Making our operations more sustainable
Operating our owned and leased facilities in a more sustainable way is a key goal of ours. Because making changes to our owned facilities represents a capital expenditure, we want to be sure that any changes we make are moving us in the right direction. Therefore, we conduct and test a number of initiatives before choosing the best sustainable option.
- By upgrading our overhead lights in our warehouses to T5s several years ago, we reduced our annual electricity consumption by 31%. Now, we’re looking to upgrade to LEDs in our warehouses. Moreover, we have upgraded many of our office environment lighting to LEDs to reduce energy consumption.
- Hand dryer installations and other sustainability modifications have been implemented in most of our regional offices. Our headquarters moved from the iconic Flatiron building to the Equitable Building in 2019 where we anticipate a savings of 2.5 million paper towels per year with the installation of hand dryers.
- Since 2010, as the fleet leases for our sales representatives’ cars have expired, we have invested in significantly more efficient vehicles including hybrids to improve MPG and the consequent reduction in emissions by using less fuel. Now about two-thirds of our vehicles are hybrids and, the remaining third are fuel efficient all-wheel drive SUVs.
- Our Headquarters in New York and our Boston office are currently procuring renewable energy and have set a goal for all office spaces and warehouses globally to procure 100% renewable energy by 2025.
- Our decision to move a significant portion of our former server capacity to the “cloud” allowed us to leverage dramatic energy efficiencies and support the renewable investments of our partners.
- At Macmillan Learning’s HQ, several employees wanted to improve recycling in the office so they performed a waste audit. Using the results, we installed new bins and signage to increase accessibility.
In the summer of 2019, our global headquarters moved from the iconic Flatiron building to the Equitable Building, another landmarked site in NYC’s Financial District. The Equitable Building has earned LEED v4 -Gold certification and high scores on the EnergyStar certified offices framework. We are proud to move into our newly remodeled space with high efficiency HVAC, LED lights, low VOC carpeting and office furniture. Moreover, we are lessening our waste as we move to reusable flatware, mugs, and bottles throughout the site.
Prior to the move Macmillan donated tens of thousands of books to Books for Africa and several hundred cookbooks to a local community college. Additionally, Macmillan diverted from the landfill over 40 lamps, 30 mini-fridges, and 50 boxes of office supplies, decor, and other things to local non-profits in New York City.Learn more about the Equitable Building
Photo Credit: Silverstein Properties
Our Green Team at the IESI MRF in Jersey City, New Jersey
When we first began our journey, we knew that we wanted to be doggedly thorough and think through our impact on the environment. For example to trace our refuse from our office to the next steps of its disposition for separation into what can be recycled and what needs to be landfilled. Our first company “green team” outing from our headquarters was a visit to a local Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Jersey City, New Jersey (left).
Ulitmately, through our research we learned that our headquarters’ landfill waste was sent to the Seneca Meadows Landfill in New York. Subsequently, we have annually supported a carbon offset project that supports landfill gas to energy program, which provides a source of renewable energy to local communities and an educational nature preserve supported by the National Audobon Society.Seneca Meadows Landfill Gas to Energy
Reducing Waste in Packaging
While packaging is necessary to move our books from warehouses to our customers, we are working to minimize our impact. We are removing plastic shrink wrap from >90% of our bound books in Germany, reducing the thickness of the plastic air fillers in England, and piloting reusable shippers from LimeLoop in the United States in our proofreading and editing stages.Learn More