We at Cardinal Shower Enclosures recognize the need to be responsible with our planet’s resources. We’ve set several programs in place in our Green Initiative to reduce waste and reduce our environmental impact.
Reducing Product Waste
The average reject rate for glass in the shower door industry is terrible. The current industry average reject rate for a piece of tempered glass, from when it leaves the tempering facility to when it is installed, is 20%. Reasons for rejecting a piece of glass include:
- Wrong size
- Wrong glass pattern
- Fabrication errors
- Scratches in the glass or chipped edges (either in manufacturing or in transit)
This past year, we expanded our Louisville facility to include a new, state-of-the-art tempering facility. We designed it from the ground up to make quality a top priority. We work to make sure the equipment is in top condition to reduce problems during the manufacturing process, and have implemented several quality-control procedures.
We’ve invested in high quality glass buffing equipment that works wonders on small scratches on tempered glass, greatly reducing the amount of glass that is rejected and sent to recycling because of scratches. We’ve also installed special lighting to catch any imperfections or scratches before the glass leaves our facility.
We’re extremely proud to say that our team is producing glass with a reject rate of less than 1%. That’s a LOT less glass that ends up being discarded. For our customers, it means less trips back to a job site (wasting time, gas and resources) to replace rejected glass.
Recycling LESS Glass (Yes!)
In the course of making shower enclosures, we end up with a fair amount of scrap glass. This can come from:
- Internally rejected panels (scratched, etc.)
- Small remnant pieces of glass from cutting glass panels out of 9′ x 12′ sheets
- The thin strip of glass that is cut off around the edge of every 9′ x 12′ sheet so we start with clean edges for shower enclosure panels
We realized we can have a significant impact if we can repurpose this glass before recycling it. We now use as much of the glass as we can in three major areas:
Cutting up the glass into 3″ x 3″ samples, which we cast on our patterns to provide our dealers with Venetian Cast Glass samples.
Cardinal Shower is committed to our recycling programs. From aluminum, broken glass, cardboard and wood, to paper and plastic. We work hard to minimize the waste going into landfills.
In April of 2008 the City of Arlington, TX, launched a recycling initiative to encourage companies in their city to recycle. In December of 2008 our facility in Arlington was honored to join the City of Arlington Green Team for meeting and exceeding the city’s recycling goals.
GPS Tracking of Our Vehicle Fleet
Two years ago we rolled out a real-time GPS vehicle tracking system on our nationwide fleet of trucks. In addition to being able to tell clients when their drivers will arrive by checking drivers’ current locations online, we’ve reduced the carbon footprint of our fleet by:
- Eliminating idle times when a driver might be tempted to take a long, unscheduled “break” with the engine idling.
- Reducing the instances of speeding (which burns more fuel.)
- Optimizing the drivers’ routes to be the most efficient–minimizing the amount of time they need to be on the road, avoiding high-congestion areas during peak times, and minimizing the amount of time they’ll spend stuck idling in rush-hour traffic.
- Selecting the trucks that will have the best fuel efficiency with the configuration to meet our needs.
Because the primary ingredient in glass is Silica (sand, a renewable resource), glass is often referred to as a Green product. In 2008, we launched a new line of Venetian Cast Glass shower enclosure pulls. Using these sorts of pulls instead of the traditional aluminum or brass C-pulls, means less metal on those types of units. While providing our customers with a stunning addition to their enclosures, we’re also happy that there’s a little less metal and a little more of a renewable resource going out with those shower enclosures.