After much research, planning, and implementation, Raven has embarked upon a journey that integrates sustainability with our operations and values in some very specific ways. The effort is a natural extension of an approach to doing business that has made our customers, partners, and communities successful for six decades — and will help drive success for the next six decades and beyond.
Responsibility Meets Opportunity
Sustainability fits seamlessly into our culture and operations. Since 1956, we have served our customers and grown not because we were interested in short-term gain, but because we have always sought to build for the long term and to do the right thing. The guiding principles we developed to these ends were a natural prelude to our embrace of sustainability.
It’s our strategy to aggressively compete on quality, value, innovation, and peak performance. And we strive for continuous improvement while making corporate responsibility a top priority. Sustainability encompasses all these values simultaneously.
Raven’s Approach to Sustainability
Our approach to sustainability is demonstrated through continual improvement of our operations, products, and the actions of our team members — advancing stewardship of the environment, our communities, and the growth of tomorrow.
It starts with these areas of concentration and the initiatives we’ve launched in each:
LEED® Gold Certified
In 2011, the decision was made to renovate Raven’s Headquarters building to convert it to appealing and usable office space to attract top talent, keep talent, revitalize Downtown Sioux Falls, and improve the community. Early in the process, Raven chose to seek LEED® Gold Certification with the renovation. The design process focused heavily on sustainable building practices.
- Our parking lot has designated preferred parking for carpooling and fuel efficient vehicles.
- We now consume a third less energy than we did prior to renovations.
- Our HVAC systems do not use CFC or Halon refrigerants.
- Our low-flow lav faucets and toilets equate to a 41% savings in water consumption.
- We have a “green” roof composed of living plants on our rooftop patio to provide water filtration, improve heat efficiency, and bolster team member enjoyment.
- During renovations, 98% of exterior walls and structural elements were left intact, saving resources and showcasing a treasured historic building.
- This site uses water tanks to collect rainwater for landscape irrigation.
As we continue to grow and expand, we will consciously plan and seek LEED® Certification on renovation and new construction projects. We will continue to be innovative in designing resource-conservation features into the architecture.
Manufacturing Waste Reduction
The most significant impacts in the area of waste reduction come from our manufacturing operations.
In February of 2013, we incorporated a state-of-the-art plastic reclaim center into our engineered films manufacturing facility, which is projected to recycle over 80% of internal excess material generated from normal manufacturing startups, change-overs, and edge trim processes.
Our new system enables us to recycle and reuse the majority of these materials in-house, saving significant landfill capacity and allowing us complete control of an internal closed-loop system for reclaiming our excess materials.
Many of Raven’s products serve industries that make a profound impact on our environment. We help mitigate these effects through precision, capture, and containment methods.
When farmers can more precisely apply and contain chemicals, less is lost into the environment. When our film is used to line retention ponds and cover lagoons so hazardous material does not seep into aquifers or the air, we are protecting these precious resources.
Through a spirit of innovation and a progressive look toward our future, we are designing products to optimize sustainability in their materials used, manufacturing footprint, packaging, and end-of-life existence.
Team Member Behavior
Dining at Raven
We don’t use Styrofoam or plastic serving ware. Instead, our kitchens and break rooms are stocked with glass cups, ceramic coffee mugs, durable plates, and actual flatware. Dish washers, too, are installed in common areas for team member use.
When it’s time to eat, we work almost exclusively with caterers who deliver food in paper or cardboard containers and who utilize reusable serving ware. After catered events, we make it a point to donate leftover food to local charities on a regular basis.
Paper Use & Recycling
We have made great strides in reducing the amount of paper Raven consumes through conversion to electronic files. Team members are encouraged to review their processes and documentation for ways to eliminate paper waste in a meaningful way. The copy paper that we do use is sourced from sugar cane, making it ISO 14001 certified, and we make recycling a top priority.
Raven recycles more than just paper, too. Co-located, single-stream recycling bins are available throughout our facilities, from all team member desks to common areas and conference rooms. We ask the same of any community groups utilizing our space, and we require recycling at all events hosted on Raven property.
It is our goal to create a paradigm shift for team members and customers so that not only will Raven generate less waste internally, but that these principles will be taken and applied at home, which will result in a much larger impact. To encourage decreased fuel consumption, our Corporate Headquarters has designated preferred parking spaces for carpooling and fuel efficient vehicles. We also offer secure, onsite storage for bike commuters.
Sustainability is a Calling
As with our development as business leaders, community leaders, and individual leaders, this is not an exercise that will ever conclude. After all, improvement and growth is the nature of leadership. We are not perfect, but we are deeply committed to continuous improvement in our impact on the environment.
At Raven, sustainability integrates our efforts with our customers, communities, and team members in a new and vital way. And the reverse is true, too: sustainability is something our partners can embrace with us.
If sustainability is a call to leadership, we invite you to join us and answer it.