Altium provides packaging solutions to consumer end markets such as beverage, food and household chemicals.
With approximately 65 rigid plastic packaging manufacturing facilities and about 2,800 employees across the United States and Canada, the company has an integrated network that consistently delivers reliable and cost-effective packaging and recycled resin solutions.
Altium operates its leading recycled and customcompounded postconsumer resin business through its Envision Plastics division.
EMPLOYEE SAFETY & SECURITY
Altium believes that the health and safety of its employees is one of the company’s greatest responsibilities. Over the past several years, Altium has been relentless in its pursuit of continuously improving its safety culture, programs and procedures. In 2014, Altium conducted a series of plant assessments and employee interviews as part of a comprehensive effort to overhaul its safety culture and performance. This effort resulted in the creation of an organization-wide safety program that focuses on expanding safe work behaviors, educating workgroups on exposure management practices, and developing leadership capabilities to support performance and advance the safety culture.
An employee-led observation process was at the heart of the initiative. Since beginning the change process, the company is averaging 1,600 safety observations per month across its network and has seen an improvement of more than 55% in injury rates and an improvement of more than 75% in lost and restricted employee days.
Altium’s seven Guiding Principles form the foundation of Altium’s values-driven culture and are designed to serve as an operating philosophy that inspires the way Altium conducts business. Employees constantly strive to keep the Guiding Principles at the forefront of every conversation they have and every action they take. The seven Guiding Principles are:
Altium maintains an “Always Made Right” commitment to every customer. In order to fulfill that commitment, Altium empowers its people to speak up and take action immediately if something is not right.
The seventh Guiding Principle (“Seek Fulfillment in Your Work”) was added in February 2018 in response to employee feedback and reflects Altium’s commitment to provide its employees an environment for personal, professional and technical development to foster their professional fulfillment and the company’s organizational growth.
Employee feedback on the Guiding Principles has been very positive. Annalaissa Johnson, a Program Manager at Altium, said, “The Guiding Principles are important for Altium because they form the foundation of our culture, and they help us ensure that we are driving towards the same goals. We practice the Guiding Principles all the time at Altium. For example, in meetings, we will stop and evaluate whether we are ‘Driving Value Creation’ and whether we are acting as ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurs.’ Sometimes we actually change course to better practice the Guiding Principles.”
Ron Lee, a Plant Operations Manager at Altium, added, “The Guiding Principles allow us as employees to have the freedom and creativity to make decisions within the plant. You actually feel like you are a partner with Altium. You feel like you’re making decisions for your own business.”
Altium focuses on producing primary packaging designed to protect and extend the shelf life of the product’s contents. The company prides itself on partnering with customers to advance the use of recycled content and reduce the amount of virgin material required. Today, 97% of the packaging Altium produces is fully recyclable.
In addition to manufacturing packaging, Altium is also the second-largest United States producer of recycled high-density polyethylene, a widely used form of plastic. Altium produces 100 million pounds of this recycled high-density polyethylene per year.
Additionally, Altium has placed increased emphasis on its innovative Dura-Lite® technology, a patented design that utilizes 10-20% less resin while creating packaging of higher strength and improved customer ergonomics. Altium has shipped almost 600 million Dura-Lite® bottles since the technology was commercialized in 2016. Since its launch, the use of Dura-Lite® packaging over conventional packaging has saved approximately 8 million pounds of plastic. Altium expects even greater savings as more of its customers convert to Dura-Lite® dairy and industrial bottles and as Altium develops more applications of its light-weight technology.
Plastic containers also have a significant impact on the earth’s oceans—8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans every year. In fact, 60% of this plastic comes from five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. By comparison, according to Science magazine, the United States is responsible for less than 1% of waterborne ocean plastic.
Acutely aware of the damage that ocean-bound plastic can cause, Altium created a program that recycles plastic from at-risk areas such as Mexico and Haiti, reducing the amount of this waste that would otherwise end up in the ocean. In 2017, Altium committed to recycling 10 million pounds of oceanbound plastic by the end of 2019.
Altium has also been actively pursuing methods and technologies that reduce the total mass of plastic in its products, as well as those that increase the percentage of recycled content in its products. Altium is increasing its use of nonplastic fillers and plant-based materials as substitutes for petrochemical-based materials in its products. These innovations have contributed to a substantial decrease in the volume of plastic used in Altium’s products. For example, in 2018, Altium’s use of nonplastic fillers replaced almost 2 million pounds of plastic in its bottles.
While Altium offers a number of services and products to help minimize the impact of plastic on the environment, solutions from manufacturers are only part of the answer. Altium’s goal is to help create a circular economy for the packaging industry and eliminate plastic waste. As a result, it encourages customers and endusers to buy and use recycled resin in their products and encourages governments and communities to develop the infrastructure to support recycling. Meanwhile, as consumer demand for recycled plastic products increases, Altium is ready, willing and able to provide them.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
As a manufacturing company, Altium recognizes the impact its GHG emissions have on the environment and looks for opportunities to reduce these emissions across its business operations. Altium tracks GHG emissions annually. From 2009 through 2016, Altium decreased GHG emissions by 28%, which is the equivalent of 780,000 metric tons of avoided GHG emissions. Altium achieved this reduction in part by focusing on equipment run time and substituting crude oil with recycled hydraulic oil.