NEW BREMEN – Sustainability? Crown has got it. Zero waste dumped into landfills? Crown has got that too.
Crown Equipment Corporation became a two-time recipient of the gold-level award in the Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) program on Wednesday.
The award recognized outstanding environmental stewardship at Crown’s electronics assembly plant in New Bremen, Ohio.
Ohio EPA Assistant Director Laura Factor presented the award to Crown executives on behalf of the director and said he’d have been there if it hadn’t been for the Ohio State Fair.
She said at every point along the tour they were given of Plant 7 at the New Bremen facility, there was something recommended by an employee and an improvement that was made to either reduce waste or eliminate some part of the process to create an efficiency that is benefiting the company.
One thing Factor and the executives at Crown made a point to acknowledge is that every employee is dedicated to environmental responsibility and the company wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of them.
“Crown employees develop, foster and implement these programs. Crown knows that sustainable commitment begins with our employees … you guys work in these facilities everyday, you know what works and what doesn’t work. You know better than anyone, what can be achieved if you put your mind to it in the environmental, sustainability area,” said Brian Duffy, Crown’s director of corporate environmental and manufacturing safety.
They have laminated sheets of paper hanging up throughout the plant where the employees can make suggestions for improvements.
Some of the improvements Crown has made in response to these suggestions include using re-usable plastic totes instead of cardboard boxes and using pieces of foam with divots in it instead of individual bubble wrap baggies. They have eliminated 80 percent of paper used by using dry-erase boards.
The company has also:
• Replaced a solvent-based cleaning system with a closed-loop steam system, eliminating chemical use while responsibly using and reusing water.
• Replacing the original HVAC system with new energy efficient HVAC units and a new filtration and humidity control system.
• Ongoing installation of T-5 lighting fixtures throughout the building, which is expected to reduce energy consumption by 48,672 kilowatt-hours per year when completed.
The plant also re-manufactures old parts up to a like-new condition so they can be used again.
Employees at the facility manufacture and assemble the circuit boards and control modules for Crown forklifts. The 29,000-square-foot facility is undergoing an expansion expected to double its size this year as the company continues to meet growing global demand.
More broadly, the facility’s electronics manufacturing and assembly work supports Crown’s vertical integration philosophy. While many manufacturers outsource this type of work, Crown keeps these functions in-house to enhance quality control and ensure best practices in design, manufacturing and environmental management.
Factor said Crown was one of the first to win a pollution prevention award from the EPA when the program started back in the mid-90s.
“The fact that you are continuing that same process is a reflection of the philosophy, that not just the corporate structure has, but that all of you have,” Factor said.
She said Crown doesn’t just comply with EPA standards and requirements, but they go above and beyond. They help save the environment and help save the company money too.
The company’s global headquarters is located in New Bremen, with regional headquarters in Australia, China, Germany and Singapore. Its employees number more than 12,000 worldwide. Crown operates a service and distribution network that exceeds 500 retail locations in over 80 countries. To learn more about Crown and what they do, visit crown.com.
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