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Company Spotlight: Establishing a Green Vision

Many companies sell environmentally friendly products.

However not all of those are so committed to the green process that they earn the highest available rating from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), producing many of their products with 100% FSC certified materials.

Forms + Surfaces, a California based business that specializes in doors, recycling bins, fencing and elevators, has accomplished this with their wood slat benches and other creations.

Additionally, they either meet or exceed many other sustainable certification standards. In business for 40 years, their products are made from a high amount of recycled materials and are also responsibly obtained.

The steel they use is made from 80% recycled content, and items like doors contain ethically gathered wood cores. Finishes are made from recycled products and are either low in or contain no volatile organic compounds.

Their interior elevator panels are made with a lightweight designed polycarbonate that is constructed from only about 40% recycled resources; however the material used actually lends to less energy required for operation, thus they are more economical than standard elevators. This is due to the decreased weight of the panels, which weigh at least 1/3 less than a typical elevator design.

Most of their merchandise can also be recycled after the end of its use, but they state that their products are built with the intention of lasting. Since they are durably made, less energy is required to churn out new products. This saves consumers money, but also reduces energy consumption and landfill waste from improper disposal.

They also have a team that assists clients in seeking projects that maintain a highly sustainable level. In addition to manufacturing mindfully based merchandise, they have inspected some of their own business practices and have turned them into more ecologically viable operations.

For example, they found that they received and used a great amount of cardboard. Although this material is recyclable, they developed a way to incorporate an even better effort than recycling it.

By using a machine that recycles corrugated cardboard on-site, they are able to ensure that it is in fact actually recycled, but also can then use the reprocessed content for their business needs, like shipping and storage.

Another way they have restructured traditionally made products to make them more environmentally conducive is by coming up with a new process for etching. Eco etching is a term they use to define the newer way they etch doors and other products.

Metals traditionally have been etched with toxic chemicals. They have cleaned up the customary etching process and only use glass beads and water for engraving. The glass beads efficiently perform with no chemicals creating detailed decorative touches, and moreover they are fully recyclable at the end of their use.

Quality products matched with exemplary sustainable business practices provide the best offer to the consumer and commercial markets. While even common sense practices like recycling cardboard really make a huge difference, comprehensive product and operative scrutiny with the goal of conservation and ecological sustainability should be a model more readily used by other businesses and corporations who have the means.

Source: Real Green TV. 2013. Episode 55.

Image Source: Forms + Surfaces

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