Our environmental commitment

Crutchfield has a long history of taking great care of its customers. Doing our part to take care of the environment is just a logical extension of that policy, since all our customers are potentially affected by how we run our business. That's why we have carefully balanced our high level of customer care with some sound environmental practices.

Energy Use

Constructed largely under the direction of Bill Crutchfield, our headquarters building in Charlottesville, VA, follows a bermed design, which helps protect the building from extreme weather while maintaining more consistent inner temperatures. The building also features a programmed climate control system, which regulates temperatures according to employee work-cycles, instead of operating at full capacity around the clock.

In our headquarters and warehouse, we use energy-saving light bulbs for the majority of our daily lighting needs: Sylvania's Supersaver Ecologic line of overhead fluorescent bulbs. They are not only energy-efficient, but pass the EPA's TCLP ( Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure) test for hazardous waste. We also ask our employees to turn off their computers at the end of each workday, further conserving energy.

Peanut Machine

Kevin filling boxes with our biodegradable, starch-based peanuts.

We no longer use polystyrene packing peanuts

To protect items against shipping damage, we use biodegradable, starch-based peanuts that dissolve in water or in a compost pile. These reusable, static-free starch peanuts are made in our own Distribution Center. They have none of the negative environmental impacts associated with the polystyrene peanuts we had been using. You will no longer need to send our packing peanuts to a landfill.

Before we made the switch, we used about 150 trailer loads of polystyrene peanuts annually. That's over half a million cubic feet of plastic that won't be dumped into landfills anymore. One trailer load of starch pellets used to make peanuts is the equivalent of 23 trailer loads of polystyrene peanuts. That means we spare the atmosphere a bit of diesel exhaust, too.

Our Catalogs

Assessing the environmental impact of catalog production is difficult. For example, the weight (thickness) of the paper indicates pulp usage; the lighter the weight, the less pulp needed to create the page. The environmental responsibility of the paper supplier is an important consideration, and the percentage of recycled fiber is also a big issue, but not cut and dry.

Catalogs

Please recycle our catalogs.

As it turns out, the lightest weight papers can't easily be made from recycled pulp because recycled fibers are weaker than virgin fibers and don't hold together well under such delicate conditions. On the other hand, heavier weight papers made with recycled content require more fuel to transport. While that might sound trivial, when you consider the tens of millions of catalogs we distribute each year, the amount of CO2 emissions avoided by using lightweight virgin paper can be significant.

Which practice is better for the environment is an ongoing debate to which we at Crutchfield can't pretend to have the perfect answer. We try to balance environmentally preferable fibers with lighter-weight grades of paper (when both are readily available at a reasonable price) to achieve both natural resource conservation and decreased greenhouse gas emission. We will continue to work with paper suppliers and printers that have solid environmental programs, including sustainable forestry practices.

We hope you find our catalogs useful, and we encourage you to recycle them. We will continue to limit our paper usage by better targeting our mailings. If you no longer wish to receive our catalogs, you may opt-out by calling 1.888.955.6000 or by sending e-mail to service@crutchfield.com.

Questions/Comments

If you have comments on our environmental programs, or ideas on how we can improve our environmental performance, please don't hesitate to write to environment@crutchfield.com.