Glove Intelligent Assistant
This October 24th is Sustainability Day, a day to remind the community of the importance of caring for the environment in order to preserve the health of our planet. We cannot have a sustainable future or guarantee the welfare of the next generation without taking action now. Individually, people can choose to recycle and try to reduce their own household waste. However, it’s even more important that corporations and companies move towards more sustainable models to manufacture their services since their consumption of resources greatly outpaces those of a singular person. SW as a company is focused on being a sustainable business and understands the importance of reducing its environmental footprint.
Most prevalent concerns would be the pollution generated from single use items, an issue that is rather unavoidable in the glove industry. In order to maintain important health stipulations, gloves need to be replaced multiple times – in some professions gloves are replaced daily and by the hour. An obvious example would be medical professionals donning new gloves between patients. While unavoidable, there are ways to minimize the impact of single use items, specifically disposable nitrile gloves in regards SW products. While this problem is prevalent with all manufacturers of disposable nitrile gloves in the glove industry, SW has developed branded technology (EcoTek) that allows nitrile gloves to biodegrade by 92.6% in two and a half years. The remaining 7.8% eventually degrades into organic matter, which will return to the soil. This is innovative as nitrile gloves can take decades to decompose, piling up in landfills. It’s easy to imagine how much waste amasses. As mentioned in a previous blog post, our R&D team estimates that per every million pairs of gloves used, it would accumulate 6.5 tons of waste just by landfill disposal. Not only is this biodegradability claim supported by internal testing, but SW products are Green Circle certified. Green Circle was established in 2009 and has since certified over 2000 companies, implementing a rigorous evaluation process to provide independent verification about a product’s sustainability claims. SW currently holds four GreenCircle certifications for our single-use and chemical-resistant gloves.
Yet, SW is not just focused on being sustainable at the end result of our manufacturing process but also from the very beginning – sourcing sustainable raw materials. Our products are Forest Stewardship Council certified, an organization that has been around since 1995 and has certified over 3000 other US companies. This certification guarantees that products are made from materials sourced from responsibly managed forests, confirming that they provide environmental, social, and economic benefits. SW is also registered as a California Green Business, meeting all 65 criteria that the company operates in an environmentally responsible manner. California Green Businesses collectively aim to reduce their carbon footprint by conserving their water usage, waste production, and energy usage. The network, together in 2021, has saved 284 million gallons of water, 54 million kilowatts of energy, prevented 114 million pounds of greenhouse gasses, and diverted 17 million pounds of waste. As more and more businesses share the goals of reducing their environmental footprints like SW, these numbers will continually improve. Similarly, the company complies with ISO 14001 Environmental Management System guidelines. These are guidelines that the International Organization for Standardization has set for organizations to consider all environmental issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water pollution, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation, along with resource use and efficiency. It is important to note that while SW internally reports that our company believes in environmentally responsible ethics and praxis, we have gone through independent third party evaluations to solidify our accountability to these claims.
These all showcase SW’s commitment to ethical business practices and preserving the environment. For our efforts, we have been awarded the Ragan Corporate Social Responsibilities and Diversity Award. Ragan’s CSR & Diversity Award is dedicated to honoring communications work that is positively impacting communities, whether internally, locally or globally. This is further proof for our consumers that SW is credible as an environmentally ethical brand. For this year’s sustainability day, we aim to affirm that SW continues to push for sustainable praxis in our internal and external business operations.