Best Practices In Sustainability: Pitney Bowes Practices Sustainability

Nov. 9, 2005

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The State of Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Waste has given its stamp of approval to Stamford, CT-based Pitney Bowes Inc.

The $4.9-billion provider of mail and document management systems actively pursues a number of “innovative programs aimed at sustainability and environmental protection. The state features Pitney Bowes on its website (click here) as a leader in pollution prevention.

The company has received numerous honors for its innovative waste reduction strategies. Twenty-eight facilities across four company divisions participate in Pitney Bowes’ Waste­Wise Initiative. During 2003, the company recycled more than 11.4 million pounds of various materials with an estimated cost savings of $870,000. This figure includes more than 4 million pounds of paper-based materials.

A “product take-back program,” known as Asset Recovery, affects the company’s U.S.-marketed products. About 85 percent of these are returned to Pitney Bowes through this program, where they are repaired, refurbished, and remanufactured. Parts are harvested for re-use and, where possible, are recycled regionally to minimize transportation.

The company’s energy management efforts revolve around an in-house energy management team, formed in 1998. It consists of members from Pitney Bowes’ facilities management, real estate, corporate safety and environmental affairs, and procurement departments. The program administered by the team focuses on conservation and load management. Additionally, the corporation procures electricity in deregulated markets by permitting qualified vendors to bid to supply energy to Pitney Bowes facilities.

Pitney Bowes is a member of the Green Power Market Development Group and supports the generation of environmentally friendly, clean electricity, otherwise known as “green power.” The company’s supports this effort by purchasing “renewable energy certificates,” also known as credits or tags. According to the State of Connecticut case study, Pitney Bowes has purchased renewable energy tags equivalent to 10 percent of its annual corporate office electricity consumption in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Environmental management systems (EMSs) at company facilities also have received recognition. In 2003, the company’s Document Messaging Technologies (DMT) facility in Danbury, CT, received ISO 14001 certification for its EMS. The certification recognized nearly 80 of the facility’s activities as having an environmental impact, including reducing paper consumption, energy consumption, and non-reusable incoming packaging; using environmentally preferable paper procurement practices; complying with packaging rules and regulations; and expanding product stewardship opportunities with respect to the products’ end of life.

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