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Responsible Manufacturing in Adams County, CO

Adams County makers are reducing their environmental footprint.

By Brittany Anas on May 26, 2023

Adams County

Manufacturing is a key industry in Adams County, with an array of products made here that range from computers and electronics to metal products.

As the manufacturing industry has grown at an average of 4.2% annually during the past five years, companies are focused on how to lessen their impact on the environment.

Promoting Sustainability

The sustainable practices are resonating with both employees and consumers. A First Insights report found that consumers across all generations are willing to spend more for sustainable products.

TruStile – a Welby-based company that crafts high-quality indoor and exterior doors to suit a number of architectural styles for residences and businesses – is serious about its eco-friendly practices.

The company, for instance, reduces its waste by 65% through a reclamation process that donates excess wood chips to agricultural partners to use for energy production.

Other sustainable practices at TruStile include creating high-quality doors meant to last a lifetime, helping businesses achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications and using low-emitting adhesives and primers. A third-party certification recognizes the company for constructing products that are made from 69% preconsumed recycled wood content.

Customers take green building claims seriously and really educate themselves on how a product is made, says Alex Dennis, senior brand manager at TruStile.

“That’s why we think it’s important to back up claims with third-party certification,” he says.

Also, a recent report from intranet company Unily revealed that 65% of people said they would be more likely to work for a company with robust environmental policies, which puts some of the area’s most innovative manufacturers like TruStile and Ardent Mills, a leading flour supplier, in a prime position to attract top talent as both companies are mindful of their environmental footprints.

Did You Know?

65% of people said they would be more likely to work for a company with robust environmental policies, according to Unily.

Green Manufacturing Facilities

Both companies are looking to make the region better than they found it by participating in a responsible style of manufacturing through innovative, environmentally friendly solutions.

TruStile, for instance, purchased 15 acres in unincorporated Adams County, building a 300,000-square-foot facility to double its manufacturing capacity.

TruStile is owned by Marvin, a company that Dennis says “values sustainability, putting people first and doing what’s right.”

“When making plans for our new headquarters and manufacturing facility, we wanted to make it one of the greenest manufacturing facilities in the region. Our biomass boiler uses waste dust to heat and cool the facility, and we estimate that our extensive solar panel array generates approximately 40% of our electrical usage.”

Alex Dennis, TruStile

Sound Stewardship

At its Commerce City mill, Ardent Mills operates around the clock, sending 40 truckloads – or 1.8 million pounds – of flour a day to bakers and chefs across the state. The premier flour-milling and ingredient company is cultivating the future of plant-based solutions with chickpeas, quinoa, organic flour and more and recognizes that climate change poses a serious threat to food systems and the supply chains that support them.

The company’s ethos? Leadership comes with responsibility and as stewards of the resources that bring grain-based foods to consumers, Ardent Mills is focused on sustainable initiatives like water conservation, lower fertilizer usage, reduced energy use and optimized fuel use.

With sustainable practices as a priority, the manufacturer works to safely maximize loads on outbound trucks, reducing gas usage. Also, 30% of Ardent Mills’ total operations are fueled by renewable energy, and the company’s goal is 50% renewable energy usage in its operations by 2025. The company also launched a regenerative agriculture program, a conservation and rehabilitation approach to farming, in 2021 to improve soil health and conserve water.

Each of the company’s locations – including Commerce City in Adams County – participates in organic material waste diversion as well as has representatives from its newly formed energy team.

A Real-Life Candy Land

Another manufacturer in the region is Hammond’s Candies. Amid a slight fog of cornstarch and powdered sugar, candysmiths place pliable sugar creations into a puller and eventually bend glossy, colorful striped candy into recognizable candy canes, which are cooled and packaged.

Call it sweet success: Hammond’s Candies has been in business for more than a century and is the largest handmade-candy factory in the U.S., underscoring the manufacturing industry’s history of success in the Adams County region.

With a penchant for candy and a disdain for formal education, Carl Hammond dropped out of high school and began apprenticing at a candy factory before opening his own shop in 1920. Colorado’s dry climate is favorable for making small-batch, hand-crafted hard candies, which is what Hammond’s is known for, says Andrew Schuman, president and CEO of Hammond’s, though the candy maker also sells taffy, chocolate bars, licorice and other sweet treats.

“Our hard candies have been manufactured the same way with the same recipes for over 100 years,” he says.

Hammond’s churns out 2 million candy canes a year. Beyond classics like peppermint, the candy connoisseurs have dreamed up other flavors like raspberry canes filled with chocolate and cookie candy canes with a frosting interior.

One of Hammond’s newest candies include peanut butter pillows, which are peanut butter candies that crumble in your mouth.

Today, the factory is a destination for birthday parties and field trips, and the adjoining shop is stocked with shoppable candies – no golden tickets required. Learn more about Hammond’s Candies at hammondscandies.com.

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