Green Prosperity: Strengthening Small Business

 
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Aug 11, 2011

Business Highlight: Warwick Fulfillment Solutions

Warwick Fulfillment Solutions
Warwick Fulfillment Solutions

A Maryland fulfillment company discovers strategies to generate cost savings and access new markets through energy efficiency and more sustainable packaging offerings and processes.

In 2010, EVI provided technical assistance to a network of Maryland enterprises to help them realize increased revenues from green markets and green cost savings strategies. One of these enterprises was Warwick Fulfillment Solutions, a 100,000 square foot fulfillment facility in Hurlock, Maryland. EVI reviewed Warwick’s existing green activities through an audit in 2010 and found significant traction had already been made, such as

  • The provision of less wasteful packaging to fulfillment clients;
  • The recent upgrade to motion sensor lighting; and
  • Their eco-sharing office model that allows them to share space with five different companies/operating divisions, which limits resource use and decreases environmental impact.

Through a market review process, EVI tracked the increasing national and international demand for fulfillment companies to go green, particularly in the area of packaging. Recognizing that Warwick had already begun to provide more sustainable packaging solutions to its customers, EVI looked for additional advancements in this area that could be suitable to Warwick.  EVI delivered Warwick a personalized Green Report to feed into the development of their sustainability plan. The report included relevant green certifications, guidelines for procuring green materials, and case studies of similar businesses going green.

Through this partnership with EVI, Warwick has continued to decrease its use of non-biodegradable waste like bubble wrap and styrofoam pellets to reduce delivery costs and waste, which EVI recommended they market to potential green-minded clients.  EVI made series of additional recommendations, including increasing the number of light sensors, integrating computer server power management to reduce energy costs, performing a formal energy audit to determine appropriate upgrades, formalizing a light reduction and day lighting protocol, introducing an energy use awareness campaign with employees, and purchasing energy efficient office equipment.

Chris Mushinsky, General Manager of Warwick, noted that potential clients are increasingly requesting information on green activities and particularly in the area of sustainable packaging. Many of these clients promote the green efforts of their suppliers and vendors to the end-customer, so it is important that Warwick can talk about their efforts.

Warwick’s green practices continue to be a way to differentiate them from the rest of the competition and can present internal cost-savings opportunities. 

Links:

Mar 8, 2011

Green Business Expo and Community Education

EVI, Maryland Capital Enterprise (a small business lender), Wor-Wic Community College, Telamon Corporation, and the Maryland Small Business Development Center designed and organized a Green Business Expo and Community Education Fair that took place on October 23, 2010. This event was a venue to further market the green products and services available in the community from local businesses. This event was designed to be a highly efficient and impactful way to help potential green job creating businesses to reach their market and grow. In discussions and provision of technical assistance in the scope of this project, there is an obvious need to further educate community members and businesses on the Eastern Shore the value of green products and services in terms of individual health and cost-savings. The event profiled several of the green business entrepreneurs, as speakers and/or vendors, that EVI has been working with.  These included Vance Morris of Chesapeake Service Solutions and Chem Dry, Elaine Patterson and Kent Simon and Patriot Environmental, Janet Sydnor from a Coves End, a local sustainable farm and sustainable oyster and crab business.  

The event brought together over 40 participants, including the Mayor of Salisbury, to learn about sustainable living and about the businesses in their backyard that provide sustainable products and services for everyday living. 

Impacts from the event include:

  • Cove's End connected with the Lower Eastern Shore Organics Network - LESSONS (an organization providing support and training to sustainable farmers and invited to speak by EVI).  This connection lays the groundwork for Janet and her husband to access new markets through LESSONS such as Salisbury University.
  • Cove's End sold out of all the crabs that they brought to the event, which was several dozens, thus providing them an opportunity to link the new individual customers and promote their product. 
  • Cove's End linked with a local eco-tour company, Adrenaline High Eco Tours, to be a site visit on one of their bike tours, enabling further income generation and promotion.
  • Patriot Environmental was able to set-up site visits with several participants to do energy assessments and look at provision of their energy efficient products, including an elder care center. 
  • LESSONS connected with an elder care center and received a donation of seven acres of land for new and beginner farmers that are members of LESSONS.  Access to land is a huge barrier to entry for new farmers, so this connection is exciting.  In addition, the elder care center has several retired farmers as residents and therefore having farming on the property is a further win-win. 

Please follow our work at www.eco-ventures.org

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Project Leader

Lauren Frederic

Washington, DC United States

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