The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Named Nation's First Newspaper Facility to Achieve Zero Waste by U.S. Zero Waste Business Council

Printing facility joins Atlanta's Better Buildings Challenge

Jan 26, 2016, 08:30 ET from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA, Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) announced today that it has been awarded the GOLD level certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) for successfully diverting nearly 99 percent of its waste from landfill, incineration and the environment. This is the nation's first newspaper printing facility to receive certification from the USZWBC.

"As a Cox company, the AJC is proud to participate in the Cox Conserves sustainability program," said AJC Publisher Amy Glennon. "The AJC is committed to operating in ways that reduce our environmental impact, as well as reporting on the environmental issues that touch our community."

USZWBC audited the Zero Waste diversion processes at the AJC's printing facility and found that the location is successfully reducing, reusing, recycling and composting materials. The facility annually diverts more than 5,000 tons from landfills, which was achieved through operational and employee education programs, including:

  • Redirecting the overhead conveyor flow to send materials directly into recycling bins
  • Creating an aluminum litho plate recycling program
  • Incorporating consistent, color-coded recycling bins at each work station
  • Completing a lighting controls project that annually prevents the replacement of more than 900 lamps
  • Partnering with waste management vendors to ensure the materials are properly removed from the facility
  • Training new and existing employees on the recycling program during onboarding and lunch and learn sessions

"Our certification program holds to the highest standards and is one of the toughest in the country, so reaching the GOLD level is a great accomplishment," said Stephanie Barger, founder and executive director of USZWBC. "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's innovative Zero Waste programs go beyond recycling by focusing on reducing, reusing and increasing their bottom-line.  It is an honor to verify their achievements."

In addition to its commitment to waste reduction, the AJC's printing facility recently pledged to reduce its energy and water consumption by 20 percent in 10 years through Atlanta's Better Buildings Challenge. Cox's local Atlanta television station, WSB-TV, also participates in the Challenge and was named a top performer in water and energy efficiency. Cox was also recognized by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper with its River Guardian award for the AJC and WSB-TV's reporting on important environmental issues.   

About The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the leading source – both in print and online – of news, information and advertising for metropolitan Atlanta, reaching a total print and online audience of 1.7 million people each week. Every month, nearly 6.4 million unique visitors access the newspaper's websites, including AJC.com, myAJC.com and accessAtlanta.com. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is part of Cox Media Group, a publishing, digital media and broadcasting subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises.

About Cox Conserves 
Launched in 2007 by Chairman Jim Kennedy, Cox Conserves is Cox Enterprises' national sustainability program. Cox Conserves focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, as well as conserving water. The program engages each of the company's major subsidiaries (Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group) and encourages Cox Enterprises' 55,000 employees and their families to engage in eco-friendly practices. The company's sustainability goals are to send zero waste to landfill by 2024 and become carbon and water neutral by 2044.

About the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) 
Launched in January of 2012 and headquartered in Corona Del Mar, California, the mission of the USZWBC is to educate, inform and document the performance of Zero Waste businesses using scientific methods to help businesses and communities become healthier and more sustainable. USZWBC offers the only national Zero Waste standards focused on upstream policies and processes and Zero Waste training through webinars and workshops, and it is the leader in creating a solid foundation that advances the integrity and credibility of Zero Waste. (www.uszwbc.org)

About Zero Waste 
According to the Zero Waste International Alliance (www.zwia.org), Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, guiding people to change their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health. 

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SOURCE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution