GRI reports parameters such as a company’s energy usage, water consumption and CO2 footprint tied into the social responsibility aspects of operating a business.
L.P. Thebault is one of only two printers that have been invited to become members of Ceres, notes Seitz. The organization is a collection of institutional investors and environmental groups focusing on implementing environmentally sustainable business practices with public reporting and transparency. It was established in response to the Exxon Valdez disaster, and the group’s members now collectively control $14 trillion of assets.
“Ceres’ members have found that companies with good environmental policies are sound financial bets,” Podmayersky says.
Along with its GRI initiative, L.P. Thebault is FSC certified, a member of the EPA Green Power Partnership, CarbonFree with Carbonfund.org and is Green-e certified. The company had previously decided to take a wait-and-see approach to SFI chain-of-custody certification, but is now ready to take another look. It had the same concerns as many environmental groups that the initiative might be too tied into the business interests of the forestry and paper industry. The organization has since gained a greater degree of independence, he notes.
While they’ve become more formalized of late, Seitz says the printer has a long history operating in a responsible manner. “We’ve had a full-time manager of health and human safety who has been driving a lot of environmental programs for decades now. ISO certification helped us further pinpoint and focus in on the metrics of materials usage and waste management to minimize our environmental footprint,” he explains.
“We’ve taken the continuous improvement concepts of ISO and process engineering and fused them into sustainable business practices,” Podmayersky adds.
Commitment to continuous improvement, and environmental initiatives by extension, has been from the top—J. Brian Thebaul—down at L.P. Thebault. Management follows what it calls a “triple bottom line” approach to running the business, which puts environmental and social impacts on equal par with financial performance.