Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. announced that it has launched a long-term sustainability initiative designed to ensure minimal negative impact by its products and processes on human health and the environment. As part of the initiative, the company has set a number of ambitious strategic goals to be met over the next five years.
In making the announcement, Wilbur Bontrager, Jayco’s chairman and CEO, said, “At Jayco, sustainability means meeting our current manufacturing and resource needs without compromising future generations’ ability to meet theirs. We build products that allow our customers to enjoy the outdoors and the environment. Therefore it makes sense that we should strive to be a good corporate citizen and a good steward of the environment.”
Bontrager said that the first of the goals of the initiative involves elimination of waste. “Our first goal is the most robust of all – that is our pledge to be landfill free by the year 2015,” he said. “This means that in four years, all waste that is currently generated in the manufacturing process or office workspaces will either be eliminated or recycled and no longer sent to the landfill.”
Bontrager indicated that the second goal for the Jayco management team is to significantly reduce fresh water usage in testing and other water-intense processes around the manufacturing complex, and to increase usage of reclaimed rainwater in facilities.
Lastly, the initiative calls for Jayco to reduce overall energy use by 40% from current levels by calendar 2014, and to standardize and streamline paperwork, production processes and construction methods to improve overall efficiency. As part of this effort, Jayco will work closely with new and existing suppliers to assist and educate them on the benefits of sustainable goods and packaging.
“While in some ways these goals are just the beginning, they are also the result of prior efforts and systems already established,” said Bontrager.
Last year Jayco was the first major RV manufacturer to be 100% green certified and fully recognized for building products with green manufacturing processes and materials by TRA Certification Inc., an internationally accredited certification organization.
In addition, the Jayco recycling program has been active since the early 1980’s. Jayco has received several recognition for its recycling efforts including a Governor’s Award of Excellence in 1991. Last year, Jayco’s recycling efforts and other conservation programs helped save more than 28,000 trees; enough energy to power more than 600 family homes for an entire year, and saved more than 14,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
Jayco recently joined a select group of businesses, known as The Sustainability Coalition, with the goal of examining the economic and social benefits of being a sustainable company. The Sustainability Coalition is steered by local businessmen to bring more awareness and education to businesses in Northern Indiana who are looking for useful tools in becoming sustainable organizations.
Bontrager stated that Jayco will be adding to its recycling and sustainability programs over the coming months and will accelerate its efforts to enlist the assistance of Jayco employees, vendors and suppliers to become a more sustainable organization.