Thomas J. Lipton, Inc.
The Dugdale Award for Conservation and Beautification presented to
Lipton Tea, Inc. accepted by Ted Narozny, plant manager
Dugdale Award for Conservation 2010
By Karen Jones, GCV Conservation & Beautification Chairman
The Martinsville Garden Club
The recipient of the Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale award for conservation was presented at the Conservation Forum to the Thomas J. Lipton, Inc. company of Suffolk. The employees at Lipton Tea, Inc. (a division of Unilever) had a vision to be a zero-landfill company at the Suffolk plant.
By promoting the reduce, reuse and recycle approach, Lipton achieved a 100% recycle goal in 2009. Employees contributed more than 70 ideas, one of which was to visit the nearby McGill composting facility in Waverly, Va. to pick through their own trash and determine how to recycle the company’s waste. Since then, no company waste, from manufacturing by-products to employees’ leftovers from lunches, goes to landfills. These efforts have resulted in $100,000 in savings. The money saved has been reinvested for energy upgrades such as high efficiency lighting and insulation to reduce heating loss.
Further changes to the work place include air filters containing no metal that can be sent to the compost facility; Styrofoam cups and plastic utensils have been replaced with lunch totes, tumblers and metal utensils; plastic strapping on pallets have been eliminated; fiber drums were replaced with reusable plastic drums; non-recyclable cleaning wipes were replaced with reusable rags; and reusable sturdy plastic pallets replaced wooden ones.
Lipton Tea plant has carried its program to other Suffolk businesses and to the school system. Lipton received the 2010 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award.
The chief administrative officer of the United States House of Representatives who leads the Green the Capital program, visited the facility to learn how Lipton achieved its zero-landfill status.
Lipton is a wonderful example of a responsible corporate citizen, setting the standard in sustainability efforts. We should all be inspired to follow their lead in our own lives and to share this success story with corporations in our own towns.