What is Sustainability? Ask 10 people and you might get 10 answers. While the definition can be elusive, the question of what we are doing about it? is being asked more and more. Customers, suppliers, partners, associations, communities, and government agencies want to know. It is a tremendously important question and one we have long been prepared to answer.
As we travel down the pathway of continuously improving how Superior serves all of our stakeholders, both internal and external, a sustainability strategy becomes obvious. The National Association of Chemical Distributors recognizes this too. As the next cycle of Responsible Distribution R takes shape, a sustainability code will be added to the existing 13 Codes of Management Practices related to Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security. It will be included in the third-party verification process required to prove compliance. In addition, customers and suppliers look to Superior to help them accomplish Sustainability goals.
First things first. What is it to us? As we’ve worked to consider this, we’ve come to the realization that at Superior, it may be as simple as “continuing to do the right thing”. Consider that Superior began recycling spent product for our customers, returning it to productive use over and over again, in the early 1980’s. For over 30 years now Superior has developed and actively marketed water-based products and processes to replace hazardous materials. This work has resulted in decades of significant investments in manufacturing capacity. As a new partner over 26 years ago I started with training to understand how to introduce and “sell” lower VOC and HAPs free blends to existing customers. That effort of finding a better way continues today. Our building and fleet assets have been engineered over time to be more efficient to reduce the impact of our operations. You could say sustainability has long been a way of life at Superior.
It’s time to find new ways to tell our story and set constantly improving goals going forward. To address that, we’ve created a position dedicated to Sustainability at Superior. What is emerging from that work is confirmation that our efforts are making a difference in the intensity of our energy consumption, emissions, and water withdrawal. Next steps include establishing scores with evidence-based platforms such as Ecovadis, evaluating where we can make short term improvements, and setting long term goals.
Doing the right thing doesn’t just present a strong business case, it serves the part of our stated goal to be excellent corporate citizens. We’re excited about, and again prepared for, refining our focus on sustainability. It has been and will continue to be a difference maker for us and those we serve. Going green is going good at Superior.