Byrne celebrates Earth Day – every day – with 50 years of sustainability

April 21, 2021 @ 12:16 PM

When you say, “Go Green!” we say, “Go Byrne!”

Byrne celebrates Earth Day – every day – with 50 years of sustainability

West Michigan-based Byrne is all about creating lasting, powerful connections – and they’ve been doing just that for 50 years now – but this special milestone isn’t the only thing they’re proud to be celebrating. They’re also honoring a five-decade journey of working to grow more environmentally-friendly products and workplaces.

Byrne was founded in 1970. That April, the world recognized its very first Earth Day in support of increasing environmental protection efforts. In December, the Byrne family launched their own business as electrical specialists. That year, a powerful connection between Byrne and sustainability was born. 

Anyone who knows Byrne, knows that green is their color – and for this environmentally-driven company, the word “sustainability” packs a lot of power. It encompasses their participation in the EPA’s Green Suppliers Network, LEED certifications, ISO 140001 certifications, Cradle-to-Cradle, PVC-free products, and LEVEL®, BIFMA‘s sustainability certification program for furniture, just to name a few.

Byrne’s efforts as a green manufacturer have always been about “walking the talk” and showing continuous improvement. Byrne Chief Executive Officer, Dan Byrne, said, “a lot of companies ‘green wash’ their sustainability activities with eco-friendly language and inflated claims, but Byrne has committed to using third-party registrars and certification that validate our commitment to building genuinely sustainable products.”

Back in the late 1980’s, Byrne began offering a PVC-free alternative for its first power systems. One of the most commonly used materials in the world, PVC plastic was ubiquitous, but Byrne worked to accommodate customer needs by providing low-impact, PVC-free assembles within their build environments.

Byrne’s sustainability journey continued into the 1990’s and 2000’s, reaching far beyond their own walls. The company was the nation’s first power supplier to become Cradle to Cradle Certified in 2009. Cradle to Cradle certification is a globally recognized measure for safer, more sustainable production, encouraging a circular economy where products are recycled instead of thrown away.

Byrne products are designed with materials that are 100% recyclable and the company also works to reduce its waste stream by using plastic regrind and other recycled materials in its designs. In fact, 60 Byrne products are now BIFMA LEVEL e-3 Certified, a number that’s grown annually since 2016. The company’s transparency in evaluating and communicating the social and environmental effects of their production processes has always remained a top priority.

That said, for Byrne’s operational team, it’s not enough to just maintain a sharp focus on those impacts. It’s also about ongoing progress through ISO 14001 Certification – an endorsement that highlights environmental protection and the responsible handling of natural resources within operations and production. In March of 2017, Byrne became ISO 14001 Certified and in late 2020, they met “mature” levels in many audit categories including continuous improvement. These rankings serve to underscore Byrne’s ever-evolving, ecologically-friendly production efforts. 

Along with the above ISO certification, 2020 earned Byrne a new LEED certification for renovations and improvements made throughout the company’s office spaces in 2018. This included water-saving plumbing systems, energy-efficient light fixtures, and other key efforts that kept the projects environmentally responsible using renewable resources. Click here to learn more about these projects.

In the everchanging landscape of sustainability practices, Byrne offers its customers environmental services to help navigate the requirements and guidelines set by a wide variety of organizations. With many years of sustainability-driven experience behind them, the Byrne team is able to help evaluate the material makeup of components and help customers meet or exceed environmental requirements.

Today, as they celebrate an environmental journey that encompasses continuing conservation efforts, more sustainable products, and smarter workspaces – as well as 50 years in business – Byrne wishes all of us a very happy and healthy Earth Day. Go Green! Go Byrne!

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