At Hallmark, sustainable business practices are both a longtime tradition and a promise for the future.
A Tradition of Responsibility
Hallmark began recycling paper in the 1940s and launched an employee transportation pool in the 1970s.
Since 1998 the Enfield, Conn., distribution center has been a zero-waste-to-landfill facility.
Sawdust that’s a byproduct of producing store displays in our Center, Texas, fixture plant has been recycled for years – 3.6 million pounds of it in 2011 alone.
Since 1969, scraps from Kansas manufacturing plants have been transformed into projects by children attending Kaleidoscope, a Hallmark-sponsored art experience in Kansas City.
For decades, surplus products have been donated to educational, military and human service organizations for redistribution to people in need.
Since 2007, we've cut waste by 54%, energy use by 20% and water use by 18%.
Sustainability Begins at Home
Some current operational initiatives in our own “backyard”:
- Our Lawrence and Leavenworth, Kan., production centers divert from landfills more than 95% of their waste. Our Topeka, Kan., plant, and distribution center in Liberty, Mo., are nearing that goal.
- A rain garden at headquarters helps control drainage and erosion while reducing pollutants to the water supply.
- The grounds of the Topeka Production Center have been re-planted with native plants and grasses that require less water and mowing... and attract butterflies. The Topeka plant has achieved Monarch Way Station designation.
- Excess food from employee cafeterias is donated to food banks, and food waste from Kansas City area dining facilities is composted by a local company that turns it into high-quality soil additive used in our rain garden and the Crown Garden at neighboring Ronald McDonald House.
- Hallmark is a member of the Kansas City Regional By-Product Synergy Project to turn unwanted waste materials of one group into raw materials of another.
- We host an annual “e-waste day” to dispose of employees’ discarded electronics, provide collection points for toner cartridges and eyeglasses, and work with local Ripple Glass to collect and dispose of glass bottles that become the raw material for insulation.
- Since 1996, we've replaced 220,000 T12 lamps with more efficient T8 lamps, saving 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
- Bottles and cans recycled at the Enfield Distribution Center in 2011 raised about $300,000 for the Connecticut Children's Hospital.
- Headquarters employees can purchase bus passes subsidized by Hallmark, apply for reimbursement of some bicycle commuting costs, and participate in a community supported agriculture program.
Paper Use Today...
Trees from well-managed forests are among our most renewable resources. For several years Hallmark has specified that paper for many products come from such sources.
Today, most Hallmark greeting cards sold in North America contain 20% or more recycled fiber, and the base of paper plates and cores of roll wrap use 100% recycled content.
Virtually all the rest of North America greeting cards, as well as gift wrap and the paper applied to party plate bases, are produced on stock from forests meeting the standards of third-party certification programs.
We have experimented with non-tree stock and with novel sources of recycled material, such as scraps from the manufacture of envelopes. So far, the results have met with limited consumer favor, but we continue to explore alternatives.
... and Tomorrow
We continue to seek sources of paper that balance quality, cost and sustainability goals. Some of the paper needs for our business are complex, chosen through years of research and testing to ensure compatibility with printing and finishing processes so that the card or gift wrap you purchase meets your quality expectations from Hallmark.
Our work with suppliers is ongoing in all areas of our operation to expand our use of paper with recycled content and that comes from forests meeting certification standards or offers other types of preferred environmental impacts.