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Ohio EPA Recognizes Six Companies with Environmental Excellence Awards
Ohio EPA has identified the first six silver award recipients for Encouraging Environmental Excellence (εз), a new program to recognize organizations committed to environmental excellence at all levels.
The εз program provides different recognition levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Recognition provides Ohio businesses and other organizations with credit for completing environmentally beneficial activities, and an incentive to commit to future environmental stewardship efforts.
Silver Award recipients have demonstrated a commitment to go above and beyond compliance, have a mature system of environmental management that has been integrated into core business functions and have developed aggressive performance goals, including a process for communicating the company’s progress to the local community.
“The companies we are honoring today with silver level awards are exemplary environmental stewards,” Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally said. “The commitment they are making to improve Ohio’s environment should be an example to other businesses in our state.”
Six companies have been recognized as the first Silver Level participants in the εз program:
- Frito Lay - Wooster – This snack food operation has been in operation for 64 years. An internal “green team” was formed to drive environmental compliance and stewardship at work and in the community. Green team members are encouraged to perform environmental community service. Resource conservation is a main focus for day-to-day operations. The company has reduced electricity use by 6.57 percent even while a warehouse expansion was underway, saving the company more than $46,000. Natural gas use was reduced by more than 24 percent, saving nearly $468,000. Water use was reduced by 39 percent, saving about $343,000. Workers regularly conduct comprehensive reviews of all activities for environmental impacts and continue pollution prevention efforts with a commitment to reduce energy and water use and solid waste generation.
- GM Toledo – This large manufacturing facility produces vehicle transmissions. Total routine waste has been reduced by 80 percent. In a one-year period, 94 percent of waste was recycled and 6 percent was shipped to an energy recovery facility. GM Toledo set up an effective energy conservation program as part of its “drive to zero” program, recognized by U.S. EPA for lowering greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent and avoiding nearly 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Energy conservation goals are to increase the use of renewable energy, reduce energy usage by 20 percent and reduce carbon use by 20 percent by 2020. Energy-saving innovations include: energy-efficient boilers that reduce natural and landfill gas combustion rates, and a solar energy array installation currently generating 600 kilowatts of energy with a goal to generate enough power to supply half the electricity used during nonproduction periods.
- Marathon Petroleum Company’s Findlay Office Complex - This 13-acre corporate headquarters consists of three multi-story office buildings, a service building and a utility plant, housing the operations center for the 8,400-mile Marathon pipeline. What began as an office waste recycling program has expanded into a comprehensive recycling effort with an energy and water reduction initiative. The office recycled 1 ton of batteries, 20 tons of food scraps, 3 tons of toner cartridges, 10 tons of scrap metal and 103 tons of mixed office recycling including paper, soda cans and bottles, cardboard and mixed plastics encompassing 50 percent of the headquarter’s waste stream. The company’s cafeteria food composting initiative has processed 40 tons of food into compost, will expand to capture discarded food from conference rooms and employee workstations. Styrofoam lunch containers have been replaced with compostable paper containers, saving money and keeping 100,000 Styrofoam lunch containers out of landfills. Styrofoam cups at coffee bars were replaced with reusable mugs, keeping over 400,000 cups from landfills. The facility also completed projects to reduce energy and water consumption, including automated lighting, more energy efficient windows, 75 automatic faucets and 128 automatic flush toilets. It upgraded the HVAC system with a new chiller tower, a hot water tank and several hundred replaced steam traps.
- Honda - Marysville, East Liberty, Anna, and Russells Point – Honda Manufacturing has facilities in Marysville, East Liberty, Anna and Russells Point that produce motor vehicles, engines and drivetrain components. The company achieved “zero landfill waste” status in early 2011, which reduced waste sent for landfill disposal by more than 2.8 million pounds in one year. Ohio operations stopped using more than 24 million gallons of ground water last year by using a 7-acre, two-pond system to capture rainwater which is used in the facility.
- Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) - The base encompasses 8,145 acres in southwest Ohio near Dayton. It is the headquarters for the Air Force Material Command which oversees the Air Force’s worldwide logistics, as well as The Air Force Research Laboratory; Wright Research Site; Air Force Institute of Technology; WPAFB Medical Center, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center; and National Museum of the United States Air Force. The environmental branch uses a formula to address all aspects of products and services that can affect the environment. The program uses internal audits to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and internal policies. Documents are shared electronically with local employees and other Air Force installations worldwide. Each unit that handles hazardous material has a coordinator that serves as a conduit for the individual organizations; monthly collaborative meetings are held to meet new compliance challenges. The environmental branch also participates in the Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Council, comprised of senior leaders who promote environmental stewardship through the highest level.
- DRS Environmental Systems Inc. - Cincinnati - This corporation designs and manufactures integrated trailers and shelter solutions that are structurally and thermally efficient for commercial and military applications. The company also manufactures broadcast and communication systems. Several projects have been completed to reduce hazardous waste and employees are implementing laundry and recycling of rags, draining paint cans and following up with recycling. The company instituted a new foam container system used to insulate several trailers and shelters. The facility worked with suppliers and completed multiple tests to ensure quality for customers. A switch was made from 55-gallon drums to canisters, using up 100 percent of the material and sending empty canisters back for recycling, eliminating a waste stream. Employees implemented a rain intrusion test that allows recycling of the water used to perform a required rain test. The company invested in a system that contains recycled water that is filtered back into a 3,000-gallon holding tank, reducing water consumption by 72,000 gallons. The next goal is to install a rainwater capture system that will be used as back-up water for this system.
For more information about the εз program and the three levels of recognition, visit www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioE3.aspx or call (800) 329-7518.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.