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Sustainability Leadership Council Advances on Climate Transition Plan

Sustainability Director Caroline James, President Wes Carter, Vice President Stewart Whitmire, and Vice President Eric Farmer make up Atlantic’s Sustainability Leadership Council. Their goal is to reduce carbon emissions and waste generation at Atlantic, up and down our value chain, and globally.

Since its formation in 2019, the Sustainability Leadership Council has made great progress on implementing its Climate Transition Plan. Below are their most impressive achievements to date!

Internal Operations

Introducing Sustainability Director Caroline James

The council made the appointment of its first full-time Sustainability Director, Caroline James, in 2022. She brings an academic and scientific approach to the council’s efforts with her background in industrial ecology and life-cycle assessment, which is the analysis of the environmental impacts associated with a product, process, or service.

  • 2020: We began transitioning from natural gas-powered forklifts to a fully electric fleet.
  • 2021: 35 liquified petroleum-powered forklifts were replaced resulting in a forklift fleet that is 75% electric.
  • We aim to have 80% of our forklift fleet electric by 2023.
Electric Vehicles
  • 2021: We purchased several electric and hybrid vehicles and installed charging stations at several facilities to support these vehicles. Our aim is to transition all of our company-owned cars away from fossil fuel dependence.
  • We have made deposits on ten Tesla Semi trucks which are tentatively slated to arrive in 2023.
Solar Power
  • 2021: We completed solar installations at our facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina.
  • We are currently installing a solar installation at our Dominican Republic facility that is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.
  • We are partnering with Renewvia Energy to bring solar energy to our entire organization.
  • Our Charleston facility’s solar installation has already generated enough energy to decrease 50% of the energy required by the electric utility.
Energy Efficiency
  • 2021: We transitioned to energy-efficient halogen lighting in all of our 25 facilities. This initiative was started in 2019, and current estimates show an annual reduction of 290 metric tons CO2e.
Zero Waste
  • Nov. 2021: Atlantic Printing & Graphics achieved TRUE Zero-Waste Certification as verified by Green Business Certification Inc.
  • We are working to certify two Atlantic facilities a year until all of our locations annually divert over 90% of their waste from being disposed of in landfills to recycling facilities.
Stretch Film Recycling
  • We have invested in stretch film recycling equipment to create a closed-loop system that keeps waste out of landfills and the environment.
  • Starting in early 2023, we will be collecting used stretch film from select customers and repelletizing the polyethylene to be re-extruded.
  • This equipment will allow us to create high-quality post-consumer resin which will be repurposed into new stretch film!

Sustainable Programs

A New Earth Project
  • We launched our A New Earth project initiative in April 2022. A New Earth project creates packaging solutions that are curbside recyclable, made from renewable resources, and not harmful to the environment. Its mission is to rid the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers of plastic pollution.
Fishbone Can Carriers
  • We have the exclusive license to offer the first 100% curbside recyclable beverage carrier.
Packaging Optimization
  • We audit and test our clients’ packaging to ensure they are using the perfect amount for their product. Right-sizing packaging allows companies to use fewer resources overall leading to less carbon emissions, increased efficiency, cost savings, and products that are better protected.
  • The MUST Stretch Film Management System is our patented monitoring program for stretch wrapping. Stretch film is crucial to B2B transportation, and our monitoring system saves businesses resources and money by providing them the ability to consistently apply the ideal amount of stretch film to every load every time.
Guardian Taping System
  • We partnered with ShurTape to develop and offer an efficient, high-quality taping system that reduces material waste, downtime, and costs.
Layershield Sheet Program
  • We offer paperboard sheets made from 100% recycled fibers ideal for replacing corrugated or polysheets.
Clysar EVO and EVOX Recyclable Shrink Films
  • We’re excited to provide our clients with Clysar’s line of high-performance, recyclable packaging films.

External Relations

Supplier Leadership on Climate Transitions (S-LoCT)

  • The S-LoCT program is a knowledge platform and brand collaborative that has the goal of collectively reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • We are one of 12 brands enrolling key suppliers in the S-LoCT, along with Guidehouse, Pepsico, Mars, McCormick, and others.
  • In 2021 and 2022, we helped four of our largest suppliers join the S-LoCT. We are aiming for 55% of our suppliers to have science-based targets of their own to reduce their emissions and waste by 2026.

Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) & How2Recycle

  • The SPC is a collective of packaging industry leaders that are working to make packaging more sustainable through actionable improvements.
  • How2Recycle, an initiative of the SPC, is the leading US-based on-package recycling label that promotes clear instructions to consumers about what materials are curbside recyclable.

Alliance to End Plastic Waste

  • The Alliance to End Plastic Waste is made up of a multitude of representatives from the plastic value chain that are united in bettering waste management around the world to end plastic waste leakage into the environment.

Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN)

  • The OPLN is a collective of activists and organizations working together to combat the global plastic pollution crisis through making actionable changes, sharing findings, and hosting education sessions.

The Conservation Alliance

  • The Conservation Alliance consists of businesses and outdoor organizations advocating for the protection of North America’s wild places. Annual membership dues are dispersed to environmental organizations that contribute to the long-term health of outdoor recreation. We’re the first packaging company to join the more than 270 members of the alliance!
Advocacy and EPR
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies place responsibility for the disposal or management of post-consumer products on the producers of those products.
  • We support EPR legislation, and our Sustainability Council Leaders are meeting with policymakers, environmental advocates, and industry groups to advance the passing of EPR laws and other policies that fight plastic pollution.
  • We are committed to advocating for public policy that aligns with limiting global average temperature increase to 1.5°C as stated in the Paris Agreement.