The Bernard Group is committed to environmental protection and stewardship. As our business continues to grow, we continually strive to improve the environmental performance of our business operations.
100% CARBON NEUTRAL FOR SCOPES 1 AND 2
We have been carbon neutral since January 2020. In order to help us reach this necessary milestone and reduce our business’ eco impact, we’ve partnered with an environmental solutions provider to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Carbon Offsets (COs).
- We offset emissions made directly by our facilities and vehicles (Scope 1), as well as emissions generated by the electricity purchased from our energy partners (Scope 2).
- We’re mapping out how to offset emissions made by our supply and distribution chain, employees commuting, business travel and waste disposal (Scope 3).
- Since most companies with carbon offset programs usually offset only Scope 1, The Bernard Group is way ahead of the game!
RECYCLING AND WASTE PROGRAM
As an organization, managing the waste we generate on a daily basis is our biggest investment in environmental effort. Throughout our production area, stations are equipped with various recycling and/or disposal bins.
- Recycling is required even when it isn’t profitable. Scrap paper, cardboard, plastic and styrene are carefully sorted and recycled.
- Packaging from suppliers’ production materials gets sorted and repurposed or recycled.
- Our box crusher compacts waste boxes to create more density, which ensures they can be handled efficiently, as they make their way to be recycled (using less fuel, emissions and labor during transport).
- Materials that can’t be recycled are often used for energy recovery.
- We leverage software that maximizes the principle area on press sheets, thus using as many square inches as possible to reduce waste.
WATER AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION PROGRAM
As a Minnesota-based company, The Bernard Group is especially conscious of protecting our waterways. Our printing processes are waterless, neither consuming freshwater nor producing wastewater.
- All liquid waste is disposed of properly and shipped compliantly to be incinerated.
- We do not discharge chemical waste or effluent into the environment or public water system.
- We perform all of our major activities and storage indoors, so all print and warehousing locations qualify for no exposure stormwater permits.
- Our facilities are cleaned with Stabilized Aqueous Ozone, a chemical-free cleaning agent. It helps protect our employees and environment by preventing harsh chemicals from entering our lakes, rivers and waterways.
- We donate to Printing Industry Midwest’s annual surplus-paper drive, giving pallets of leftover paper to local school teachers for their print and art programs.
- We give our employees a reusable silverware set to prevent single-use plastic from entering our waste stream. Moreover, we’ve removed all plastic bottles from our facilities’ vending machines.
ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM
As we are an industrial manufacturer, managing energy usage is critical to achieving our environmental goals. We conduct comprehensive energy audits annually to look for energy savings opportunities, resulting in new projects, methodology and technology applied on a continual basis.
- Our energy-efficient print equipment is specified for high transmission efficiency 480V power wherever possible. LED curing is used on a wide variety of print assets.
- Our facilities feature motion detection lights that automatically turn off in areas that aren’t in active use.
- Electrical consumption is lowered through high-efficiency lighting, controls, programmable thermostats and HVAC retrofits.
Data drives all of our environmental action, so monitoring the performance of our waste, recycling, emissions and conservation programs is a major component of our operation.
We believe we’re inherently hardwired to work for something bigger than ourselves. We’re committed to creating positive social change by being intentional with our giving strategy, providing a variety of opportunities for our employees to give back to our community and partnering with local charities and national organizations.
Trees, Water & People –
This nonprofit creates economic opportunities for local Indigenous people through reforestation and renewable energy projects across U.S. tribal lands and Central America. We partner with them to plant trees in South Dakota to combat climate change, assist in the restoration of critical riparian zones in Colorado and reforest fire-damaged landscapes in New Mexico.
Open Hands Foundation/Hope House –
Hope House is an emergency shelter for youth ages 14-19 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the southwest Twin Cities metro. Our donations help Hope House turn young peoples’ lives around by nurturing self-sufficiency and independence, with a goal of reconciliation and family unification.
Haven Housing –
We donate funds to this women’s homeless shelter that offers a safe environment where women can stabilize, heal and work to overcome histories of abuse, chemical dependency, homelessness and incarceration.
Feed My Starving Children –
This organization accepts donations to fund meal ingredients which are hand-packed by volunteers (like The Bernard Group employees). Meals are then donated to food partners around the world, where kids are fed and lives are saved.
Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan’s Purse –
Every year, our employees pack dozens of shoe boxes with items for children in impoverished countries. Since 1970, this organization has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine.
Dress for Success –
We donate professional attire to this charity that provides clothing and skills development to empower women and help them achieve career advancement and economic stability.
People Reaching Out to People (PROP) –
This local food shelf’s mission is to compassionately provide food and comprehensive support to our neighbors in need, creating a path toward self-sufficiency. Our employees not only donate food items, but also fresh produce grown in our company garden.
Launch Ministry –
Our donations help fund this youth crisis center that provides a safe space, tools and resources to launch people ages 18-29 into successful adulthood.
Love INC –
Our online division, Smartpress, is the title sponsor for Love INC’s annual charity golf tournament. This charity works with local churches, school districts and other service organizations to identify unmet needs of youth and families in the community.
Neighbors Inc. –
Our employees adopt families in need during the holiday season, purchasing and wrapping gifts for their children. Neighbors Inc. supports low income households by providing food, clothes and toiletry items.
Students Achieving Independent Life (SAIL) –
We partner with a local school to provide work to people with disabilities. SAIL is a transitional work program that offers young people with special needs skill-building, career training and guidance.