Sustainability is Continued Growth
School Specialty is a leading provider of educational products and services to the Pre-K – 12th grade market in the U.S. and Canada. Equipped with their team of subject-matter experts, School Specialty designs, manufactures and and distributes a broad assortment of furniture & equipment, educational technology, general and specialty classroom supplies, facility supplies, safety and security products, and core and supplemental curriculum for science, math and English language arts. These include trusted national brands, as well as well-recognized proprietary brands, like Sax art products, Childcraft furniture and FOSS Science Curriculum. School Specialty also provides expert guidance, design services and professional development within the categories it supports. At its core, School Specialty is a purpose-driven organization. Everything offered, from crayons to curriculum to complete learning environments, is designed to support educators, raise student outcomes and ultimately, transform more than classrooms.
Since becoming a member of Green Business Bureau, School Specialty has made exponential progress in their sustainability goals, creating the focus and momentum needed to drive their mission forward and to become a stand out green business. In addition to past initiatives of recycling office supplies and granting remote work opportunities to staff, School Specialty has taken on several more ambitious projects such as launching Green Business Bureau’s Zero Waste Initiative at all four of their locations across the U.S. This initiative thus far has generated a cost savings estimated at $62,000 per location annually and more value is anticipated as the program matures across their network.
School Specialty’s transition to LED lighting at their Nashua, NH location has also yielded a significant ROI since completion. School Specialty is actively converting to LED lighting and implementing other energy consumption best practices at their other locations that will contribute significant return over the next 12-15 months.
The savings that come from efficiency improvements and waste reduction has allowed School Specialty to invest in other parts of their company and sustainability goals.
They have organized a carpool program and designated electric vehicle parking at their Nashua, NH location and have established supply stations that encourage staff to donate any extra office materials for other employees to use. So far, all three School Specialty locations have elevated from GBB Gold Status to GBB Platinum Status.
LED lighting project at the School Specialty Greenville, WI location
Sustainability is Active Communication
Because of their commitment and the strides they have made to green their practices, School Specialty has developed a positive reputation among their stakeholders and communities. Remarkably, their effort to invite and engage all staff to participate in the company-wide mission to be greener has been a big driving force.
School Specialty maintains active communication of their sustainability pursuits and values by engaging staff in monthly newsletters and incorporating their green mission within bids to potential partners. Further, providing the GBB Seal on their company website to relay their current progress enhances their transparency with customers and fosters their trust. Success as a sustainable business requires companies to be honest and inviting in regards to their practices and progress. School Specialty is a standout example of green business leadership due to their level of honesty, communication and stakeholder engagement.
Designated electric vehicle parking and carpool area encourages sustainable commuting and lowers travel emissions at the School Specialty Nashua, NH location.
Sustainability is Green Team Power
Since joining Green Business Bureau, School Specialty has grown to include three Project Green Teams that oversee goal planning and achievement as well as educating staff and customers. It is these passionate individuals whose hard work and dedication help drive the success of School Specialty’s sustainability mission. Notably, Frank Rye Jr. has been recognized with the 2020 School Specialty Project Green Team Lead Award. From implementing bottleless water dispensers (and eliminating a costly 38,000 water bottles a year!) to finding efficiency opportunities (i.e. opting for rugs that can be quickly hosed rather than machine-washed), Frank has put forth the diligence and positive energy needed to fuel School Specialty’s sustainability mission and goals.
School Specialty’s Project Green Goals for 2021 include continuing to build their Project Green Teams by recruiting more members and including additional locations. School Specialty aims to enhance their internal sustainability education through new hire onboard training, monthly newsletters and quarterly webinars.
Frank Rye Jr., School Specialty 2020 Project Green Team Lead Award Winner
“At School Specialty we recognize and understand the importance of sustainable practices as well as their impact on our environment and our communities. We are committed to executing sustainable practices throughout our organization and see the value in enabling our customers’ sustainability efforts through our product offering and education. We are proud of the culture our associates are creating to support this commitment.”
– Joe Geltz (School Specialty LLC. Senior Vice President of Operations and Process Excellence)