One of the early successes for the Sustainable Industry Roundtable is profiled in this article in the Athens Banner Herald. Fowler Products was able to reduce their waste stream, trim disposal costs, and get an ACC Recycling Division award for their efforts!
Less waste, lower costs, new revenue and more nimble production capability. What's not to like?
Noramco dramatically reduced hazardous waste solvent disposal rates and costs at its Athens facility through an innovative reuse program that has now spread across product lines. For 2012 the pharmaceutical manufacturing facility saved $300,000 in transportation and disposal costs, and gained revenue of $65,000 with the program.
"The program has matured since 2008 and now diverts 60% of Noramco's total hazardous waste stream from our Athens facility, and 72% of our bulk solvent hazardous waste," said Cannon Mauldin, with Noramco Senior Environmental Engineer. Mauldin shared details on the program with Sustainable Industry Roundtable members at their recent quarterly meeting.
Because of the intense regulatory and security protocols involved, this achievement has not been as simple as reducing and reusing, Mauldin explained. The costs had to be neutral, and the new procedures could not interfere with production schedules. The effort began with a cooperative effort to identify a single waste solvent stream with sufficient quality for off-site beneficial reuse. Next an appropriate outlet was identified and segregation and storage capabilities were developed.
While Noramco's Environmental Health and Safety section developed the protocols for the beneficial reuse of hazardous solvents, engineers in other areas have been able to tap into the program with solvents from other production lines. Now, there are three types of toluene that feed into a single tank, and three other distinct solvents are now diverted from the waste stream, according to Mauldin. Other benefits aside from direct disposal and transportation costs include reduced loading at the Noramco's wastewater pretreatment facility and reduced air emissions. Those improvements mesh nicely with Noramco's shift to shorter production runs and increased product changeover.
Since the program's inception, Noramco Athens has avoided the disposal of 3,500 tons of hazardous waste solvent, reduced associated direct costs by more than $1.1 million and gained revenue of more than $180,000. And they've lightened their environmental footprint to boot.
Power Partners Inc.
Power Partners, Inc. began operation as Westinghouse in 1958. The 14-acre building was constructed with many energy efficient features for that time, including programmable lighting and heating/ventilation system controls linked to production schedules. Power Partners, Inc. continues that tradition of environmental consciousness. As a founding member and driving force behind the Sustainable Industry Roundtable, Power Partners has also served as a mentor to other industries seeking to reduce their environmental footprint.
The Power Partner Mission: “Partnering with suppliers, Power Partners provides value to our customers, associates and community by responsibly producing reliable, energy-efficient distribution and cooling solutions.”
Power Partner allows employees to participate on its Green Team. Since 2008, the Green Team has evolved into a cross-functional unit focused on conserving natural resources, increasing recycling and preventing pollution. The Green Team created an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System four years ago and continues to ensure our compliance to and certification of this international standard.
Power Partner’s products portfolio also supports the mission by continuing to find innovative products that are energy-efficient in the distribution and cooling markets. In 2007, Power Partners launched its line of solar water heaters for residential and commercial applications, and followed in 2009 with an industrial chiller that uses waste heat to generate cold water. The adsorption chiller (not ‘absorption’) is manufactured free from typical hazardous coolants like Freon.
Over the last several years Power Partner employees have diverted 1000 pounds of plastic wrap, 24 cubic yards of plastic bottles, 2 cubic yards of paper, and 6 bales of cardboard a month from the landfill. All metal scraps are recovered and recycled. Even switching to an automated painting process reduced water use by 5%. New landscaping using drought resistant species save even more water and ongoing upgrades to lighting and machine systems further reduce energy demand.
Power Partners has received recognition for its efforts locally and nationwide. They were awarded the Spirit of Green Award for outstanding corporate leadership from the Georgia Recycling Coalition as well as ACC’s Industry Recycler of the year award in 2006 & 2009. In 2011, Power Partners won the Green Jobs Award from the SJF Institute in New York.