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Greening Contract Packaging: California Hi Lites, Inc.

Contract packaging starts with the customer, but can incorporate greener operations and connections

Find green business solutions

Sustainable Business is Making Greener Packaging Choices

By Hans Blom, Vice President, California Hi Lites Inc.

In 1982 I asked the sales representative of our corrugated supplier to assure us that all corrugated purchased from her company for 1983 would be certified as at least 65% made from recycled materials.

The answer?

"We cannot guarantee that."

In other words, the option was available but not the effort!

Going green, thinking green -- is no longer a dream but reality. No matter what we may think of any environmental issues, as private citizens or as business people, we all have a responsibility to make an effort, if nothing else.

As a contract-packaging entity our company basically supplies a service which consists of performing packaging work for a third party with materials and merchandise belonging to this third party. As such we have little, if any, influence in our clients' efforts to supply us with "green" materials. More often then not the client comes to contract packaging companies after the fact; the basic decisions of what and how to use certain materials has already been decided.

packaging for green manufacturing and green marketing An interesting fact is that this is true less for the (start-up) entrepreneur and worldwide conglomerate then for the mid size client!

Low Cost Greening to Fit Small Business Resources

Nonetheless, we as a small business, figured out years ago that we can take certain steps at very little or no-cost to do our part in greening our operations.

  1. We can recycle all obsolete and discarded corrugated.

    Some 40,000 pounds of material is recycled this way every month; in addition this effort created a full time job for one person!

  2. We have carried an organic foods license issued by the State of California and actively market that "environmentally-friendly" aspect of our business.

    By introducing this additional capability to organic food market segments, we are able to attract additional business which results in increased sales.

  3. We refer potential clients asking for green or environmental friendly packaging materials to any sources we are aware of.
  4. We can immediately turn off all possible lights & equipment at the end of the work-day in all departments.
  5. We replace incandescent bulbs with time/motion controlled lights or with compact fluorescent lights....or better.
  6. Do you own your building? Think solar! Certain tax-advantages may apply!

Much to do about nothing?

Not really.

Results of Simple Green Steps

By taking these simple steps we created jobs, improved our sales and helped the environment. No losers, only winners!

If only a handful of businesses in our industry -- which by virtue of their services, have no immediate influence in green packaging efforts -- if we do what we can, then we jointly will have an impact, sooner or later.

The thought behind doing what we can is the same as the mantra in sales. One customer is only a beginning, multiple customers form the basis of your business and many more customers make you wealthy.

Your definition of wealth is yours by the way!

The simplest and smallest effort we all can make is to do what I did in 1982…….ask!

California Hi Lites Inc. is a California based contract-packaging entity specializing in club-store packaging, order fulfillment (general & for web-stores) and secondary packaging services. The company does not manufacture or sell packaging materials.

Hans Blom, Vice President, Sales & Marketing
California Hi Lites Inc.
Member: Contract Packaging Association

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| green packaging | sustainable packaging | small business |


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