When customers started asking for more environmentally friendly options, Hagemeyer North America recognized an opportunity to meet customer needs and help the environment at the same time. The distributor created an all-green catalog.
A lot of these products are products that we already offered; this catalog is just the first time we've collected them into one vehicle,"says Brad Pulver, Hagemeyer North America's vice president for product strategy.
Most environmental offerings focus on electrical, because that's the easiest, Pulver says. But Hagemeyer wants to provide a broad range of products across all three of the distributor's service areas: electrical, industrial and safety.
Hagemeyer will continue expanding the catalog offerings as suppliers expand their own green listings.
The current catalog is 36 pages and includes products and services in five categories: lighting &energy; recycling solutions; chemicals, cleaners &absorbents; paper products; and safety. It launched on June 9 and is available in electronic form or printed on recycled paper.
The move had its challenges. The lack of an "official"standard for green certification made the filtering process more difficult, Pulver says. Some companies use the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification offered through the U.S. Green Building Council; others use independent assessments.
So the vetting process to determine which products meet the highest standards takes longer than it would with a uniform certification, Pulver says.
In addition, not all of Hagemeyer's suppliers had lists available of their environmentally friendly offerings before the launch date. Calls from suppliers are already coming in to update their offerings. "They want to be included in the catalog,"Pulver says.
Though the current Hagemeyer green initiative is limited to the U.S. market, a broader program may be on the horizon.
"With our acquisition by Sonepar, we'll be evaluating our joint initiatives and goals to make sure that we complement each other in that realm as well,"Pulver says.
Hagemeyer offices in the U.S. celebrated the launch of the new catalog by implementing other green measures within the company.
Recycling bins have been added around the facilities, and employees were given printing guidelines to help reduce paper waste. Styrofoam coffee cups have been phased out, replaced by cups that break down within a year. And, everyone is encouraged to use reusable items whenever possible.
"This service is the right thing to do for our customers and our shareholders as well as the environment,"Pulver says.
"We certainly want to be at the forefront of the movement."
Hagemeyer North America Inc. is a distributor of products and services focusing on business-to-business markets in electrical materials, safety products, and industrial products and services throughout North America.
Hagemeyer North America has annual revenues of $1.8 billion.