The annual contest spotlights companies that have invested in, and implemented, new programmes that reduce environmental impact
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group has won SGIA’s 2019 Sustainable Business Recognition award, which spotlights leaders in the global printing industry that have implemented programmes that reduce environmental impact and protect and improve employee safety.
The award was announced Monday, March 25, 2019 by SGIA. From that date to Earth Day 2019 (April 22, 2019), SGIA will conduct a social media campaign that highlights the winners as global leaders in the development and implementation of sustainable business practices.
In 2018, Aurora implemented the first full year of a massive manufacturing overhaul that involved investing over US$ 1 million in new equipment and software designed to significantly reduce Aurora’s environmental impact. The programme also involved spending millions more retrofitting and redesigning the new plant with sustainability upgrades. This included integrating state-of-the-art sustainability measures throughout the company’s facilities, operations and manufacturing processes, and retraining of employees at all levels.
Aurora’s accomplishments in this area “are a testament to the dedication required to accomplish goals directed at becoming a sustainable business,” said Michael E. Compton, Chair of the Advisory Council, Sustainability, Safety, Health and Personnel at SGIA. “The Sustainable Business Award recognizes the achievements involved with improving business efficiency and reducing the environmental impact.”
Aurora’s investments in next generation sustainability technologies are consistent with their overall philosophy. “We apply the same innovative approach and commitment to the products that we make and the customers we serve as we do to sustainability,” said Mark Shaneyfelt, Director of Sales and Marketing for Printable Textiles at Aurora. “We pride ourselves in being progressive in all phases of our business.”
SGIA is the trade association for professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing industries looking to grow their businesses through the incorporation of the latest printing technologies.
“It’s an honour to be recognized by SGIA for the commitment Aurora has made to reduce our environmental impact while improving our business efficiency,” said Marcia Ayala, Vice President at Aurora. “We have been dedicated to adopting processes and technologies that are both state-of -the-art and sustainable. We embraced the challenge and are committed to continuing to find new, innovative ways to both improve our business and promote global sustainability.”
Aurora’s sustainability story
Aurora’s new state-of-the-art, North American manufacturing operation is strategically equipped with next-generation bleaching, finishing, fabric skewing and coating technologies. With its next-gen capabilities, convenient location and streamlined operations, Aurora is ideally poised to help their customers meet and surpass market demand for their products.
Highlights from Aurora’s Sustainability Project
- 2018 was the first year of full implementation of Aurora’s manufacturing operation that serves as a global model for the textile and printing industries for sustainably responsible manufacturing.
- Implementation of Aurora’s sustainability programme involved investing over US$ 1 million in new equipment, moving from Aurora’s former plant in Aurora, Ill. to a new manufacturing facility in nearby Yorkville, Ill., and spending millions more retrofitting and redesigning the new plant with sustainability upgrades.
- The programme also involved integrating state-of-the-art sustainability measures throughout the company’s facilities, operations and manufacturing processes and retraining of employees at all levels.
- Aurora’s sustainability programme is based on an ongoing commitment to developing and executing a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) that involves the participation of employees at all levels of the organisation and a commitment to maintaining ISO.14001:2015 certification, a comprehensive globally-accepted standard and framework.
- Aurora continues to set goals to further enhance its sustainability programme. Aurora’s 2019 EMS goals include reducing landfill waste, reducing energy consumption and improving waste water processing.
- Along the journey, the energy efficiency improvements helped shape improvements to employee health and safety. The natural gas and electricity components of Aurora’s plant were designed to significantly reduce Aurora’s manufacturing carbon footprint
- In the plant Aurora changed all lighting to LED lighting, which is energy-efficient, long-lasting and reduces landfill waste. This includes 75+ exterior lights and 500+ interior lights.
- Annual water usage is currently 50% less than the amount of water used annually four years ago.
- Aurora has realized a 50% reduction in natural gas consumption and 10% reduction in electric consumption versus 4 years ago.
- Reduction in natural gas and electricity consumption represents an annual reduction of 4,134 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That is the equivalent of 465,178 gallons of gasoline per year or 4,523,015 pounds of coal burned.