WasteWise Hall of Fame Inductees
Hall of Fame Inductees
- Constellation Energy/BGE
- General Motors
- Guardian Automotive Ligonier Plant
- King County, WA
- Kitsap County, WA
- LA Unified School District
- NEC Electronics America, Inc. Roseville Facility
- Pitney Bowes, Inc.
- Public Service Enterprise Group
- SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
- US Postal Service Alabama District
- US Postal Service - Northeast Area
- Verizon Communications
- Virco Mfg. Corporation
- The Walt Disney Company
The Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded to WasteWise Partners and indicates a continued commitment to progressive waste reduction activities. WasteWise created the Hall of Fame in 2003 to recognize partners that continually excel in waste reduction efforts, provide ongoing support for the WasteWise program, and serve as role models for other partners.
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (2005)
Let's raise a toast to the men and women at Anheuser-Busch who are busy "Brewing a Better Environment," as their environmental campaign is called. Since joining WasteWise as a charter member in 1994, Anheuser-Busch has achieved a company wide 97 percent recycling rate and received six WasteWise awards for its waste reduction efforts.
As one of the world's largest recyclers of aluminum beverage containers, the Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corporation recycled 804 million pounds of cans in 2004more than 125 percent of the number of cans that the company's breweries use to package their products. Anheuser-Busch is reducing its can lid diameter, which is expected to save 20 million pounds of aluminum when fully implemented by 2006. Anheuser-Busch has also looked beyond its successful packaging reduction efforts and found innovative uses for byproducts of the brewing process such as nutrient-rich sludge and beech wood chips.
Constellation Energy/BGE (2006)
Constellation Energy , together with its subsidiary BGE, is one of the nation's largest wholesale power companies and America's oldest energy utility. It lights up the waste reduction scene with its reuse and recycling programs. The company has won seven WasteWise awards since joining as a charter partner in 1994.
Although Constellation faces many waste reduction challenges from materials unique to the energy industry (such as coal ash), the company has implemented many reuse and recycling solutionshelping it save more than $30 million in new purchases and disposal costs. In 1998, Constellation installed a separator at its Brandon Shores, Maryland, power plant to separate carbon from coal ash, making it usable in specialty concrete. Along with other coal ash applications like flowable fill and blasting grit, this project allowed Constellation to recycle approximately 450,000 tons of coal ash, or greater than half of all ash the company produced in 2005. During the last 10 years, Constellation has increased its ash recycling rate from less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent and recycled approximately 2.2 million tons of various materials.
BGE previously had to dispose of electronic reading transmitters (ERTs)used in gas metersas hazardous waste. In 2005, the company found a remanufacturer for the ERTs, resulting in potential savings of more than $1 million throughout the life span of all ERTs now in service.
Every year BGE recycles thousands of tons of materials like metals, paper, and wood and returns remanufactured tools, meters, and electrical equipment from its equipment shops to useful service.
General Motors (2004)
General Motors Corporation (GM) , the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, finds that through its voluntary partnerships, it can make a world of difference. GM employs 325,000 people globally in its core automotive business and subsidiaries and holds about 15 percent of the global vehicle market. Since joining WasteWise as a charter partner in 1994, GM has established itself as a true innovator, identifying countless ways to reduce its ecological footprint. WasteWise was named GM Partner of the Year twice in the past three years, as well as Climate Change Partner of the Year in 2003.
"General Motors is proud to be included in EPA's WasteWise Hall of Fame. Our partnership with EPA in its WasteWise program is an excellent example of a successful, collaborative public-private initiative. During our involvement with the program, GM has recycled millions of tons of waste, which helps to contribute to a sustainable future for both the environment and our business."
Between 1998 and 2002, GM facilities in the United States decreased the generation of WasteWise-targeted wastes by 37 percent, and they have not stopped there. Realizing that waste reduction opportunities are not only found at the tail en of the waste stream, GM developed Resource Management (RM)a strategic alternative to disposal contracting that aligns a waste hauler's financial incentives with a facility's waste reduction goals. The RM program is now in place at 94 percent of GM"s North American facilities. Only four years after rolling out RM, participating facilities reported a 42 percent reduction in waste that could be credited to the success of the initiative.
RM is only one example of GM&"s commitment to innovative waste management. In addition, the automobile manufacturer strives to increase the recycled content of materials in vehicle components such as head-liners, door trim, instrument panels, bumpers, seats, and molding. For example, GM North America uses 8,500 tons of nylon fibers from recycled carpet; 5,400 tons of polypropylene from recycled soda bottle caps; and 2,900 tons of rubber from recycled tires in its vehicles annually. Also, as a founding member of the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment with EPA, GM leads an effort to collaborate with its suppliers to improve environmental management throughout the supply chain. Looking to the future, GM aims to reduce the total amount of waste generated at all of its facilities worldwide by an additional 15 percent and increase the recycling rate by 15 percent from 2000 through the end of 2005. By putting this goal into action through its numerous ongoing environmental initiatives, GM looks to be a model WasteWise partner for years to come.
Guardian Automotive Ligonier Plant (2006)
Guardian Automotive Ligonier Plant, an automotive glass plant in Indiana, is shattering the idea that industry and the environment are at odds by integrating a comprehensive waste reduction program in its facility. Winning eight WasteWise awards in just seven years, the Ligonier Plant has demonstrated waste reduction success as both a partner and an endorser.
The Ligonier Plant is continuously searching for ways to reuse and recycle new materials. In 2005, the Ligonier Plant recycled more than 13,000 tons of waste and saved more than $360,000. This included recycling all unused glass cullet, which is used to make glass beads for bead blasting, fiberglass, or reflective paint for highways. The Ligonier Plant's activities also have had a positive effect on operating costs, saving the small company more than $1.3 million since becoming a partner in 1996.
Even materials traditionally overlooked for recycling have not escaped the Ligonier Plant's meticulous waste reduction efforts. Thanks to its employee education efforts and detailed tracking, the Ligonier Plant has recycled approximately 80 tons of razor blades as scrap steel since its razor blade recycling program began in 1998. The Ligonier Plant sold more than 140 tons of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) used in the laminating department and recycled more than 70 tons of scrap polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Understanding that waste reduction can equal big savings, the Ligonier Plant became a WasteWise Endorser in 2003, and spread the WasteWise message to other Guardian plants. Including the Ligonier Plant, 10 out of 37 Guardian facilities in the United States now proudly call themselves WasteWise partners.
King County, Washington (2004)
"Helping employees understand that their everyday behaviors do have an impact on the environment has helped us meet our goals to reduce waste, while making government more efficient."
King County, Washington , has been a recognized national leader in waste reduction. Since joining WasteWise in 1997, the county has won four program awards, including two Partner of the Year honors, and it continues to expand its waste reduction program through ambitious goals and the commitment of dedicated employees. The county serves as a model for other local governments, providing them with assistance, advice, and promotional materials. Furthermore, the county's King Street Center, which employs approximately 1,500 people, achieved more than double its five percent per employee waste reduction goal in 2003, while the county began recycling new materials at 12 facilities and diverted 19,500 pounds of computers and electronics from the local landfill. Even with these impressive recycling statistics, waste prevention and green building initiatives form the backbone of King County's success.
In addition to the extensive King County Surplus program, 30 different county buildings or work areas maintain their own office supply exchange areas, while the county's Department of Natural Resources and Parks continues to develop its Intranet exchange for larger items. This combination of programs saved King County one million dollars in new office equipment and furniture. Always seeking innovative opportunities to reduce waste, the county's Transit Division re-treaded 317,000 pounds of bus tires in 2003more than 50 percent of the tires used by the division and a 40 percent increase over 2002. Three additional county divisions followed suit, saving $125,000 in 2003 alone.
A hallmark of King County's waste reduction program is its commitment to green practices in building design, construction, and demolition. In overseeing the demolition of the Seattle Kingdome in March 2000, the county reused and recycled 97 percent of the demolition debris generated. This was no small accomplishmentthe plan not only reduced the quantity of waste, but also saved the county more than three million dollars. In addition, the King County Executive and King County Council have signed initiatives and motions in the past three years that reinforce the county's commitment to green building and the US Green Building Council's LEED program. With a fundamental commitment to waste reduction practices, King County continues to be a leading example for local governments.
Kitsap County, Washington (2009)
Since joining the WasteWise program in 1998, Kitsap County has won eight awards for its waste reduction efforts as a local government. Since joining, the county has diverted over 54,000 tons of waste from the landfill. In the past year alone, Kitsap County Roads Division prevented 5,250 tons of asphalt from entering the landfill by reusing the materials onsite. This approach also saved more than $590,000 in avoided purchasing costs for rock and sand.
Kitsap County's most popular and successful program has been its Waste Exchange, which enables staff to post notices about unused office materials on an intranet site. What started as an e-mail group of employees has now grown into an established government-wide program that saved over $20,000 last year. Throughout their participation in the program Kitsap County has earned over $3 million dollars in savings and revenue from their recycling efforts. Designated a Program Champion in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and then Partner of the Year from 2004 until 2008, Kitsap County has been a leader in local government waste reduction efforts.
Los Angeles Unified School District (2008)
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) consists of 1,072 schools and centers in the Los Angeles, California, area with approximately 700,000 students and 84,000 employees. LAUSD continually strives to improve its waste prevention and recycling activities and has won seven WasteWise awards, including six Partner of the Year awards, since joining WasteWise in May 1999.
Over nine years, LAUSD reduced its waste by 467,000 tons, saving more than $21 million. The success of LAUSD's waste reduction program has been due in large part to its innovative initiatives. Such as eliminating trays in food service, which discourages students from taking extra food that goes to waste. Also, LAUSD sells obsolete equipment and supplies at public auctions, resulting in nearly 500,000 pounds of avoided disposal and savings of more than $11,000 in 2007.
In a renewed commitment to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, LAUSD recently adopted a new waste and recycling goalto reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfills by 70 percent by 2020. To reach this goal, LAUSD is working with the City of Los Angeles, which is providing recycling containers for each school at no cost, to make the school recycling program consistent with the city's.
LAUSD initiated several outreach programs with city and state groups including the Los Angeles Department of Public Works (DPW) and California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB). LAUSD distributed mixed paper recycling boxes with the WasteWise logo to schools and offices and 6-gallon recycling containers for classrooms. Its WasteWise promotional activities included posting the district's WasteWise Climate Profile on LAUSD's Office of Environmental Health and Safety Web site and meeting with staff from the City of Los Angeles and other cities, CIWMB, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, DPW, and suppliers to discuss new technologies, ideas, and programs for waste prevention and recycling.
NEC Electronics America, Inc. Roseville Facility (2009)
A WasteWise Partner since April 1994, NEC Electronics America, Inc.'s Roseville, California facility employs 700 individuals and has won seven WasteWise awards, including five Partner of the Year awards, one Program Champion and one Honorable Mention. The facility's success can be attributed to its extensive waste diversion efforts. In 2008 alone, the Roseville facility successfully diverted 1.03 million pounds, or 82 percent of its total solid waste, from landfills saving the facility nearly $97,000 in disposal fees. Also in 2008, NEC also generated $430,000 in revenue from its recycling activities. Over the past 16 years NEC has diverted over 4,700 tons of waste from the landfill through both waste prevention and recycling efforts. This has translated into a combined savings and revenue of over seven million dollars.
NEC's success can be attributed to its Waste Reduction, Prevention and Recycling Program, which is continually evolving. In 2008, the company added an onsite vermiculture program and expanded its community outreach to include a Community e-Waste Day. Individuals were encouraged to recycle unwanted televisions, monitors, computers, cell phones, and batteries. A total of 54,789 pounds of e-waste was collected and the proceeds from recycling those materials were donated to a Roseville City recycling program. The company also donates excess paint to a local high school drama department, which helps save on disposal costs and benefits the community.
Pitney Bowes, Inc. (2007)
As the world's leading provider of mail stream solutions, Pitney Bowes, Inc. (Pitney Bowes) has always demonstrated growth and advancement in their waste reduction efforts. Pitney Bowes began their WasteWise partnership in 1996 and has previously won eight WasteWise awards.
As a WasteWise partner, Pitney Bowes has consistently followed through with a variety of waste prevention and recycling programs. Their efforts include the reuse and salvaging of a variety of materials harvested from their product returns program such as, Tyvek envelopes, white paper, toner cartridges, plastics and other office materials. As a result of these programs, Pitney Bowes reused and recycled 5,700 tons of materials and demonstrated a 75 percent rate of recycling in 2006.
Pitney Bowes has also expanded its waste reduction efforts to include a "green building" component. While renovating its Stamford, Connecticut, World Headquarters facility in 2006, 171 tons of separated materials were diverted from trash and landfills and sent for recycling or direct reuse. Additionally, Pitney Bowes chose carpet and furniture made from recovered materials to complete their "green" renovation.
As a result of these waste reduction initiatives, Pitney Bowes has reported approximately 2,000 tons of waste reduction in 2006. As a seasoned WasteWise partner, the corporation has demonstrated true corporate social responsibility through its commitment to reducing their environmental footprint.
Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) (2003)
"At PSEG, we believe we have made substantial progress in terms of minimizing our environmental footprint, but we recognize how far we have to go and how many opportunities await us."
After joining WasteWise as a charter partner, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) worked to achieve electrifying results by incorporating waste reduction into its company culture and business practices. As one of the nation's major electric power and natural gas providers, PSEG excels in waste reduction and promoting the climate benefits of these activities.
In 1993, PSEG instituted an innovative materials management process for handling waste by forming the Resource Recovery Group. The group aimed to incorporate waste prevention into every aspect of energy production and achieved this goal through resource managementa strategic alternative to traditional disposal contracts. PSEG offered its waste management suppliers financial incentives to identify waste reduction opportunities. In just 18 months, the company implemented new materials management practices and saved nearly $2 million in waste management costs and reduced tons of waste.
Since 1995, PSEG's recycling rates have consistently exceeded 90 percent. The utility's new goal is to maintain or exceed a 94 percent recycling rate for all waste material generated. Impressively, PSEG recycled more than 96 percent of its municipal solid waste in 2002!
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (2005)
The "Recycle Guys" encourage everyone to recycleaccording to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) , which developed the "Recycle Guys" in 1992, to promote recycling in South Carolina and nationwide. In 2004, DHEC recycled more than 541,100 pounds of recyclablesan increase of more than 80 percent per employee since 2001.
As a WasteWise endorser, DHEC recruits other organizations to join WasteWise, offers educational workshops, and provides technical assistance through its Business Recycling Assistance Program (B-RAP), a partnership created to promote waste reduction, recycling, recycling market development, and buying recycled to businesses and industry statewide. In 2003, South Carolina became the first state to join the WasteWise States Campaign. DHEC also played an instrumental role in developing the South Carolina Resource Conservation Challenge to encourage taxpayer-supported organizations to conserve natural resources, protect the environment, and save money. Winner of seven awards since joining WasteWise in 2000, DHEC excels as both a partner and an endorser.
Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (2011)
As a state agency, one of the main goals of the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) is to protect public health and the environment from contamination through proper management of solid wastes. TDEC has been a committed WasteWise partner since 1998 and has been awarded WasteWise awards almost annually since 1999. Due to its tireless work to educate the residents of Tennessee and its employees about waste reduction, WasteWise recognizes TDEC with its highest honor as the 2011 inductee for the WasteWise Hall of Fame.
Beginning in 1990, TDEC launched the State Employee Recycling Program (SERP) to engage its employees throughout the Tennessee region. This program enables employees to lead by examplebecoming experts on the importance of waste prevention and recyclingand encourages them to participate in waste reduction initiatives throughout the year. More than 32,000 employees are committed to the program, with this number continuing to grow.
In the past 12 years, TDEC has sponsored several ongoing events, festivals, recycling rebates, and charity runs, including the Great America Cleanup and America Recycles Day. One successful initiative is the Green Cubicle program, which encourages daily tasks for employees to perform to reduce waste. These simple tasks have had a tremendous impact on TDECs waste reduction program. Some examples include: making two-sided copies when printing, maintaining electronic files, using scrap paper when printing, reusing old office supplies, recycling toner cartridges/electronics, and using reusable coffee mugs. Through these efforts, the total amount of TDEC waste prevented, recycled, and composted in 2010 was more than 1.4 million pounds. TDECs 2010 waste reduction efforts resulted in greenhouse gas emission reductions of nearly 2,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. In addition, its waste reduction efforts saved TDEC nearly $40,000 in 2010, doubling the amount from 2009.
TDEC plans to commit to its waste reduction efforts in future years, not only by reporting its results, but also by promoting the WasteWise program at all its events and on its website. It has recruited more than 60 colleges and universities across Tennessee to join RecycleMania. Additionally, TDEC has sent more than 2,000 emails to all departmental employees, other state of Tennessee employees, facility administrators, recycling coordinators, and contractors to encourage them to participate in WasteWise. TDEC has received an overwhelming response from employees, who have been eager to learn more about WasteWise and get involved.
Throughout the years, TDEC has always sought out new strategies to improve its waste reduction program while serving as an excellent role model for other WasteWise partners. The state continues to educate its employees and communities about the importance of waste reduction and prevention. Since 1999, TDEC has won a total of nine WasteWise awards and continues to implement programs and initiatives that can serve as models for others. TDEC is well-deserving of this years WasteWise Hall of Fame award.
United States Postal Service Alabama District (2008)
The Alabama District of the United States Postal Service has 710 facilities with more than 10,000 employees. To date, the Alabama District has received nine WasteWise awards, including five Federal Partner of the Year awards.
The Alabama District demonstrates an exceptional level of involvement in the WasteWise program, having participated in every WasteWise conference and regional meeting since 1999. The District also strives to educate employees in every Alabama facility about WasteWise.
Through its participation in WasteWise, the Alabama District has reduced waste by more than 75,000 tons over its nine years as a partner. This reduction was achieved without direct funding or work hours allocated to recycling efforts. Instead, the program is integrated into normal business processes that generated more than $152,700 in revenue in 2007.
Since the inception of its program, the Alabama District has visited schools throughout the state to educate students about recycling and distributed creative promotional items encouraging recycling, such as pencils made from undeliverable mail. The District also handed out peanuts as part of its "Protecting Our Environment for Peanuts," campaign, an effort to convey the message that recycling does not have to be a big expense.
Postmasters and managers in the Alabama District participate in local events including community founder days, Earth Day events, and other activities to encourage recycling and waste prevention.
In addition to its public outreach efforts, the Alabama District encourages green procurement practices including purchasing recycled-content products. Flat tubs and trays previously constructed of cardboard are now being replaced with HDPE plastic; canvas sacks and pouches are being replaced with polypropylene products; and hampers constructed of metal and canvas are being replaced with PET/HDPE plastic, as are wooden pallets.
The Alabama District's waste prevention and recycling efforts also include increased use of electronic communication; recycling of fluorescent lamps, batteries, toner cartridges, and cell phones; and expansion of shrink-wrap recycling.
United States Postal Service - Northeast Area (2005)
The US Postal Service Northeast Area is delivering a message: waste reduction is everyone's responsibility. By educating its postmasters and facility managers, the Northeast Area has reduced waste in its own facilities. It also sends this message every day to its customers through lobby recycling programs used by more than 20 million people who visit Northeast area post offices. The Northeast Area joined WasteWise in 1997, and has since achieved many waste reduction goals, winning six consecutive WasteWise awards for its efforts.
With 3,200 participating post offices, the production of waste paper is inevitable. The Northeast Area is continually making strides to reduce paper waste through waste prevention and recycling. In 2004, for example, internal change-of-address procedures were updated, preventing more than 3,000 tons of undeliverable mail, and discarded mail was collected in post office lobbies for recycling.
The Northeast Area recycled nearly 39,000 tons of materials in 2004, including mixed paper, cardboard, wood, plastics, and tires. In one year, the Northeast Area realized more than $14 million in revenue from recycling and avoided purchasing costs of electronics and saved another $2.6 million through avoided disposal costs.
Verizon Communications, Inc. (2007)
As one of the nation's leading communications companies, Verizon Communications Inc. (including Verizon Business, Verizon Telecom and Verizon Wireless) continually strives to reach its waste prevention, recycling and procurement program goals to reduce its environmental footprint. Verizon has won nine WasteWise awards since it became a charter partner in 1994.
With the support of its environmental operations, Verizon has implemented several non-hazardous waste prevention, recycling and green purchasing efforts, such as the Verizon Wireless HopeLine , which was started in 2001.
In 2006, Verizon Wireless collected, refurbished and resold a total of 660,000 used cell phones. Selling the refurbished phones enabled HopeLine to donate $1.3 million to nearly 300 local domestic violence prevention and awareness organizations in 2006.
Verizon also developed its Investment Recovery organization to identify material that can no longer be used for its intended purpose, and encourages its customers to reduce the use of paper by providing an online bill service. Due to these successful programs, Verizon has earned over $10,000,000 in waste prevention and over $21,000,000 in total recycling revenue. The communications company has also avoided approximately $16,000,000 in purchasing costs due to its waste prevention efforts.
Virco Mfg. Corporation (2003)
Although Virco Mfg. Corporation designs chairs, company employees don't sit still when it comes to protecting the environment. Virco, which manufactures school and office furniture in Conway, Arkansas, joined WasteWise as a charter member in 1994 and quickly achieved success. Since 1994, Virco has diverted more than 160 million pounds of waste and received six WasteWise awards in recognition of its achievements.
"The final piece of the puzzle is educating others and inspiring them to be stewards for the environment and their communities."
Virco's waste reduction efforts contribute to its success in the marketplace. By preventing manufacturing waste, the company purchases fewer raw materials and transfers the savings to consumers. Waste reduction efforts also save Virco thousands of dollars in disposal fees. While cost savings are important, Virco is committed to protecting the environment regardless of financial benefits.
Dedicated to improving the local community, the company launched a "Cash for Cardboard" program. Virco collects, bales, and sells corrugated cardboard from 27 local schools, ships it to a recycling company, and donates the proceeds back to the schools. In addition, Virco personnel deliver presentations on WasteWise at business meetings and other events, educating attendees about the greenhouse gas emissions generated by waste decomposing in landfills.
The Walt Disney Company (2010)
A WasteWise partner since 1995, and a 10-time WasteWise award winner, Disney has consistently proven itself an environmental steward. In 2008, Disney developed a long-term company-wide environmental strategy focused on key metrics in energy and water conservation, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, and waste reduction including a long-term goal of zero net waste.
Disney has proactively embraced the WasteWise philosophy throughout its operations. Examples of the companys initiatives include:
- Implementing an internal online tool for collecting, storing, and analyzing waste and recycling data;
- Establishing a Green Sourcing Team to lead green procurement efforts;
- Engaging employees and cast members, worldwide, in decreasing their environmental footprint through a set of waste prevention directives;
- Developing food donation and composting programs; and
- Encouraging each of its sites across the US to develop its own innovative waste prevention initiatives.
Disneys efforts have paid off in a big way. In 2009, the company diverted more than 117,000 tons of materials from the landfill, resulting in GHG emissions reductions of more than 109,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or the annual GHG reduction equivalent to the emissions of more than 20,000 passenger vehicles.
Disney has also leveraged its media reach to promote environmental responsibility to a wider audience. In 2009, the company launched Disneys Friends for Change: Project Green, a multi-platform initiative that empowers kids to act environmentally responsibly. Kids can sign pledges to participate in waste reduction activities, such as packing lunch in reusable containers, using reusable bags, and recycling holiday gift wrap. To date, kids ages 5-18 have taken 1.5 million pledges that could prevent approximately 200,000 pounds of trash from entering landfills each month. Participants can also cast their vote for environmental causes through Disney's international environmental grant program. As a result of participant votes, Disney funded numerous waste reduction projects in 2009, including a $100,000 donation to a Youth Summit program to reduce disposable plastic waste along the West Coast; $50,000 to Teens, Tamarins, and Trash, a program that supports Colombian womens efforts to make and sell eco-friendly tote bags; and $50,000 for an educational program to help kids in Arkansas understand the impact of trash on the environment.
Throughout its 15 years as a WasteWise member, the Walt Disney Company has always set the bar high, demonstrated continued commitment to the tenets of the program, and served as a role model for other partners.