ZING Green Safety Products
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Brandon Bagley
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
In Oswego, Illinois, ZING Green Safety Products is an industry-leading manufacturer of green safety products. The company launched in 2007 as a consulting firm, moving into product manufacturing in 2009 and is now taking a range of post-consumer recyclables — water bottles, soda cans, milk jugs, detergent bottles and more — and making high-quality safety signage and identification, lockout/tagout products, traffic and parking signs, chemical safety products and eco-sorbents, almost all proudly made in the USA.
More than 95 percent of the products ZING manufactures are made from eco-friendly and post-consumer recycled materials, which not only help from an environmental standpoint, they also help companies and projects achieve substantial LEED credits.
ZING products support LEED certification credits in several categories, including existing buildings, new construction and commercial interiors. Projects and facilities incorporating ZING’s green safety products can earn LEED scorecard points for the sustainable purchasing of ongoing consumables and durable goods, material resource credits for recycled content, and material resource credits for rapidly renewable materials.
While this is all well and good, and highly attractive to companies mindful of their purchasing, most importantly, ZING has the third-party verification to back the legitimacy of most all their products. “As LEED construction becomes the new standard and sustainability becomes more mainstream, the need for companies to adopt green purchasing with the assurance that they are getting a green-certified products is ever-present,” says Tom Prinzing, president of ZING. “Years back, there were only a few companies certifying green products, but now there are hundreds.”
A top product certification party is UL (Underwriters Laboratory), a global safety consulting and certification company headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois. ZING is the only UL-E (Environment) certified company in the U.S. in all three product categories — safety signage, lockout/tagout and GHS (Global Harmonized Standard) products.
UL’s Greenguard and Ecologo marks are now recognized and referenced in more than 900 sustainable product specifications and purchasing guidelines, including LEED certification.
“We’re not just saying we produce a green product, we have the UL validation to back up the claim,” says Prinzing. “This is quite an extensive process. UL had to go into our supply chain and do an audit and they look closely into your downstream materials and manufacturing processes.”
Making a name in the green industry
With third-party verification and a complete line of green safety products, Prinzing says ZING is working to expand its market and essentially get the word out to more customers that its products exist. “Once we started making products in 2009, we faced a lot of headwind just making people aware that these products are available and offering education, something we’re still working on today,” he says.
Prinzing started ZING as a consultant, working with Grainger as the major corporation began to roll out new sustainability initiatives. “This got me interested and I started to do my homework on the green movement,” recounts Prinzing. “I wish I could say it was a master plan to forming ZING, but really my vision for the company came out of the simple idea that a sign that says ‘recycle’ over a bin to toss in bottles and cans should be made out of recyclables.”
Today, ZING is one of Grainger’s largest sustainable vendors. “They have about 2,200 products of ours in their system and they use a lot of our signs internally in their branches,” says Prinzing.
Top-of-the-line, ecofriendly products
ZING started with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety signage and steadily moved into lockout/tagout kits and stations and electrical safety products. ZING’s line of RecycLock safety padlocks contain a minimum of 70-percent recycled content and they are manufactured in a facility that has achieved virtually zero waste-to-landfill operations, with a 98 percent UL Landfill Diversion Rate.
A majority of ZING’s RecycLockout Devices and RecycLockout station boards, cabinets, boxes, pouches and toolboxes contain 100-percent recycled content and are also UL validated with a desktop audit and on-site manufacturing facility audit.
“We’re helping people come home safe at the end of the day and we’re doing it with green materials and products made here in the USA.” –Tom Prinzing, president of ZING
ZING is also dedicated to helping employees know and recognize the potentially hazardous chemicals they’re working with. The company is a major manufacturer of Globally Harmonized System (GHS) signage. GHS is the global standard for the classification and labeling of chemicals. In the GHS category, ZING’s SDS Binders are constructed from 100-percent post-consumer poly materials.
ZING’s SDS Stations are virtually indestructible, yet ecofriendly, made from minimally 75-percent recycled aluminum. All GHS/SDS Station signs are UL validated for high content of recycled materials and qualify for LEED credits.
ZING makes a number of other products that support superior safety and environmental responsibility. But even with a solid product line, Prinzing says the company still faces challenges in addressing the misconceptions that often come with green products. “Customers normally think two things — one, that the product automatically costs a lot more and two, because it is made of recycled material, they think it means inferior quality, which is not the case at all,” he explains. “We have to address these issues on a regular basis.”
As a member of USGBC Illinois, Prinzing says he and his team are proud to run a local business in a state that’s ahead of the curve in terms of LEED green building and sustainability initiatives. “We’re very passionate about what we do — we live it every day, so it’s nice to be in a state that promotes the same goals.”
Prinzing says he hopes ZING can continue to expand its product line and offer more choices to consumers. “We’re helping people come home safe at the end of the day and we’re doing it with green materials and products made here in the USA,” says Prinzing. “This is why we have such a strong sense of purpose in what we do.”
As a leader in green safety products, ZING Green Safety Products continues its mission of making it easier for companies to meet safety and sustainability standards, with high-quality, third-party verified products to count on.
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