Sustainability Program

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Mission

A central element of our Company's overall mission is to set the gold standard for sustainability in the apparel industry. We are firmly committed to environmental responsibility, and this commitment is evidenced every day in all of our business dealings and practices with our employees, customers, vendors and suppliers, and the community at large. We view all of these individuals and organizations as our partners in the pursuit of environmental responsibility.

Overall Strategy

We are continuously monitoring sustainability as it relates to all internal and external aspects of our business, and we are committed to following a strategy that includes the following:

  • Monitoring and upgrading all aspects of our Company's sustainable practices and performance, especially in terms of recycling, conserving energy, and using resources efficiently and responsibly.
  • Establishing challenging sustainable goals in all operational areas, and monitoring achievement in these areas on a regular basis.
  • Regularly reviewing, assessing, and upgrading sustainable practices in all departments, divisions, and facilities.
  • Communicating our policies, standards, and expectations regarding sustainability to our employees, customers, suppliers and vendors, and the community at large.
  • Providing formal and informal training to help our employees understand their responsibilities in terms of sustainability.
  • Using all communication channels to emphasize and recognize sustainable practices and outcomes.
  • Working with elected officials, appropriate governmental agencies, and local business organizations to learn about new sustainable developments and gain additional insight into innovative and creative sustainable programs.

People

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We believe that anyone directly or indirectly connected with our organization plays an important role in developing and maintaining successful sustainable practices, especially the following:

Employees
Employees at all levels are expected to understand our Company's commitment and policies regarding sustainability, and to carry out all aspects of their work in accordance with this expectation. The employees' successes in this area are recognized and rewarded.
Customers
We view our customers as our partners in every respect, and we believe that we can learn about sustainability from them, and they can learn from us. We support and recognize their sustainable practices, and we encourage them to take advantage of the sustainable services that we offer, such as paperless invoicing.
Vendors and Suppliers
We work with our vendors and suppliers to be sure that their workplaces adhere to the highest sustainable practices, and that they use environmentally responsible materials in providing goods or services to us.
Local Governmental Agencies
We meet regularly with the City Councilman from our district in order to stay current on a broad range of local sustainable matters including waste disposal, public transportation, and consulting/auditing services offered by the City of Los Angeles.

Sustainability Awards

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In 2008, 2009, and 2010, Strategic Partners was honored by the State of California as a winner in the Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP). This Award is granted by the California Integrated Waste Management Board. This Board, a section of the California Environment Protection Agency, is the state's leading authority on recycling and waste reduction. The WRAP Award is given to a select number of companies that have successfully taken a broad range of steps to reduce waste, manage materials, and protect public health, safety, and the environment. As Waste Management Board Chair Margo Reid Brown said, companies that win this award "will be at the forefront of a more sustainable California."

Also in 2008 and 2009, the Company was honored with two Certificates of Environmental Accomplishment for participating in Shred-It's shredding and recycling program. As a result of our Company's efforts in this area, a total of 47 trees were saved. We anticipate saving even more trees through this program by the end of 2010.

Ongoing Programs

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We have a wide range of sustainable programs in full operation at our corporate office, distribution center, and at several of our suppliers:

Corporate Office, Chatsworth, CA

  1. The Corporate Office has an ongoing and incentivized Ridesharing Program, and approximately 30% of the employees use carpools, bikes, hybrids, motorcycles, or public transportation to get to and from work.
  2. The Company has implemented alternative work schedules in some departments in order to save fuel, reduce pollution, and help employees save money.
  3. The air conditioning systems for the offices are on programmable thermostats which are set to turn off after hours and on non-working days.
  4. When employees leave their offices for any reason, the policy is to turn off the lights.
  5. It is standard practice for employees to turn off their computer monitors at the end of the work day.
  6. Every office has a blue trash can for all recyclables.
  7. There is a blue recycle receptacle for plastic bottles, glass, and aluminum in the Break Room and strategically located at the coffee bars and in the conference rooms.
  8. All old batteries are collected and recycled via the mail room.
  9. All used ink cartridges are sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.
  10. There is a complete video conferencing system that helps reduce travel.
  11. It is company policy to purchase environmentally friendly products, such as cleansers, trash bags, light bulbs, and paper.
  12. All email contains the message: "Please consider the environment before printing this email."
  13. Employees are advised to print non-confidential information on both sides of a sheet of paper.
  14. The Company provided major publicity and support for the "Cash for Clunkers" program.
  15. The Company utilizes electronic invoicing and account statements, and this is saving approximately three tons of paper per year.
  16. Employees are encouraged to go to http://www.catalogchoice.org to reduce the number of unsolicited catalog mailings.
  17. Employee suggestions for sustainability are actively sought and frequently implemented.
  18. Employees whose suggestions are implemented are provided with prizes such as a Starbucks certificate.
  19. As a matter of policy, the cleaning crew monitors all of the trash on a daily basis and removes all recyclables before such trash is put into the bins.
  20. One of our vendors, Greenwaste, takes all of our recyclable trash to a recycling center.
  21. Before any trash is taken to a landfill, Athens, another vendor to our Company, further resorts all of the trash and removes recyclables.
  22. In order to reduce the use of paper towels and water, Purell antibacterial hand sanitizers were installed in all bathrooms.
  23. The Company uses an outside firm, Shred-It, to shred and recycle papers. These efforts saved the equivalent of 47 trees in 2008/2009.
  24. All unnecessary lights are disconnected, such as those in the vending machines in the Break Room.
  25. Waterless urinals were installed in the Corporate office restrooms, leading to a savings of approximately 80,000 gallons of water per year.
  26. The company also installed aerator faucets and increased irrigation controls to further reduce water consumption.
  27. The Production Department implemented new packaging rules that led to a savings of approximately 20,000 cartons per year, equaling a reduction of approximately 2%. The goal is increase savings to approximately 100,000 cartons.
  28. As a way to combine social responsibility with sustainability, the company gives outdated reorder hanger references to several charitable groups and organizations. These groups take the old fabrics and re-sew them into different items: 1) In some cases, they are converted to quilts which are then donated to families that take possession of Habitat for Humanity homes; 2) A Catholic Church charity converts some of these materials into teddy bears for after-school programs, foster children, and women in correctional institutions to give to their children during family visits; 3) A Lutheran charity converts them into quilts and sends them around the world.
  29. In 2010, Strategic Partners added ADP's Human Resources & Benefit (HRB) system to streamline a wide range of human resources processes. The HRB system allows the company to go paperless for the main components of numerous programs, most recently in open enrollment for medical insurance.
  30. Also in 2010, Strategic Partners received a Certificate of Recycling from BCS Recycling Specialists/Asset Management. This Certificate indicated that the computer scrap from Strategic Partners was recycled in accordance with all State and Federal regulations. The total amount of scrap was 1,681 pounds, all of which was diverted 100% from U.S. landfills.
  31. As part of the company's continuous efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, the company gave the following materials to all employees: 1) SPI reusable lunch bags, reducing the need for trash pickup of thousands of bags each year; 2) SPI water bottles which are used instead of commercial water bottles or paper cups, 3) Reusable coffee mugs, signaling the end of Styrofoam® cups at SPI, and saving approximately 80,000 cups per year; 4) Ceramic utensils, eliminating the use of thousands of pieces of plastic silverware every year.
  32. For a period that covers March, 2004 through July, 2011, Strategic Partners has received a Certificate of Compliance from Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI), an industry-independent nonprofit organization that oversees the Green-guard Certification program. GEI establishes acceptable product standards for building materials, interior furnishings, cleaners, electronics, and children's products, as well as setting standards to protect the health of occupants through control of mold, moisture, and indoor pollutants. The Certification from GEI indicates that the Strategic Partners' furniture, flooring, and associated products are all well within the established limits for TVOC, Formaldehyde, Total Aldehydes, Individual Voc3's, and 4-Phenylcyclohexene.
  33. SPI now has a special bin where employees can deposit all of their old writing instruments from Papermate®, Expo®, and Sharpie®. Not only does this reduce trash in the landfills, but $.02 is donated to charity for every writing instrument that is placed in the bin.
  34. All of the company's computers are measured against the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), a procurement system that helps companies evaluate, compare, and select products based on environmental attributes. All of the company's computers are at least at EPEAT's Silver Level, and one model is at their Gold Level.
  35. All of the company's copiers are manufactured by Canon USA, a recipient of the EPA's 2010 Energy "Partner of the Year" Award. These copiers are specifically designed for low carbon emissions, reduced energy usage, reduced material consumption, restricted emission of hazardous chemical substances, and use of 100% recycled plastic on various exterior parts.
  36. We regularly attend meetings of the Business Council for the Chatsworth-Northridge Industrial Core. These meetings are chaired by Greig Smith, the City Councilman for this area. The discussions and speakers often focus cost-reducing environmental programs to help companies go green.
  37. In 2008, we voluntarily requested the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation/ Department of Public Works to conduct a Waste Audit for the corporate office. Ms. Rene Spencer, Environmental Specialist for the City, conducted the audit. In her report, she concluded that the Company's programs are so strong that we should apply to the State of California Waste Reduction Awards Program WRAP), a step that the Company has taken for the past three years.

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Distribution Center, Dallas, TX

  1. The Distribution Center (D.C.) recycles every piece of corrugated paper and most other paper as well. The D.C. has a compactor and bin for this specific purpose. The D.C. recycles approximately one million boxes per year.
  2. The D.C. has just put in a new energy-efficient lighting system that has led to approximately 1/3 reduction in electrical consumption. In addition, the bulbs in this new system are a new series that do not contain mercury and are biodegradable.
  3. The D.C. is in the process of reviewing all electrical consumption in the building, with the goal of achieving an additional 3-5% savings in electrical usage.
  4. Many of the D.C. employees participate in carpools.
  5. All old batteries are collected and recycled by Interstate Power Care. And further, as a result of our Company's efforts in this area, Interstate has implemented a major battery recycling program with all of their customers.
  6. The air conditioning systems for the offices are on programmable thermostats which are set to turn off after hours and on non-working days.
  7. There are blue recycle receptacles for plastic bottles, glass, and aluminum in the Break Room. Each office area has a blue trashcan for all recyclables. Management is looking into supplying each office with its own recyclable container.
  8. All used ink and toner cartridges are sent back to Recycle Cartridges for Kids. They recycle these materials and donate the proceeds to a charity of the Company's choice.
  9. All offices, supply rooms, and restrooms have automatic sensors on the light switches that turn off the lights when the room is unoccupied.
  10. The D.C. and corporate offices are in the process of testing and converting cleaning supplies and paper products over to products that are "Green Seal" Certified in order to eliminate the use of non-biodegradable substances.
  11. The D.C. is in the process of adding auto flush valves on all of the restroom fixtures, not only for sanitary reasons but also for the reduction in water usage.
  12. The D.C. is in the process of converting all conventional faucets and soap dispensers over to "no touch" systems, not only for sanitary reasons but also for the reduction in water and product usage.
  13. The D.C. is in the very early stages of looking into Solar Power and Geo Thermal capabilities for the facility.

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Suppliers

  1. All of the fabric mills that we use have water treatment systems to meet all legal standards.
  2. The Company has partnered with several factories that have active programs for solar electricity.
  3. The factories that the Company uses have vents and fans, rather than costly/high energy air conditioning systems, to cool their buildings.
  4. These factories also have double-paned windows to reduce the use of energy for heat, as well as to insulate year round.
  5. Several of these factories have cost-saving/energy-saving underground heaters.
  6. The Company has established programs with a number of suppliers to take fabric remnants that would normally be sent to a dump and convert them into bags and other giveaway items.
  7. The Company is continuing to take active steps to reduce the number of boxes being used by maximizing the content not only in shipping, but in terms of goods from our suppliers. As part of this process, box sizes are also being reviewed.
  8. The step noted above will also reduce the number of containers that are required, which ultimately translates into a savings of fuel required for transport.

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