Sage Products Inc., one of the top ten largest energy consumers in McHenry County, Ill., is leading an initiative to support green energy by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for 50 percent of the company’s annual electricity consumption. RECs are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities in the United States that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource (renewable electricity).
Sage’s investment is estimated at 2,963 megawatt hours of renewable energy this year, which represents a reduction of at least 3,248,011 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. This amount is equivalent to CO2 emissions from any of the following:
• 165,135 gallons of gas consumed
• 3,426 barrels of oil consumed
• 19.4 tanker trucks worth of gasoline
• Annual emissions from 289 vehicles
• Annual electricity use of 184 homes
Several of the products Sage manufactures, including pre-moistened washcloths and presurgical cloths, help conserve natural resources and are made in the U.S. The majority of its manufacturing processes are based in-house at its headquarters in Cary, Illinois. This central location helps reduce energy usage and pollution due to transportation efficiency. Sage sources raw goods from local vendors whenever possible to limit long-distance transportation. Additionally, Sage partners with vendors committed to sustainability. For example, the company’s third largest vendor supplies cellulose fibers made exclusively with wood pulp harvested from sustainable forest plantations in the United States.
Other ongoing initiatives include purchasing corrugate that is made from 30 to 100 percent recycled content for packaging, minimizing packaging size to reduce solid waste entering landfills, recycling whenever possible, and implementing green practices in the operations and maintenance of the facility.