Recycling equipment maker greens phones with hosted unified communications

It stands to reason that if your company makes a product that strives to help others be greener you should look at ways to green your own internal operations.Such is the case with PTR Baler and Compactor Company, a fourth-generation Philadelphia maker of cardboard balers, compactors and other waste management systems.

It stands to reason that if your company makes a product that strives to help others be greener you should look at ways to green your own internal operations.

Such is the case with PTR Baler and Compactor Company, a fourth-generation Philadelphia maker of cardboard balers, compactors and other waste management systems. PTR CEO Michael Savage likes to say his company was green before it was cool. Internally, it supports what it calls the "Green Wave" team to help figure out how technology can help contribute to its corporate sustainability (and cost reduction) efforts.

Enter a new hosted unified communications solution from Alteva, which the company adopted to replace an aging PBX. Savage says the business benefits of the service were overwhelming -- it enable the company to route calls to mobile phones for better service, it contains an application for Web conferencing and meetings, and it helped reduce the companies telephone service costs by 30 percent. The green benefits were almost secondary, but they were there in the form of reduced electricity costs, Savage says.

Louis Hayner, chief sales officer for Alteva, says the biggest green factor for his company's customers is the power they will save by moving to unified communications in the cloud. Alteva estimates those cost savings at about 84 percent; by aggregating electricity consumption across its subscriber base, the company figures it is helping its customers (overall) reduce carbon emissions by 900,000 pounds annually. (That's about 64 houses.) Hayner says the solution makes the most sense for businesses with at least 50 users.

Aside from the phone system, PTR has reduced its electricity costs by at least 20 percent in its manufacturing facility simply by installing fans to help distribute heat more uniformly. Motion sensors in bathrooms, conference rooms and lunch rooms ensure that lights are off when no one is around, and LCD monitors were installed to replace old CRTs.

PTR made all these changes despite being self-described as "conservative" about technology spending decisions. "We look at this as an investment for the next 10 to 15 years and how it is going to improve the intensity of our business," Savage says.

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