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Shawcor's Huntsville Green Team Leads the Way in Environmental Stewardship

Posted by on July 01, 2019 2:31:00 PM

Shawcor's Huntsville Green Team Leads the Way in Environmental Stewardship
Shawcor's Huntsville Green Team Leads the Way in Environmental Stewardship

Shawcor’s Canusa-CPS operation in Huntsville, Ontario has diverted a staggering 107,491 lbs. of plastic from the local landfill already in 2019. This level of waste diversion has established Huntsville as an environmental leader within Shawcor.

These results were driven by the Huntsville Green Team, an employee-led committee dedicated to reducing the operation's environmental footprint. To this end, the team has launched several sustainability initiatives, including an aggressive recycling program that aims to divert up to 325,000 lbs. of plastic from landfills in 2019.

Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, the team has also realized significant financial benefits. In total, Huntsville has saved more than $40,000 compared to 2018 ($12,000 in waste management tipping fees and $30,000 in garbage disposal costs).

How did they do it? The Huntsville Green Team owes its success to the following actions:

Manage Waste

Manage Waste

A major source of waste from the Huntsville operation is the manufacturing purge (the compounds used by processors to clean out polymer, color, and other impurities from the machines between production runs). Traditionally, this purge was taken to the local landfill. However, the Huntsville Green Team has taken measures to ensure that the purge is recycled. Additionally, the Green Team regularly performs waste audits in order to identify wasteful practices that translate into cost savings.

Reduce Waste

Reduce Waste

Reducing the amount of waste produced is easier said than done. However, the Huntsville Green Team has found ways to do just that. Most notably, they have installed a new baler. The baler has provided the means to recycle all packaging materials received from suppliers’ raw materials, which reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. In addition, the team installed a new trash compactor. By compacting different types of garbage, the trash compactor reduces the volume of trash and the number of trips to the local landfill. The team estimates the compactor will reduce waste fees by up to 50%.  

The Huntsville Green Team has also implemented waste reduction methods on a smaller scale. For example, the plant has stopped purchasing disposable drinking cups, and instead, has provided each employee with a reusable mug.

Make Recycling Easy

Make Recycling Easy

Recycling can be confusing. Sometimes it may seem easier just to throw all waste in the garbage. This is why the Huntsville Green Team has gone to great lengths to make recycling as easy as possible.  All recycling bins are clearly labelled so there will be no confusion about what goes where. The team has even posted signs around the office which feature clear guidelines with visual aids. The Green Team encourages employees to recycle materials in creative ways. For example, one employee received approval to take home a wooden reel to repurpose it as a table as part of a “do it yourself” (DIY) project.

Establish a Green Culture

Establish a Green Culture

A green initiative will have a difficult time surviving if it is not supported by the surrounding company culture. That is why the Huntsville Green Team has taken measures to implement a green culture at the plant. For example, the team actively promotes green practices to their fellow employees by providing Town Hall updates, distributing a Green Newsletter, and starting a Bike to Work program.

Furthermore, the team has increased the amount of plants around the offices to foster a sense of connection to the natural world. This connection to the natural world is further nurtured by the introduction of a Community Garden at the operation.


Ultimately, Huntsville’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint is unwavering. As Dean Bennett, Plant Manager, commented, “We have a tremendous team of dedicated employees that value the uniqueness of our local Muskokan environment. The Green Team has many great ideas to continue to reduce our footprint, which is helping us to lead the broader Shawcor community in these efforts."

Green Team green board community-garden-crop

From lef​t to right: (1) The Huntsville Green Team; (2) The Huntsville Green Communication Board; (3) The Huntsville Community Garden.

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