WallGoldfinger earns Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

April 28, 2016

 

Randolph high-end corporate furniture manufacturer WallGoldfinger Thursday was presented with a Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence at the Statehouse by Deb Markowitz, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

 

The award honors a wood products waste diversion program started in late 2013 under former Shipping/Receiving and Maintenance Supervisor John Crowne and ongoing today under current supervisor Adam Salls.

 

In 2014 and 2015, the program diverted more than 23,000 pounds of plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF) and veneer scrap from the waste stream to partners around the state, including non-profit ReSOURCE, Green Mountain Drums, the Vermont Woodworking School and Atlantic Plywood.

 

These organizations and companies in many instances upcycle the materials into student and trainee work, saving these companies or students money and in some instances earning money for the organizations from product sales. At the same time, WallGoldfinger is reducing its waste removal costs and impact on the environment.

 

“I am really proud of you,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) to WallGoldfinger representatives and that of nine other businesses and organizations also receiving the award Thursday. At a time when “we’re losing the battle against climate change,” the governor said, “What we’re really honoring is your innovation.”

 

In looking at programs worthy of the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, a key factor considered by the state was whether the program could be easily replicated at other businesses or organizations.

 

Markowitz Thursday called the honorees a diverse group of environmental leaders who provide an opportunity to their peers to learn new ways of doing business and helping the environment.

 

The awards, she said, are meant to lift up businesses in hopes others will follow suit.

 

One strong aspect of WallGoldfinger’s program is that it is both impactful and easy to implement.

 

“It’s not a ton of extra effort to set aside waste materials, but the benefits measure in the tons. If they’re not already, other businesses could make a similar impact,” said WallGoldfinger CEO John Wall. “We’re very thankful to the governor’s office and the Agency of Natural Resources for recognizing both the impact of our program and its potential on a statewide level. We do hope others can follow this example and pair their ‘waste’ with organizations in need.”

 

The governor’s office has been recognizing efforts like WallGoldfinger’s with environmental excellence awards since 1993. In fact, WallGoldfinger previously won the award in 2000 for pollution prevention for the low emission spray guns used in its finish department.

 

WallGoldfinger also recycles the typical papers, plastic and more; has a scrap metal recycling program; is Forest Stewardship Council® certified; is a Vermont Green Business; uses high efficiency lighting and equipment with high efficiency motors to reduce electricity use; uses non-toxic materials, such as adhesives, as often as possible; and operates out of a factory heated with biomass woodchips.

 

“Our clients are located around the country and around the world. Our business consequently could be located anywhere. We chose Vermont 45 years ago – and we choose it today – for its natural beauty. We want to be part of maintaining that,” said Wall, who accepted the award on behalf of his company Thursday.

 

Others receiving the award included the Addison County Solid Waste District; Boardman Hill Solar Farm; Global Foundries (formerly IBM); Lyndon Furniture; St. Johnsbury Academy; the Stowe Farmers Market; Teens Reaching Youth for the Environment, a partnership between Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District and UVM Extension 4-H Teen and Leadership Program; the Vermont Energy Education Program and the Vermont Foodbank. Honorable mentions were awarded to Harwood Union High School, Mad River TV and the Mater Christi School.

 

Learn more about the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence online at http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/ead/gap/Index.htm.

Photos from the top: WallGoldfinger Chief Executive Officer John Wall accepts a Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence from Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz on April 28, 2016, in the Cedar Creek Room in the Statehouse. John poses with the award in front of the Statehouse. WallGoldfinger Shipping/Receiving and Maintenance Supervisor Adam Salls moves a pallet containing 907 pounds of MDF set aside for the Vermont Woodworking School in Cambridge.

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