Small and Medium Commercial Connections Winter 2016
Stikwood steps up its sustainability game
For Stikwood, a local business that sells interior design solutions made from reclaimed wood, sustainability is woven into the fibers of their company. In 2012 Stikwood started manufacturing the world's first peel-and-stick, ultra-thin wood planks made from 100 percent recycled wood. The planks are applied to interior walls and surfaces, giving wood a modern new life in creative interior spaces. But, sustainability doesn't stop with their product. It's a way of life for this company which is always looking for new and innovative ways to make less waste and lower their overall carbon footprint. As a longtime woodworker, Jerry McCall, co-owner of Stikwood, has seen his fair share of wasted wood scraps at traditional construction job sites and in wood manufacturing warehouses. "It's important for us to understand that technology plays a pivotal role in reducing waste and protecting our natural environment," said McCall.
Investing in efficient operations
Stikwood stepped up its sustainability game at its Sacramento-based warehouse last year and invested in an enhanced dust collection system to increase energy efficiency. The investment in new technology helped Stikwood run a better, more efficient dust collection system, which resulted in a $10,833 custom rebate from SMUD to help offset the cost of the project. Thanks to this upgrade, it's estimated that Stikwood will see an energy savings of about 157,529 kWh per year. This is about twenty percent of the warehouse's annual energy consumption – a savings that can help them with growth, expansion and other sustainability investments in the future.
"The monetary return on investments to lower our waste is a secondary benefit for us. We're most concerned about finding new ways to use fewer resources while making a great product with as little waste as possible," says McCall.
The right team, tools and technology
Having previously completed an energy-efficient lighting upgrade project with SMUD, the McCalls picked up the phone once again to involve SMUD in this new manufacturing systems upgrade project. The next project kicked off in early 2016, when Stickwood partnered with an innovative engineering company based in Europe, SMUD's Custom Energy Efficiency team and SMUD Strategic Account Advisor, Chantel Hoad. First SMUD came out to the facility to measure the energy consumption of their current saw dust collection system to establish a baseline. After thoughtful analysis by SMUD and the European engineering company, the team worked together to complete the installation of the new saw dust collection controls system for the high-powered machines that cut, sand and finish their wood products.
The warehouse is home to many industrial size saws, producing millions of dust particles daily, which need to be collected and managed. The previous system ran constantly, regardless of whether a saw was cutting wood and emitting dust or not. The new controls include sensors that detect when a saw is running. While in use, the controls open a dust vacuum accordingly, saving energy by changing the speed of the system's fan.
Stikwood's back story
Just like the stories behind each uniquely finished reclaimed Stikwood product, the McCalls' vision has a back story too. What started as a couple's daydream chat over a drive on their 25th anniversary vacation, has grown into an international DIY sensation. Jerry and Laura McCall, co-founders of Stikwood, had a vision for a product that could be used by typical DIY'ers and interior decorators alike, to give life to old wood and bring a rustic outdoor energy to inside spaces. Today, Jerry is known as the master woodworker, and Laura is the artist and passionate DIY'er herself. Together, they guide the company's creative vision with ongoing investments in sustainable operations.
From the sales floor at West Elm, to many Sacramento hot spots like LowBrau, Stikwood has claimed its place as a thriving business in the commercial and residential design marketplace offering beautiful, easy and sustainable solutions to enhance all styles of décor.
Back to the dust at hand
Are you wondering what happens to all that dust collected from making Stikwood? So were the McCalls, who admit to being a little obsessed about eliminating waste so they found another creative sustainable solution for their dust waste. They invested in a machine called a "bricketter" that compresses the dust collected from the shop floor into compact compostable bricks. Instead of going to a local landfill, their dust bricks are transferred to a biomass regeneration center where they are burned to produce electricity and other renewable resources.
Sustainable solutions like the ones Stikwood has implemented take a little vision, a little creativity and a little investment to greatly impact their business and our environment. Connect with your Strategic Account Advisor today and start the conversation about where you can find solutions to become a more sustainable operation and shift your bottom line while you're at it.
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