Insights on business -- and life.
Walnut Hollow: An Industry and Conservation
The company went "green" long before
it was popular.
by Staff Report, (August 4, 2008)
Walnut Hollow® has been a successful company since the earliest
days of the modern craft industry. Decades of success are the result
of quality products and service, fostering a safe work environment,
and practicing a sensitive attitude toward natural resources. The
Dodgeville, WI company is strongly committed to preserving the
natural resources that allow the company to produce its products. It
was "going green" long before most companies had heard of
Founder and President David Ladd was named the 2007 Conservationist
Lifetime Achievement Award winner by Gathering Waters
Conservancy for his dedication to environmental sustainability in
business, as well as decades of untiring land stewardship in his
native Iowa County, WI and across the state. Gathering Waters'
awards recognize individuals and organizations whose achievements
are making a notable impact on the future of Wisconsin's natural
Since the inception of Walnut Hollow in 1972, Dave's family and
employees have been strongly committed to preserving natural
resources through its raw materials consumption practices,
production processes, recycling activities, and community
involvement. In 2006, the company received the John H. Brogan
Environmental Achievement Award, the Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources' highest form of environmental recognition. Walnut
Hollow® shares this prestigious accomplishment with respected
organizations including Trout Unlimited (Wisconsin Chapter), Snap-On
Tools Corp., Green Bay Packaging, 3M Menomonie, and John Deere
Why does Walnut Hollow win awards? Consider:
The Ladd's have planted more than 300,000 trees and shrubs on
personal property in the surrounding area.
Whenever possible, raw material is harvested from plantation and
managed woodlands for the manufacture of our home décor
items and wood surfaces.
Walnut Hollow has a unique sawdust recovering system whereby
sawdust and chips from the manufacturing process are vacuumed at
each work station into a central silo storage system. As a result,
the manufacturing operation is not detrimental to the health of the
employees or the environment.
The manufacturing process is state-of-the-art "lean"
manufacturing which allows for a minimum of waste and an increase in
operating efficiencies. Wood waste and sawdust are recycled to
produce steam to heat the rough mill facility and lumber drying
kilns. The premium wood waste is separated and sold as livestock
bedding. No wood waste ends up in landfills.
Shipping cartons are made from 50% recycled fiber and all packing
material is biodegradable (cornstarch peanuts).
Employees of the company participate in the State of Wisconsin's
Adopt-A-Highway Program. Each spring, company volunteers pick up
litter along the designated Walnut Hollow highway section.
Dave has served on three Land Stewardship Councils formed by
former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson for the purchase of natural
resource and recreational lands. He has also served on the Board of
Directors of Wisconsin's Natural Resource Foundation, the Wisconsin
Conservation Congress, and Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association.
Dave was instrumental in starting/financing Tree City USA for the
City of Dodgeville, In addition, he has received distinguished
service awards from the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council and the
Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Walnut Hollow supports and financially contributes to important
conservation organizations such as Trees for Tomorrow, the National
Arbor Day Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Whitetails
Unlimited, and Trout Unlimited.
The company partners with Alliant Energy on shared savings
programs that help to conserve energy. Grants have also been
received from Wisconsin Focus on Energy for energy saving programs
adopted by the company.
(Note: In addition to Dave's environmental work, he has
made many valuable contributions to the growth of the craft
industry. He served for many years on the ACCI board of directors
and was responsible in large part for ACCI's two consumers shows.)