Part of our mission at CCA Global Partners is to leave a smaller impact on our planet. We take our efforts to combat climate change and reduce our carbon footprint very seriously, not just at our company but beyond into our everyday lives. As a cooperative, we work towards sustainable development within local communities by promoting good human relations that encourage respect for our environment. We recognize that our Earth is not limitless, and business models must operate within the planetary limits. As such, we have made it a core part of our work culture to follow these five active and straightforward steps:
1. We Seek ways to expand our exclusive line of Green Select products.
Our Green Select Program began back in 2007. For a product to earn the Green Select status, it must meet specific criteria. For example, the product must be recyclable, contain a minimum percentage of recyclable material, or be made from a natural, sustainable, quickly renewable source. These criteria are constantly evolving, and as the flooring industry changes and technology advancements are made, we evaluate and update our standards of what makes a product “green.”
2. We model a commitment to examine all our business and procurement practices and to acquire and use resources as respectfully and thoughtfully as possible.
One way in which we’ve done this is by ensuring that no products go to waste. In the past, we’ve gathered sample flooring from our conventions and donated extra hardwood, carpet, luxury vinyl, and tile to Habitat for Humanity to be resold in their ReStores. These ReStores sell new and gently used home improvement products to the public and use the funds raised towards Habitat for Humanity’s initiatives.
3. We guide our member community to help them operate their businesses in an environmentally responsible manner.
Many of us have heard the phrase “shop sustainably” thrown around in the social media and higher ed sphere —but how do we make this a reality? One way to shop sustainably is to understand the sources you are buying from. Shopping locally is an essential part of shopping sustainably, and our members understand this. As a cooperative member, the products that they carry are from quality, reliable manufacturers based in the U.S.
4. We partner with our suppliers to help them continue to provide the highest quality and value with enhanced environmental responsibility.
We foster trust and innovation through these partnerships, helping them use the cleanest materials and methods offered in the flooring industry. One such manufacturer, Mohawk, has a Zero Landfill Program, which has led to over 26% reduction in waste since 2010. In addition, the supplier has invested in lighting retrofits and replaced old boilers and ovens with new energy-efficient appliances. Through practices such as water reduction, route optimization, and renewable fuel, Mohawk is a leading example of a flooring manufacturer that recognizes the need for sustainability for future business.
5. We mentor our employees and member community and provide educational resources to help them make environmentally conscious decisions.
We encourage our employees to get involved with non-profits and organizations making grassroots changes on a local level. As employees of a cooperative with members who operate locally, we understand the benefits of shopping locally not only for economic purposes but to help reduce gas emissions from shipment travel.
We also educate our employees on the importance of cooperatives in redistributing economic wealth. Cooperatives give people the opportunity to have large-scale buying power without losing their independence or having to heed to the demands of corporate investors. With this freedom, members can make socially conscious choices on how they spend their money and where they put their time and energy.