Da-Lite Screen Company won the InfoComm Green AV Award in 2011 for putting environmentally responsible ideas into action in products like its Green Guard certified screens but the manufacturer does the same in its own business practices, facility operation and community outreach.
In addition to holding ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, Da-Lite’s global headquarters in Warsaw, Indiana, is a zero landfill facility that practices lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing means less scrap, less reworked product and a mandate to continue to improve the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Wendy Cox, Vice President of Marketing for Da-Lite explains that, in addition to promoting environmental quality, the focus on environmental responsibility in the manufacturing process “helps Da-Lite be a more efficient manufacturer, allows for better lead time and quicker turn around.” The company recognizes that it is "not just what we do but what people we are supporting and companies we work with are doing” and as a result, maintains sustainability objects throughout its supply chain, packaging and distribution channels.
Wendy says that the company’s commitment to environmental quality does not stop at the manufacturing process. It is “at the core of the business,” part of whose “mission is to be the best company that we can be for our customers, our industry and our employees… so much of this ties in to doing the right thing for the environment.” To that end, Da-Lite applied its distinctive innovative approach to environmental responsibility to the facility management of the headquarters. In August, the company added solar collectors to the roof. The collectors can, on a “reasonably sunny day,” accumulate approximately 60,000 BTUs of heat. The solar installation, that includes four banks of vacuum tubes, provides hot water for approximately 300 employees in the facility.
Because the small town in which the headquarters is located does not have widespread residential recycling services, Da-Lite encourages employees to bring their recyclables to work. The glass and plastic that the company collects are sent to be recycled or repurposed. A local company uses plastics that employees bring to Da-Lite for recycling to build doorstops and other products. Employee recycling at the facility has had a larger community effect beyond providing materials for repurposing. It has encouraged employee family members to push for similar programs from their employers.
Da-Lite’s efforts to support environmental initiatives in the community are growing. Along with other local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, Da-Lite has a "Community Green Works" Committee to bring businesses together to collaborate on projects, learn from each other, tour each others’ manufacturing facilities and find environmentally responsible opportunities and solutions together.