SUGAR LAND, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accredo Packaging, Inc., a member of the API Group of Companies, has recently achieved a milestone in its quest to be the world’s lowest carbon footprint manufacturer of flexible packaging and extruded films. Accredo’s year-old production facility is now Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The company owners envisioned a new flexible packaging division that, from the ground up, would embody the principles of business, social, and environmental sustainability”

“The company owners envisioned a new flexible packaging division that, from the ground up, would embody the principles of business, social, and environmental sustainability,” said Kevin McCarthy, vice president and general manager of Accredo. “Furthermore, every major piece of equipment in our silver–certified, 200,000 square-foot plant is state of the art, in terms of low environmental impact, high quality, and world-class productivity.”

McCarthy said that, since Accredo began production in August 2009, brand owners and retailers have enthusiastically embraced the company’s twin goals of lowering the environmental impact of flexible packaging and extruded film production, while producing competitively priced offerings. He added, “Our sustainability efforts feed directly into our customers’ Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.”

Sustainable Production at Accredo Packaging

The Accredo production facility is 100 percent wind powered. The design of the facility minimizes carbon emissions during the production process. Building materials were sourced locally, and recycled materials were used whenever possible.

Accredo’s printing process is exclusively expanded color gamut process printing. The proprietary ink delivery system supplies ink directly to the ten-color, 2,000 feet-per-minute W&H Novoflex CL printing presses, which reduces ink consumption by 35 percent and ink waste by 95 percent. Solvent usage is 80 percent lower than similar speed presses and 99.5 percent of solvent emissions are scrubbed clean. Press uptime is 40 percent above previous generation printing systems. The plant also features state-of-the-art nine- and three-layer extruders, a 1,500 feet-per-minute laminator, and stand-up pouch and wicketer bag-making machines.

Accredo Packaging films and flexible packaging products are sold to food manufacturers, paper and tissue companies for bundling film applications, and purveyors of organic products. Accredo is a registered member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Organic Trade Association, and is a Certified Minority Business Enterprise.

Eye on Sustainability
Flexible packaging converter, Accredo Packaging, Inc. has been up and running for just over a year, but is already an industry leader recognized for its comprehensive focus on sustainability. The 200,000 sq ft., state-of-the-art Sugar Land, TX plant was designed and built to meet LEED® Silver certification standards, and utilizes 100% wind-generated electrical power, with a focus on eliminating waste while minimizing its carbon footprint.

Accredo Executive Vice President, Rex Varn, says their commitment to producing sustainable flexible packaging solutions, primarily targeting the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) segment, is supported by a sizable R&D budget. Adds Malcolm Cohn, Director of Sustainability, “we’re researching compostable and recyclable solutions, but we also want to find new ways to produce conventional polymeric packaging in a more sustainable way. Reducing waste, using less resources and increasing productivity equates to better sustainability.”

Some of the company’s biggest breakthroughs to date are in the area of stand-up and flat bottom pouches, as well as wicketed bags. Accredo was the first to produce a zippered stand-up pouch made entirely from certified compostable components, providing a major area of growth for Accredo. Utilizing the most efficient machinery is part of Accredo’s equation for sustainability. The facility houses 3-layer and 9-layer VAREX blown film lines as well as 10-color NOVOFLEX presses from W&H, with more equipment scheduled for installation.

The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), an independent certification organization that acknowledges companies committed to ‘sustainable green printing’, has admitted Accredo Packaging to ‘SGP Applicant’ status… the first phase in the process of certification.

“I’m excited!” says Printing Operations Manager Johnny Dye. “At Accredo Packaging we do what’s necessary, in each area of our process, to practice sustainability. We take pride in how and what we do.” In order for a company to be accepted as an ‘SGP Applicant’, various criteria must be complied with, … not only sustainability of the printing process itself, but also taking into account such areas as pre-press and post print, including disposal of hazardous waste and stormwater runoff, even providing the company’s Sustainability Policy. Printing facilities located in the United States and Canada that meet the criteria are eligible to apply for certification with the Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership (www.sgppartnership.org). The certification assures the print customer the printing facilities identified within the certified SGP Printer listing have made significant commitments toward sustainability.

EPA's Green Power PartnershipAccredo Packaging has registered with the EPA’s Green Power Partnership (www.epa.gov/greenpower) – a voluntary program that provides assistance and recognition to organizations that demonstrate environmental leadership by choosing green power. “We pursue sustainable processes when it comes to production of our products,” says Accredo’s General Manager, Kevin McCarthy. “By powering our business using 100% wind-generated power we reduce our non-renewable energy consumption and lessen our impact on the environment.”

Accredo Packaging joins a select group of leading organizations within the United States who help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide. Buying green power is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve an organization’s environmental performance.

imageThe Organic Trade Association is the membership-based business association for the organic industry whose mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people’s lives and the environment.

Says Malcolm Cohn, Director of Sustainability, “From a holistic point of view, it makes sense if you have an organic or natural product to be packaged, to align the product with the package made in a ‘sustainable’ way, whether that be from packaging made from renewable resources, or from production processes that facilitate minimal impact of carbon emissions by using renewable energy. Accredo Packaging is built on the premise of sustainability and we associate ourselves with the OTA’s Mission, Vision and Core Values.”

Opportunity Houston

Accredo Packaging, Inc., recently opened its new 200,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility on Cardinal Meadows Drive in Sugar Land. The facility is an ecofriendly, green manufacturing plant that is the first of its kind in the state of Texas. The project was recently selected as a finalist for the Houston Business Journal’s 2010 Landmark Awards in the Industrial category.

The project broke ground on November 16, 2007 and was completed in June 2009. The impact of this project includes more than $60 million in new capital investment and 60 new jobs for Sugar Land.

Accredo Packaging, Inc., is on the forefront in the development of sustainable flexible packaging solutions. The new Sugar Land facility was designed for LEED Silver certification. This highly efficient production facility and the company’s expertise enables the company to convert traditional polymer resins to produce high-barrier packaging solutions (at reduced gauges), using fewer VOCs, less energy, less waste and less water. This equates to less packaging, reduced cost and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Accredo Packaging is committed to the use of renewable energy with 100 percent wind generated electrical power. The company also focuses on environmental and community-oriented initiatives and implementing recycling programs internally with customers.