier to provide products that meet basic human needs with as little impact on the environment as possible. This supplier works with scientists to find ways to sustainably grow and harvest trees they use in order to protect wildlife. In addition, by only harvesting 2-3% of their forests each year, 100% of their harvested land is replanted or naturally regenerated.
Temple-Inland, one of our cardboard suppliers, goes to great lengths to support environmental sustainability in its materials. On average, the recycled content of cardboard from Temple-Inland is greater than 50% – much higher than the industry average of 43%.
What’s more, Temple-Inland was the first to build a mill in the United States solely dedicated to recycled content. Today, Temple-Inland mills in Kentucky and California, are two of the largest recycle mills in the country, producing 100% recycled container board. Across its entire mill system, Temple-Inland uses over 1 million tons of old corrugated containers each year.