Kestrel Gives Back
Nielsen-Kellerman strives to conduct our business in a sustainable manner and minimize harm to the environment. Virtually every NK product is used outdoors, and our staff and customers are deeply connected to our natural lands and waters. Here are just a few of the choices we have made in an effort to protect our world. Energy Conservation
• We chose high-intensity T5 fluorescent lighting for our factory and office. This lighting is substantially more energy-efficient than standard HID warehouse lighting, and also offers better color-rendering and less glare, making it easier for our employees to work comfortably and accurately when building our products.
• We installed triple the recommended insulation in our roof, and chose a special light-colored finish to reduce air-conditioning load.
• We installed a sophisticated HVAC control system which monitors temperature and humidity in all areas of the factory and adjusts performance to maximize efficiency and staff comfort, and we program the system to reduce energy consumption by adjusting temperatures when the building is not occupied.
• We turn the lights out when the building is not occupied. This sounds like a small thing, but look at the office buildings in your area in the evening. A remarkable number of buildings are fully lit every night.
• We turn off energy-consuming factory equipment when not in use.
• We choose LCD monitors or laptops to reduce energy.
• We share printers to reduce the number of print engines idling.
As a lean manufacturer, we continuously strive to reduce waste in all areas of our manufacturing processes. Lean manufacturing comprises a set of tools designed to help manufacturers minimize eight critical wastes
• People Underutilization
Many of these wastes have a negative environmental impact as well as reducing the effectiveness of a manufacturing process. Transportation within a factory often consumes energy for a forklift or skidder. Excess inventory requires more space to be heated and cooled. Overprocessing consumes extra printing and paper. Uncaught defects result in product which has to be reworked or discarded. A Lean Manufacturer by definition has a smaller environmental footprint.
Product and Battery Recycling
NK’s products far outlast many electronics, thereby reducing the load of “disposable” electronics. And, when an NK product has finally ceased functioning or been damaged beyond use, our Customer Care Discount program encourages the return of the product to us so we can properly recycle all potentially harmful components such as the NiCad battery packs and reclaim reusable materials like the CoxBox can. As electronics recycling programs become more broadly available in the US, like they are in Europe, we will participate and financially encourage the proper recycling of our products.
• We use paperless office software to minimize our printing and filing of accounting and business reports. As much as possible, reference materials are stored and accessed electronically.
• We distribute a minimum of printed materials. We limit our printed promotional pieces, and tightly match our print runs to our needs.
• We minimize our incoming junk mail by reporting duplicate catalog mailings and ensuring only those who need a company’s catalog are on their mailing list. Waste Recycling
• We segregate and recycle everything we can – corrugated, light cardboard, bottles, cans, newspaper, etc.
• We use water coolers rather than bottled water. We use real mugs, plates and silverware for employee meals rather than disposable.
• All office paper waste is preserved and segregated for shredding and recycling.
• Our entire factory and office generates less than a third of a dumpster of trash most weeks.
• We seek opportunities to use materials that align with our commitment to sustainability. Our catalogs are printed on ChorusArt recycled paper. This line of paper contains 50% recycled content including 25% post consumer waste. The distributor also holds the FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council) which identifies accordance with high environmental, social and economic standards during all stages of production including forest origins and raw materials use.
Shipping & Packaging
• We use padded envelopes to ship whenever possible. This single biggest impact of shipping is not the materials chosen for packing, but the transportation of the package. Therefore, the most important thing a company can do is reduce the size of the package as much as possible. Padded envelopes pack much more efficiently in shipping trucks and containers, resulting in less energy consumption to reach our customers. Where we do use boxes, we carefully match the size of the box to the item shipped. Shipping “air” is a terrible waste of energy.
• We reuse undamaged inbound shipping boxes and packing and padding materials for outbound shipping. We are purchasing a Cushion Packcorrugated slitting machine that will allow us to convert corrugated we cannot reuse into packing material.
• We use recyclable, compostable and renewably sourced Geämi paper for protective packaging. Employee Carpooling, Public Transportation & Telecommuting
• We financially reward our employees who take public transportation.
• We encourage and support carpooling. More than 20% of our employees carpool daily.
• Where job responsibilities permit, we permit telecommuting one day per week to minimize fuel consumption.
• We include environmental organizations in our charitable activities.
• We plan to install solar panels on the roof of our factory to generate almost half of our electricity needs. Pennsylvania does not have a favorable climate at present for economic support of alternative energy equipment, and solar panels are presently high-cost due to high demand, but both of these circumstances are expected to change in the near future.