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A tradition of green

Article-A tradition of green

?Looks can be deceiving: The property’s original barn stands at the entrance of Mastercam’s corporate headquarters.

?Looks can be deceiving: The property’s original barn stands at the entrance of Mastercam’s corporate headquarters.

?One-quarter of the company’s needed power will soon be generated by a solar array, with the frame already installed.

This CAD/CAM software company has been following environmentally friendly practices for a quarter of a century, and the commitment continues as the company grows.

?There are many ways for molders to implement green initiatives, including investments in more energy-efficient equipment or the use of recycled materials and environmentally friendly supplies. But how does a software company go green? Well, CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT), developer of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, has been incorporating environmentally friendly practices since the company was founded 25 years ago.

Back in 1989 when the company built its new 38,000-ft2 headquarters, instead of the conventional gas or oil boilers used in most New England buildings, Mark Summers, cofounder and president of CNC Software, specified that geothermal heat pumps be installed.

“The upfront investment is slightly higher, but more companies are transitioning to alternatives as the cost of conventional energy sources rise,” says Summers. “The return on investment happens quicker now, and money is the driver in many businesses. Paying attention to current energy technology will save money if you’re patient enough to wait a few years for the payback.”

And Summers is still making such investments, with a soon-to-be-completed 72-kW photovoltaic solar array being installed outside a new 12,000-ft2 addition. Electricity is the only energy source used in the building, and the company hopes to generate 25% of its electricity from the array. Other green materials and components were chosen for the new addition, including lumber certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, formaldehyde-free Enviro interior doors, low-water-use toilets, and low-VOC paints and carpet. There’s insulation under the concrete slab, radiant floor heating, and energy-efficient Andersen windows and T8 lighting.

The green choices don’t end at the building itself. Employees are provided with glasses, dishes, silverware, and energy-efficient dishwashers to reduce the use of paper goods, and the building is maintained with environmentally safe cleaning products. The company even makes biodiesel fuel available to its employees.

And the products and literature offered by CNC Software have also been affected. Product packaging has gone to smaller, recycled, unprinted cardboard, with manuals printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper. Plus, the size of product brochures has decreased, with more content posted to the Mastercam website.

“Each individual and company has a direct impact on the environment through daily consumption of energy and resources,” says Summers. “I have a strong interest in the environment and doing whatever I can within reason to minimize our company footprint on the planet.”

?CNC Software Inc.

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