Draper: A Tradition of Corporate Citizenship

Draper Story | Product Impact | Mission Statement | Green Initiatives

The Beginning

The Draper story begins in 1902 with our founder, Luther O. Draper. Mr. Draper's business philosophy was simple—to make a quality product and sell it at a reasonable price. Mr. Draper saw the problem of the sun's heat and glare in schools—the largest buildings in most communities at that time. He addressed that problem by making and selling spring-roller window shades in Spiceland, Indiana, 40 miles east of Indianapolis.

The window shade business grew through two world wars and a depression. Today, Draper offers lines of window shades for the commercial, educational, and residential markets, and is one of the country's largest manufacturers of window shades.

In 1957, Luther Pidgeon, grandson of the founder, invented a new and uniquely durable classroom projection screen. Over time, projection screens and visual communications products have grown to be the largest component of Draper's business.

In 1994, Draper entered the gymnasium equipment market, and is now proud to be the largest manufacturer of gymnasium equipment in the United States.

Today

Today the company is a true global citizen, with sales and manufacturing locations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden shipping products throughout the world.

Draper was proud to receive the 2009 Business of the Year award from the New Castle/Henry County Chamber of Commerce, and in 2010 Draper was one of only seventy companies (and one of only two manufacturers) named one of the "Best Places to Work in Indiana" through comprehensive reports and employee surveys compiled by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Over 500 Employees

Draper's 500 employees, still led by Luther Draper's descendants, operate with the same business philosophy: build a quality product, and sell it at a reasonable price. Over the years, Draper has become known as a consistently responsible corporate citizen, and continues to build on that tradition.

  • Responsibility to our employees: Throughout the company's history, Draper has never laid off any employees. Our employees enjoy competitive wages and a growing benefit package, including the rare combination of a company-funded pension plan, profit sharing, and a 401(k) plan with matching contributions. Draper also provides a generous group medical plan that includes an innovative free on-site primary care medical clinic and an award-winning wellness program.

    Draper has won numerous awards for its employee-focused benefits. We were named as The Healthiest Workplace in the United States in 2014 by Healthiest Employers LLC, a national organization dedicated to help improve the wellness of American workers. We were also named as PLANSPONSOR's 2014 Plan Sponsor of the Year for our corporate 401(k) program. In 2013, Draper was granted INSHARP certification by the state of Indiana. INSHARP stands for Indiana Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Certification in INSHARP recognizes an employer as a model work site for occupational safety and health.
  • Responsibility to our community: Draper is a generous contributor to the local community and consistently supports the local United Way, Relay for Life and Dollars for Scholars campaigns. Other recent beneficiaries include the public library, volunteer fire department, community center, school corporation and youth organizations. Draper generously and consistently supports the volunteer and community activities of its employees.
  • Responsibility to our environment: Draper is looking forward to the needs of the future by establishing itself as a market leader in "Green" environmentally-friendly products and operations.

Product Impact

Window shades reflect light and heat from the sun, reducing the amount of energy required to cool the building. Motorized window shades can automatically adjust to compensate for the changing shade requirements throughout the day. Shades support healthy daylighting and view strategies by reducing or eliminating uncomfortable glare for workers in day-lit areas.

Meeting and presentation rooms can benefit from both daylight and energy savings with the use of projection screens and window shades. Projectors have been demonstrated to conserve energy when compared to flat screen displays. Projectors, projection screens and window shades create efficient and welcoming multi-use presentation spaces.

These strategies have potential to contribute to LEED® certification points in a facility: consult one of Draper’s LEED® Accredited Professionals for assistance in planning for environmentally effective installations.

The construction of Draper products has become friendlier to the environment as well by including increasing quantities of low- and zero-emission materials and increasingly efficient manufacturing processes. All Draper product lines contain significant recycled content, and we are making a concerted effort to increase the recycled content in all of our products.

Our Corporate Environmental Mission Statement:

Draper's EcoVisionAs a United States manufacturer of quality products for the architectural market for over 100 years, Draper is committed to providing products for the sustainable design market. As members of our local, state, and national community and as members of the U.S. Green Building Council, our company and our employees are striving to become more environmentally conscious by continuously upgrading our facilities to be more energy efficient, and by introducing “reduce, reuse and recycle” programs. We will continue to upgrade and design new products with these goals in mind.

We are recycling more than 84 tons of materials per month in nine categories. This figure continues to rise. We've also introduced programs for reusing wood and cardboard products, including hundreds of shipping pallets, skids, and shipping tubes. We are constantly seeking to increase the efficiency of our energy use.

Our Environmental Steering Committee is coordinating a company-wide effort involving all employees in environmental activities through an intra-net website.

Now in its second century, Draper’s products and policies still embody the foundation of Luther Draper’s business philosophy and the experience of more than 100 years.

Draper's Green Initiatives


Green Leadership: Draper, Inc. is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a coalition of building industry leaders working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. The USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability in site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Draper has over 12 LEED®-Accredited Professionals on staff. More than half of our sales staff has received in-depth LEED® training.

Draper is a founding member of the InfoComm AV Sustainability Task Force, working to create the Sustainable Technology Environments Performance (STEP℠) rating system. Active in 2011, this system is designed to determine the sustainable nature of an AV system.

Draper conducts training sessions for architects, designers, dealers and installers, designed to increase awareness of the proper specification and use of window shades, projection screens and related AV products, and how they integrate with sustainable building.

Green Products

Draper products can improve a building's energy efficiency. Window shades reflect light and heat from the sun, reducing the amount of energy required to cool the building. Motorized window shades can automatically adjust to compensate for the changing shade requirements throughout the day. Shades support healthy daylighting while reducing or eliminating uncomfortable glare for workers.

Meeting and presentation rooms can benefit from both daylight and energy savings with the use of projection screens and window shades. Projectors, projection screens and window shades create efficient and welcoming multi-use presentation spaces.

Green Certifications

Draper was the first manufacturer to offer GREENGUARD®-certified projection surfaces. In fact, our screens with GREENGUARD Children and SchoolsSM certified viewing surfaces received a Product of the Year award from Electronic House publishing. GREENGUARD Children and SchoolsSM certified materials meet or exceed industry standard limits for off-gassing. This helps protect sensitive children and adults in places they spend many hours every day--including schools, daycares, healthcare facilities, homes and businesses.

Draper offers products that feature GREENGUARD certified materials in all of its primary product lines: projection screens, window shades and gymnasium equipment.

Draper, Inc. is proud to be a member of or have our products listed by several additional building industry leaders and standards organizations dedicated to promoting buildings and products that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and that create healthy places to live and work. Some of these include:

In addition, Draper FlexShades offer Phifer SheerWeave fabrics that exclusively feature Microban® antimicrobial protection (www.microban.com). Microban® antimicrobial protection inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration.

Green Manufacturing: The construction of Draper products has become friendlier to the environment by including increasing quantities of low- and zero-emission materials and increasingly efficient manufacturing processes.

All Draper product lines contain significant recycled content, and we continue to make concerted efforts to increase the recycled content in all of our products.

Green Awards

Draper is a community leader in promoting environmentally sustainable practices. In 2007 Draper received the Environmentalist of the Year award from the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management District, based in Henry County, Indiana, the location of Draper's corporate headquarters. The award cites Draper for exceptional leadership in the pursuit of environmental excellence.

Draper received a 2008 Green-Tint Energy Award from the Indiana Energy Savings Initiative and Westinghouse Corporation, given to Indiana companies who effectively reduced their energy footprint by 50 percent.

Recycling: Draper recycles more than 84 tons of materials per month in nine categories. This figure continues to rise. We've also introduced programs for reusing wood and cardboard products, including hundreds of shipping pallets, skids and shipping tubes. We are constantly seeking to increase the efficiency of our energy use.

Draper offers detailed local recycling instructions for old products. Local recycling is far "greener" and makes more sense than costly and wasteful shipping of old product back to the manufacturer for recycling. To facilitate this, Draper provides a recycling locator on the company website, for dealers and others to find recycling centers for vinyl, steel and electronics, located at:
www.draperinc.com/Green/recycle.asp.

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