InterGroup International, Ltd., the flexible packaging and multi-layer film recycler announces a comprehensive and effective solution to help companies advance their “landfill-free” initiatives.
Entitled “Landfill-free in three” the program sets targeted, attainable goals to bring flexible converters and printers to landfill-free status within three years.
Neil Gloger, CEO of InterGroup International describes the plan as the most effective way to achieve this goal. “Many companies have sustainability goal or vision. It is good for everyone. Without a plan though, it is only a wish. What InterGroup does is turn this dream into a measurable reality. We bring all stakeholders… brand owners, corporate management, operations, finance, EHS and the guys on the floor together. We help them establish a baseline… their current situation. Then, we implement a plan that helps change behavior and report measurable results.”
“Working with a converter based in the Fox Valley in Northeast Wis., we were able, within 15 months to bring them from sending 3-4 roll-off dumpsters per week to the landfill, to only two in all of 2013.” That, Gloger says is not only gratifying, but a huge win for all involved. “The plant could not believe how much of what was going to landfill could be recovered for value, and, frankly, we were surprised too."
In another instance, InterGroup diverted 2.5 million lbs. per month from a Midsouth converter from landfill. “That plant is not quite landfill free. We’ve been working with them for 30 months, and due to the sheer volume, we’ve gone one stream at a time… but are well on track to hit our goal within the next 6 months,” Gloger says.
“We use multiple solutions depending on the needs of the stakeholders: Brand owners have their concerns about material disposition due to end of life considerations such as Basel accords, counterfeiting concerns, and brand equity dilution. Operations is concerned with labor cost and process flow (and disruption). Finance is concerned with cost….” InterGroup addresses each stakeholders concern and works toward a win-win-win solution.
“It’s important to get buy-in from all. We’re asking people to change their behavior, to do something different, to get out of their comfort zone.” The program can be sabotaged if buy-in is not achieved,” says Gloger.
In some cases, there is a net cost. “Market conditions and mix of material have a big impact on value generation,” he continues. There are instances when a brand owner demands secure destruction, or collection of material results in a comingled state that cannot be recovered for value. “We have resources to keep this material out of landfill, but there is a cost. This program is most effective when companies have a landfill-free goal."
InterGroup delivers measurable results. One of the tools they provide is an online dashboard. “The biggest issue for sustainability managers within an organization is data compilation.” Gloger says InterGroup has developed an on-line dashboard which can track waste and recyclables from system wide, to plant wide, to collection point in the plant. “This level of granularity is key to our approach. We want to shine a bright light on this….We believe it will not only help companies in their landfill-free scorecard reporting, but will also cause a higher level of efficiency within the plant.”
“Most plant managers know that there is more that they can do to increase efficiency and lower scrap and waste rates…. But the resources to track this are too expensive at the plant level… InterGroup can help solve this, Gloger says.
While not endorsing a specific reporting criteria, such as the Walmart Sustainability Scorecard, InterGroup works within a companies set of criteria in designing a landfill-free solution and tracking methodology customized to meet the needs of its Counterparties.
“We stopped calling ourselves 'recyclers' because we do so much more to service our counterparties,” Gloger says. Now, he continues, “We watch your wasteline.”
InterGroup International. Ltd.
(216) 862-9289