Newsletter – May 2019

We have packed in an exclusive interview with Delmy Orellana, VP Sales, Drum and Pail Department at Con-Tech International, discovered why colleges are fighting climate change with shipping pallets and sourced the latest news from the top packaging manufacturers

 

This month we’ve been talking to Delmy Orellana, VP Sales, Drum and Pail Department at Con-Tech International.

We are constantly working with clients to help them find suppliers and manufacturers to build new and innovative materials and products that are the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable.

Tell us a little about Con-Tech
Con-Tech International is a global supplier of standard and custom parts of carbon steel, stainless steel, and plastic for industrial packaging such as drums, IBCs, tote tanks, plastic containers, and diverse products for the petrochemical, marine, automotive and other industries. We have been in business since 1983 and work with suppliers and manufacturers across the globe. Where you see a custom manufactured product, we use our global network to quickly provide a proposal. From concept through design, prototyping, production, import and delivery, Con-Tech sources the best manufacturing expertise in casting, machining, stamping, fabricating and assembly.

How are your core drum/pail markets evolving?
We are constantly working with clients to help them find suppliers and manufacturers to build new and innovative materials and products that are the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable.

How important is sustainability to Con-Tech; what steps do you take to improve your sustainability credentials?
Con-Tech is always looking for products and services that support sustainability practices whether it is in shipping and transportation, production, new innovations that are more sustainable and products that are cleaner and kinder for our environment. We follow the market and industry trends and try to implement those into our business model.

What innovations have you championed in recent years?
Con-Tech International develops innovative items that our customers need. Our customers provide us with the ideas, specs, drawings, and requirements they need for their operations and we develop those custom-made items. Once we get the specifics, we start the process of finding the adequate manufacturer, handle quality control, solidify customer approval, and begin the import process. We add these items to our inventory and start carrying the item for our customer. Con-Tech is also working on becoming ISO Certified. We want our processes to be standard and to offer this advantage to customers.

What does the future hold for Con-Tech; what’s the next big thing customers should look out for?
Con-Tech is looking to expand and support growth and emerging markets such as bio-lubricants and the use of nanotechnology, for instance. There are continuing changes with respect to shipping and transportation such as consolidation, new regulations that we keep abreast of and adjust accordingly to for our clients. Finally, as importers of steel products, we follow the trade and tariff issues in the U.S. with great interest and work with our customers to find them the most cost-effective materials possible.

How do you see the industry changing as a whole in the next five years?
Technology will continue to lead the charge with respect to change. Automation will mean new and different manufacturing practices for example, which can affect our customers and our business. Government regulations and practices will also greatly affect how, when and with whom companies do business going forward.

Our thanks to Delmy and the Con-Tech team

Colleges are Fighting Climate Change with Shipping Pallets

Twenty senior university and college officials, global sustainability leaders, and retired U.S. Army Colonels have written to the CEOs of more than 30 U.S. companies that serve the public sector. The Joint Letter to Suppliers calls on companies such as Apple, Dell, Nike, and Aramark to replace wood and plastic pallets with lightweight, recyclable corrugated cardboard pallets for shipments to campuses and government facilities.

The letter, which encloses a fact sheet titled How Corrugated Pallets Reduce Emissions and the testimony of an IKEA store manager detailing the efficacy and benefits of IKEA’s switch to corrugated pallets, was also sent to the CEOs of several Group Purchasing Organizations, which are responsible for shipments to scores of university and college campuses.

Change the Pallet (CTP), an Oregon-based nonprofit that advocates for a national switch from wood to corrugated pallets to reduce emissions, cost, and worker injuries, organized the letter in response to requests by several higher education procurement, sustainability, and administrative officials.

AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA joined CTP and 15 senior higher education officials. AASHE and ICLEI represent hundreds of global member institutions and cities working toward lower carbon footprints via scalable, cost-advantageous technologies.

Says AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser: “AASHE is pleased to support this effort to encourage colleges and universities to cut waste, emissions, and cost from logistics systems. Higher education institutions hold significant purchasing power and can, therefore, facilitate meaningful change within their procurement strategy, prioritizing products and services that most aggressively advance their sustainability performance.

Three retired Army Colonels also signed the letter, including COL Darrel Larson (ret.), who has taken this idea to the Pentagon and Army Logistics Command. According to COL Larson: “Our country can save billions of dollars annually by simply swapping out pallets but, today, DOD and DLA (and many leading grocers and retailers) actually prohibit shipments on corrugated pallets. Hopefully, this letter will get the attention of the Armed Services Committee.”

Mr. Roger Ballentine, who served President Clinton as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force and Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Initiatives, is also a signatory. Mr. Ballentine designed and implemented many of the federal government’s sustainable procurement systems that are still in place today.

Mr. Ballentine noted: “Changing the pallet may not be sexy, but not all sustainability innovations and emission-cutting practices are. Hopefully, this letter will lead major U.S. companies to take a closer look and see that reducing pallet weight and waste will save money and help address climate change. When innovation leaders take this step, it will set an example for other companies, as well as hospitals, universities, and other pallet recipients around the world. The pallet industry is long overdue for sustainability-based disruption. All that is needed is leadership.”

ICLEI USA is a steering committee member of the highly-successful We Are Still In campaign. Ms. Angie Fyfe, Executive Director noted: “We are helping cities and counties move from commitment to implementation when it comes to cutting emissions. Changing the pallet would be a significant step in reducing carbon emissions. Local governments can lead by example through the establishment of procurement specifications that modify corporate behavior.”

Greif releases 2018 Sustainability Report, plus announces Gasser Award winner

Greif announced the release of its online 2018 Sustainability Report. The annual report details Greif’s commitment to continuous improvement through an integrated approach to environmental and social responsibility. The report provides the company’s 2025 sustainability goals, while highlighting progress and active strategies in achieving its goals.

“Sustainability is defined in our company’s guiding principles, The Greif Way, as using financial, natural and human resources wisely without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” said Pete Watson, Greif president and chief executive officer. “As a global leader in industrial packaging and services, it is our duty to protect the health and safety of our people, our customers and our environment, while minimizing risks across our value chain.”

Quala expands operations with acquisition of Container Experts

Quala, North America’s leader in industrial container cleaning, recently announced its acquisition of Container Experts. Quala is recognized as the Clean Solutions partner by its customers throughout North America. In 2018, the company cleaned more than 600,000 bulk containers nationwide.

This latest acquisition adds three state-of-the-art facilities to the Company’s North American network, bringing the total number of IBC cleaning and maintenance service locations to 73.

The new facilities are located in Houston (TX), Lafayette (LA), and Niles (OH).  

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RIPA develops ‘No More Direct-to-Scrap’ program

RIPA’s Communications Committee has developed several new tools designed to educate companies about potentially negative legal and environmental problems arising from sending containers with small amounts of regulated residue to scrap yards.

The program, ‘No More Direct-to-Scrap’, includes an animated video, a PowerPoint presentation, several technical articles and sample corporate empty residue container management policies designed to explain the issue to diverse audiences, from lawyers to plant managers. The association is also developing a video that explains in simple terms the federal empty container rule.

“These materials have been created for use by member companies, particularly their sales staff,” said RIPA President Paul Rankin. “We hope that when a sales person runs across a company that is sending its empty residue containers to a scrap yard, they will knock on the door and show them these materials,” noted Rankin.

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