Ecological Fibers is proud to announce that we are the recipients of the prestigious LuxePack “In Green” award as a result of our environmentally friendly business initiatives. The 2019 award came from our consistent innovations in the specialty paper industry, and our evolution since conception of our solvent-free, water based coating processes.
The decision was announced Wednesday, May 15 in front of the LuxePack New York crowd after being narrowed down to three finalists. Jared Quill, Manager of Packaging Material Sales, gave the presentation before accepting the award later that same evening.
The LuxePack “In Green” awards are established to recognize companies and products that go above and beyond the typical action otherwise expected of environmental stewardship. Ecological Fibers was selected due to our decision to disband the use of any hazardous solvents in the production of our materials when we first began production over 40 years ago.
As a global manufacturer and distributor, it is our social responsibility to supply the highest quality covering materials to the book, stationery, packaging and security document industries, without compromising on our commitment to protecting the environment, and ensuring the health and safety of our most important assets: our customers and employees. Solvents were among the biggest factors keeping us from being able to hold true to this promise and as a result, we set out to change that. Hazardous solvents are commonplace amongst coated paper producers, acting as a sort of magic dust that significantly simplifies the coating process. A result of the utilization of these solvents, however, is the damage that can be caused through exposure to these hazardous chemicals which include but are not limited to liver, kidney and neurological diseases, as well as lasting damage to the environment that puts not only employees in harm’s way, but customers and the planet as well.
When the founders of Ecological Fibers toured the plant that they were planning on buying, and saw the effects of the solvent-latent environment that the employees were being exposed to, as well as a plant that was held together with blast doors and clips designed to release the roof in case of an explosion resulting from the incorrect management of these chemicals, they set out to clean production from the ground up. Working endlessly to create the highest quality material in the cleanest, greenest and safest way possible so as not to risk the safety of anyone involved meant creating revolutionary water based coatings that contain zero hazardous solvents.
From conception, we have been working tirelessly to create a water based, 100% hazardous solvent-free coating operation. In 1985, we did just that. Since that time, we have worked to continue developing revolutionary, innovative ecological manufacturing practices in order to obtain a level of environmental friendliness that is unobtainable through the usage of hazardous solvents that can still be found in the materials and procedures utilized by our competitors. We continue to enhance the quality and efficiency of our solvent-free materials and processes.
In 1990, we achieved optimal production as a 100% environmentally clean coating operation. For reaching this goal, we were honored with an EPA award, Earth Day Certificate, and are recognized by the Federal government as an innovative supplier of solvent-free covering materials. To date, we are one of the only manufacturers in the industry that are able to operate free of any EPA oversight. We have pioneered the way towards developing innovative green practices while eliminating hazardous solvents from all of our processes, while maintaining optimal production. This level of environmental preservation would never have been possible if not for our continued efforts towards developing the cleanest coating operation as a result of our long, arduous yet inarguably rewarding transition to a 100% solvent free operation.
The transition consisted of doing something that had never been done before; switching from hazardous solvent-based coatings to developing and creating water-based coatings that would live up to the expectations of our customers. To do so was no easy feat, and it took decades to successfully develop these revolutionary innovations that led us to where we are today. Nobody had ever attempted to do what we were setting out to do back in 1972, but with trials and tribulations, persistence, patience and the tireless efforts of those working behind the scenes to develop a coating material that does not contain the easy-to use yet highly dangerous solvents, we have managed to develop the highest quality of material while never losing track of our bottom line… the health and safety of our employees, customers and the planet.
We have never subsided in our efforts to continually improve upon our water-based material and processes in order to not only continue pursuing our environmentally friendly practices, but to continue paving the way towards demonstrating the fact that green does not have to act as a hindrance to a successful business model, and rather demonstrating the fact that the two can and should go hand-in-hand. Our work towards creating a greener future for all, while ensuring the safety of everyone involved, is never ending and we will continue to develop clean materials as a result of our social responsibility as a global supplier of covering material. Today we are proud to say that we are the global leader in environmentally sound covering solutions.
Now, our employees can walk throughout every part of our manufacturing plant without masks or need for concern that the air they are breathing is slowly poisoning their bodies, as they would if they were walking around a factory that utilizes nasty solvents. When you take a deep breath, nothing more than the smell of water and hard working employees fills your lungs, rather than the harsh smell of hazardous chemicals. Our plant is located in the heart of a residential neighborhood, which never has to worry about our factory releasing Hazardous Air Pollutants into the air, poisoning the families across the street. We employ residents of said neighborhood, many of whom simply walk across the street to work every morning, never having to worry that they or their families are breathing in toxic chemicals, or fret that they are working with a company that is alright with using solvents and nasty chemicals in order to make their coating process easier. We have fought through the struggles of converting to a clean coating operation for our employees, our customers, and the planet. It was not easy, but it was the right thing to do.
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