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by Jim Gildea, Fairfield CT

On April 11, 2013, I was fortunate enough to have a chance to present Bigelow Tea's sustainability successes to the Leadership for Greater Bridgeport Class 24. The Leadership for Greater Bridgeport is charged with identifying the leaders of tomorrow, nurture their growth through training and education, and then identify the areas where they, acting either as individuals or as an alumni group, can do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The program consists of a 10-month course of 10 daylong workshops that focus on topics such as education, public safety, economic development, the environment, etc. They spend time learning about the Greater Bridgeport region and along with an orientation participate in tours and ultimately have a graduation ceremony.

They decided to spend time at Bigelow based on our successes in the area of greening and sustainability. As we are considered a leader in these areas, they wanted to see firsthand some of the things we have implemented and are working on. After a brief presentation where we spoke about the economic benefits of our greening program, we then conducted a tour. Among the areas we highlighted included:

  • Bigelow Tea's array of 880 solar panels
  • Our Zero Waste to Landfill successes and composting program, single steam recycling process and cardboard reuse program
  • Our stretch band program and shrink wrap reduction process in the warehouse
  • Our foil over wrap and foil lined tea sack collection process for recycling outside the single stream
  • Our specially designed access to the train platform as provided to us by the State of Connecticut
  • Our waterless urinals on the Production floor
  • The spot where our geothermal test well was drilled and potential areas of geothermal well field.

Overall it was a great time. I am very fortunate to be able to go out in the field and speak to other companies and groups about Bigelow's environmental successes.

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