Tomorrow is International Reduce CO2 Emissions Day, and we are looking at three ways Gentle Giant is reducing its carbon footprint!
1. Investing in Greener Facilities
From the warehouses our movers dispatch from, to the offices our employees work in, we are taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of our facilities. All Gentle Giant warehouses and offices are equipped with LED lighting. LED lights use about 75% less energy than incandescent lighting and their motion activated nature effectively reduces usage. We have installed filtered water dispensers across our facilities with the goal of replacing single-use plastic water bottles with filtered water straight from a dispenser. In tandem with this initiative we provide all employees with a reusable water bottle to encourage the use of dispensers.
In 2009 Gentle Giant was named a ‘Bike Friendly Business’ by the City of Boston’s Green Business Awards. This recognition was a result of our efforts to make it easier for bicycle commuters to cycle and store their bikes at our facilities. Efforts included incentives, safe storage areas, and education on the benefits of cycling instead of driving. Finally, (and maybe most excitedly!) Gentle Giant has begun to invest in solar energy. Last year, solar panels were installed on our 75,000 square foot warehouse in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, with plans to extend installation to our Boston and New Hampshire facilities this year. The panels will power these locations and play a pivotal role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Utilizing Eco-Friendlier Equipment
In 2022 we purchased our first electric van – the All-electric 2022 Ford E-Transit 250. With a battery capacity of 68 kilowatt-hours and an available targeted range of 126 miles, the van is used for everyday operations like deliveries, service calls, and labor shuttles. Currently, we have one charging station at our headquarters in Winchester, MA. We will be adding two new chargers at our Charlestown, MA warehouse in 2023. Additionally, almost all company forklifts are now electric powered. The forklifts are used to load and unload storage vaults, move equipment, and more.
But that is not all! We are excited to share that Gentle Giant has plans to switch to an all electric and/or hybrid fleet where possible in the coming years.
3. Sourcing and Recycling Materials Responsibly
Responsible Sourcing of Materials
Like any company, we are required to use certain materials to operate and provide quality service to our customers. For a moving company this looks like the boxes used to pack a customers’ belongings, the paper needed for administrative tasks, and the coffee cups filled to fuel the workday. However, at Gentle Giant we aim to source and use materials responsibly so that our carbon impact is as low as possible.
We use printing paper and paper cups made from recycled material, and kitchen utensils are compostable. In terms of our moves, all moving boxes are made from at least 80% of recycled paper, the packing peanuts are made from cornstarch, and all bubble wrap is biodegradable. We are proud to share that we source all moving materials from companies who participate in Sustainable Forestry Initiative programs. Meanwhile, Gentle Giant door stops are made from the wood scrap collected by Green Committee team member Tom K, in our crate department, and we utilize Forest Stewardship Council certified products for external marketing materials.
Gentle Giant also plans to become fully paperless in the next year. This will involve eliminating all paper-based documents like the bill of lading, inventories, and more and replacing these documents with electronic forms.
Reuse and Recycling of Materials
As well as carefully sourcing materials, we make sure to dispose of items responsibly. This starts in our offices where we recycle all printing paper, printer cartridges, and paper cups. Gentle Giant’s Top Box service offers pre-loved moving boxes to customers at a discounted price. Where boxes, packing paper, and mattress bags are not reusable, we recycle these items. The Giants also collect and consolidate mattresses and box springs for recycling. Unwanted furniture from local Massachusetts moves is transported to Household Goods in Acton for donation.
In 2022, our recycling center, OPRSystems, reported that Gentle Giant had accumulated 58,650 pounds of recycled materials. This was on par with 2021’s 59,055 pounds and a little higher than 2020’s 43,080 pounds.
So, happy International Reduce CO2 Emissions Day! We hope that these insights into our eco-friendly initiatives inspire you to take action as we all work together towards a bright green future.