Lifetime Products is committed to balancing our responsibilities to the environment with our corporate goals as a global manufacturer of consumer products.
Environmental Responsibility — Healthy Practice for the Bottom Line
Lifetime continues to demonstrate that the use of ingenuity and creativity with environmental sustainability in mind can deliver consistent financial windfalls. Divisions throughout the entire company contribute to these efforts showing that every little bit makes a very big difference. In 2005 alone, Lifetime's environmentally conscious programs demonstrated a bottom-line savings of $2.5 million in cost savings for the company.
Lifetime is dedicated to protecting our environment through resource conservation. As a vertically integrated manufacturer of consumer products, Lifetime understands that efficiency in both process and product not only helps create high value in our products, but it also eliminates waste. Clever and unique manufacturing processes help us minimize waste in many different ways, making Lifetime not only conscious of making great products, but protecting the environment at the same time. Furthermore, Lifetime employees are encouraged to participate in daily conservation actions by recycling and reusing materials as a matter of process.
Waste minimization is an important part of resource conservation and Lifetime's efforts to reduce waste has lead to significant savings for our customers and our own bottom line. Since the company was founded in 1986, we have incorporated "Green Philosophies" into the way our products are made, packaged and shipped.
A core ingredient to most of our products is polyethylene plastic. We design our products to last so they won't end up in landfills. Lifetime's blow-molded panels are designed in such a way where the efficient removal of material with the proprietary use of "tack-off" patterns allows us to not only use less material in the final product, but also make the product stronger and more rigid. The end result is a stronger product with a higher value and less consumption of raw materials.
Lifetime creates very little waste from our plastics manufacturing facilities. Plastic scrap and refuse is cleansed, reground and put back into our system. This is done with 99% of all plastic waste – the other 1% is sold to post-industrial plastics manufacturers and used in other consumer or industrial applications. In addition to manufacturing waste, plastic from defective products returned to Lifetime is cleansed, reground and used again.
Lifetime created the first basketball system that came in one package. This eliminated the need for additional corrugated cardboard and cut down on the amount of waste sent to landfills. Today's packaging is even more streamlined and uses less material than our competitors, once again limiting the amount of waste generated by one basketball system. The streamlined packaging has also allowed us to eliminate wax coating from the corrugated cardboard we use, making our boxes completely recyclable by most recycling standards. We have also eliminated the need for wooden pallets from most basketball systems with our Vertical Packaging process.
In addition to traditional recycling programs, Lifetime is committed to responsible buying practices, such as buying in bulk, purchasing recycled-content products, and requesting packaging materials that can be reused or recycled.
Lifetime recycles all foam waste and packaging materials that come from the parts and materials we purchase. We reuse the packaging boxes from raw materials for transportation of finished product, and we have eliminated the need for "bagging" individual steel parts with the adoption of scratch-resistant hammer-toned finishes. The thickness of our stretch film has been reduced so we use less in stretch-wrapping pallets and the material itself is pre-stretched so we maximize its distribution. The steel banding used on pallets has been reduced from 1-inch to 3/8-inch.
Fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas provide the majority of energy consumed worldwide, specifically with electricity and transportation fuels. As people continue to increase their demand for electricity, the need for more energy efficiency and productivity is critical. Lifetime is active in supporting new energy conservation technologies, promoting clean sources of energy and clean air whenever possible.
Portland, Oregon based Rocky Mountain Power has paid incentives to Lifetime Products for energy efficient projects and presented a Certificate of Energy Resource Stewardship for Lifetime's dedication to energy efficiency.
Since 1994, Lifetime Plastics has continuously added more chilled water capacity to keep up with the growth of the company, and at one point, there were four separate systems to run the plant.
Lifetime partnered with Rocky Mountain Power to explore ways to replace the aging equipment with a more energy-efficient system. What developed was a fully automated system. The new modernized system features energy efficient variable-speed pumps and fans, and "free-cooling" towers used to create chilled water whenever the outside air temperature approaches 60 degrees, allowing the expensive electric chillers to shut off.
The significant projected cost savings with this new system will lead to a total return of investment in three years, based on energy savings alone. This also paves the way for better process control, more dependable equipment and less water and chemical consumption.
Lifetime also practices sound energy management in ways not seen by most. The lighting systems in all manufacturing buildings and finished product warehouse have been altered to sustain energy-efficient bulbs. All forklifts have been switched from propane to natural gas and building-to-building deliveries are carried out by the use of large modified "tricycles" instead of motorized carts. Only necessary buildings are cooled or heated during extreme weather periods and all transformers are regulated to level the usage of power during peak times.