Mills was one of the first companies in Vancouver to deliver office supplies using a 100% electric truck— the first of its kind in Canada. It operated out of the Vancouver warehouse and was a significant part of the Blue Box Program. This truck was a purpose-built commercial vehicle that is 100% emissions-free, whisper-quiet, and can hold up to a 2-tonne payload. The electric truck had replaced one gas-powered vehicle, and it is estimated that Mills saved over 17 tonnes of CO2 every year.
Mills was the first company in Vancouver to partner with Shift Urban Cargo delivery, the first business of its kind in Canada, replacing delivery trucks and vans with more appropriate and efficient technology for urban distribution: zero-emissions, heavy-duty cargo trikes. Shift was founded by a group of young entrepreneurs with a shared vision: to create empowering green jobs, and to reduce the impact of goods movement in Vancouver. Each bicycle carries 600lbs of product, which alleviates additional deliveries in the Vancouver downtown core.
Blue Box Program
Mills commitment to the environment extends beyond our suppliers’ environmental practices and examines areas where we can improve our business practices while helping our customers meet their sustainability goals. The Mills Blue Box Delivery System is a program whereby goods are delivered in large plastic re-usable boxes once or twice a week. The empty boxes remain with the customer until the next delivery date; meanwhile, employees are welcome to fill the boxes with any recyclables they wish to dispose of (including pens, markers, toners, and batteries). Upon the next delivery, a Mills driver will bring another Mills box with office supplies and collect the old Mills box with the recyclables. This system creates a closed-loop delivery cycle with minimal packaging waste and a reduction in carbon emissions. Boxes are provided at the sole expense of Mills. Inherent in this program is the move towards fewer deliveries each week, with the ultimate goal of serving each department once a week. Mills calculated that a reduction in deliveries from each day to once a week reduces carbon emissions by 0.778 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
We’ve made several other efforts to make our operation environmentally friendly by becoming a Certified B Corporation<?a>, using the green services of Climate Smart<?a>, and using clean electricity in our Vancouver office from BullFrog Power.