As part of our long-standing operating procedures, Arbee Associates takes many steps to ensure that our installation practices have minimal environmental impact and are sustainable.
Starting with placement of furniture orders with our manufacturers, Arbee requests that all products being shipped be minimally packaged using techniques such as palletization, bulk packaging and blanket wrapping. These packaging methods eliminate the need for large quantities of cardboard cartoning as well as plastic and Styrofoam material.
We have developed specialized offloading techniques and incorporate the use of appropriate materials handling equipment to safely unload the shipped furniture without damaging it. Wherever possible, we leave products bulk packed during offload until they reach their final destination with the customer’s space. If building dimensions restrict the movement of bulk packed items, we unload the product onto carts for transport to the point of use. An example of this packaging method is palletization of work surfaces. In the past, work surfaces would be individually cartoned at the factory. The surfaces would be shipped to the job site, uncartoned at the loading dock and loaded onto carts. All cardboard cartons would then be transported back to our distribution center for recycling.
Today, we will receive (20) work surfaces on a single pallet, with only cardboard corner protection. We will leave the surfaces on the pallet and move it with a pallet jack into the building as far as it will travel before meeting an obstacle such as a single doorway. The pallet as well as the cardboard corner protection will be 100% recycled.
Whenever possible, Arbee staff will also request that seating be shipped blanket wrapped as opposed to cartoned. This allows us to eliminate the need to recycle the cardboard and also reduces the labor required to perform the delivery. Blankets are returned on the delivery truck they came in on, eliminating the need for a trash truck to transport the cardboard to our distribution center.
Through use of Steelcase’s Regional Distribution Center Network, we are also able to consolidate loads at the point of order entry. This consolidation feature allows us to combine multiple partial loads of different types of furniture from different plants onto a single trailer, minimizing partial deliveries.
While we do make every effort to minimize packaging materials, every project will still have some cardboard waste generated by the end of the project. We take steps to ensure that 100% of all cardboard packaging material that is generated is transported to our Operations Center, compacted and recycled.
At the end of our projects, all metal, laminate and wood surfaces are wiped down with water or if necessary, only citrus-based cleaning materials.