Oct. 23, 2013
Utah Paperbox Adds Workplace Charging to Boost Sustainability
I purchased a Chevy Volt a year-and-a-half ago. Since then, I've driven it more than 18,000 miles and only purchased about 58 gallons of gas, the same amount I used to purchase each month.
Utah Paperbox (UPB) in Salt Lake City has a strong commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. In addition to adhering to efficient manufacturing processes and sourcing sustainable paperboard materials, the company's new, soon-to-be LEED Gold-certified building has a rooftop photovoltaic system with an output of 130,000 kWh a year. But UPB's sustainability efforts don't stop there. Late last year, the company installed five electric vehicle charging stations and added three plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) to its fleet. Employees are encouraged to charge their personal PEVs at the stations as well.
"I purchased a Chevy Volt a year-and-a-half ago. Since then, I've driven it more than 18,000 miles and only purchased about 58 gallons of gas, the same amount I used to purchase each month," said Teri Jensen, vice president of finance for UPB. "And I am not the only one at the company who drives an electric vehicle--UPB President Steve Keyser drives a company-owned Volt on sales calls to help spread the word about the alternative transportation options available today that can improve our region's air quality."
Through a partnership with Utah Clean Cities, UPB received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to support the station installation and defray the incremental cost of one of the PEVs. "We've learned a lot about clean transportation options and strategies for reducing emissions from the Utah Clean Cities coalition," Jensen said. "As a result, we've implemented a company-wide idle-reduction policy that prohibits employees from idling for more than two minutes. Some of our employees have taken this policy on the road and posted idle-reduction signs at area schools."
According to Robin Erickson, executive director of Utah Clean Cities, UPB serves as an excellent example of a privately owned company that adheres to green business practices for all the right reasons--reducing its carbon footprint and showcasing clean energy technologies that save energy, reduce emissions, and improve air quality.
"Our progressive actions show how production and sustainability work together in the quest for clean air," said Keyser. "UPB hopes to serve as a model for responsibility for other Utah businesses."