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With a savings of $44,000 over three years directly from sustainability initiatives, it is safe to say West Paw Design has found a formula that works: empower employees to initiate meaningful change and the company as a whole will benefit. Within this progressive framework, employee ideas are the backbone of the company’s continuous innovation and improvement.

Last year an employee brought to the company’s attention the fact that the large plastic bags their fabric rolls come in were not being recycled. West Paw Design contacted their recycling provider and now diverts more than 312 yards of plastic a year from landfills – enough to roll down a football field three times – and saves $1200 annually.

In another example, employees initiated a switch to a recyclable compound for the machine that manufactures the company’s Zogoflex toys. They now reuse 99% of what was previously being discarded from their injection-molding machine and created a consumer-facing recycling program that allows them to save $4000 annually on raw materials and divert 1,222 pounds of unusable dog toys from landfills per year.

“West Paw Design will never have a sustainability department because it is woven into the fabric of everything we do. We know that changes, both large and small, can make a big impact on the environment and in our business. Because of this, our employees are engaged, our processes are efficient and we are seeing the impact on our bottom line,” says Spencer Williams, Owner and President.

Originally see in Pet Age Magazine. Sarah Julian is owner of OffLeash Communications and is on the Board of Directors for the Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition.