The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) announced today that it has been awarded the gold level certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) for successfully diverting nearly 99 percent of its waste from landfill, incineration and the environment. This is the nation's first newspaper printing facility to receive certification from the USZWBC.
"As a Cox company, the AJC is proud to participate in the Cox Conserves sustainability program," says AJC Publisher Amy Glennon. "The AJC is committed to operating in ways that reduce our environmental impact, as well as reporting on the environmental issues that touch our community."
USZWBC audited the zero-waste diversion processes at the AJC's printing facility and found that the location is successfully reducing, reusing, recycling and composting materials. The facility annually diverts more than 5,000 tons from landfills, which was achieved through operational and employee education programs, including:
- redirecting the overhead conveyor flow to send materials directly into recycling bins;
- creating an aluminum litho plate recycling program;
- incorporating consistent, color-coded recycling bins at each work station;
- completing a lighting controls project that annually prevents the replacement of more than 900 lamps;
- partnering with waste management vendors to ensure the materials are properly removed from the facility; and
- training new and existing employees on the recycling program during onboarding and lunch and learn sessions.
"Our certification program holds to the highest standards and is one of the toughest in the country, so reaching the gold level is a great accomplishment," says Stephanie Barger, founder and executive director of USZWBC. "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's innovative zero-waste programs go beyond recycling by focusing on reducing, reusing and increasing their bottom line. It is an honor to verify their achievements."
In addition to its commitment to waste reduction, the AJC's printing facility recently pledged to reduce its energy and water consumption by 20 percent in 10 years through Atlanta's Better Buildings Challenge. Cox's local Atlanta television station, WSB-TV, also participates in the Challenge and was named a top performer in water and energy efficiency. Cox was also recognized by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper with its River Guardian award for the AJC and WSB-TV's reporting on important environmental issues.