After continuous-improvement efforts targeted at increased sustainability, H.J. Martin and Son has been recognized with a Gold Starnet Environmental Achievement Award. Company representatives on hand to accept the Gold Starnet Environmental Stewardship Award included David Martin, fourth-generation executive, Gary VandenLangenberg, vice president of commercial interiors, and Rachel Weber, commercial project coordinator.

Starnet annually recognizes member companies who undertake initiatives “to preserve our resources so future generations can enjoy them.” According to the organization, “This award is about helping to bring greater knowledge and awareness to create a healthier planet, along with celebrating positive contributions to environmental stewardship.” Companies were encouraged to share their best practices on reclamation initiatives, waste reduction, energy reduction, water recovery and other initiatives.

H.J. Martin and Son won the Bronze Starnet Environmental Stewardship Award in 2015, followed by the Silver Starnet Environmental Stewardship Award in 2016. Leading up to this year’s award, the company purchased new server and storage equipment for its information technology department. This expenditure decreased the amount of electricity used to operate its infrastructure by half. The new equipment also does not require as much cooling, which in turn has reduced use of the air-conditioning system.

Also over the past year, H.J. Martin and Son completed the installation of LED lights on the sales floors of its two showrooms, located in Green Bay and Neenah, Wis. Once finished, it extended this initiative to its warehouse; the company hopes to complete the LED install in 2017. The company also switched to LED within its office space, reducing electricity use to one-sixth of its prior amount. Office lights are also on motion/occupancy sensors, turning off when no one is in the room.

“Protecting and preserving the environment is part of the everyday business practices at H.J. Martin and Son,” said Edward Martin, president and CEO. “It’s truly a company-wide effort. We salute all of our employees for helping to make H.J. Martin and Son environmental friendly, along with our many customers who participate.”

The company is extending another environmental initiative that it has had great success with. Having implemented an electronic time-card system in four company divisions during 2015 it has begun implementation of the electronic time-card system within its large commercial flooring division. H.J. Martin and Son continues to save virtually all of its accounting reports and postings to a PDF format, storing them on its servers, which results in a reduction of paper use. The company has now extended this conservation initiative to begin storage of all of its AP invoices electronically; this step eliminates printing of any AP invoices which are received electronically. The company also continues to purchase refurbished ink cartridges and return empty ones.

Partnership with Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), for the recycling of used carpet and pads, also remains a priority. In 2016 alone, H.J. Martin and Son recycled 79,380 square feet, which equates to 549,070 pounds. Since 2013, H.J. Martin and Son has separated wood waste from normal on-site trash, using industry best practice to dispose of the wood. To ensure compliance, a security camera monitors the central bins for wood, garbage, and pad to be recycled. Waste metal also is separated out. All cardboard is also bundled for recycling.

Company social-media promotes upcycling, DIY, and reuse of materials to employees by featuring sustainable projects completed by staff members (i.e., a coffee table made from an old hardwood display). Employees also regularly bike to work to help reduce the carbon footprint. On the job, car-pooling to job sites is utilized whenever possible. Other earlier company initiatives focused on environmental stewardship include donation and recycling of used cell phones in partnership with a local company’s Green Gifts program, along with everyday separation of recyclable materials from general waste and use of eco-friendly products for installations whenever possible.

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