2011 KPPC Environmental Sustainability Awards
Kentucky Companies Recognized for Environmental Sustainability Efforts
September 23, 2011
KPPC is proud to announce that Republic Conduit of Louisville and Sherwin-Williams of Richmond are winners of the Center's 2011 Environmental Sustainability Award. The award recognizes KPPC client companies that have demonstrated a commitment to the principles of sustainability: ensuring the social well-being not only of their company as a whole, but also their employees and the community around them; identifying opportunities and implementing environment-related improvements to their facility; and enhancing economic outcomes related to savings from environmental improvements.
Both companies receiving the award this year have well-developed programs and teams, and their recent activities have spanned the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. In addition, they each signed the Kentucky Save Energy Now (KY SEN) pledge in 2010, committing to reducing energy use at their facilities by 2.5 percent per year for 10 years.
Republic Conduit - a Tenaris Company
Republic Conduit, a division of Tenaris Group, is the leading manufacturer of steel electrical conduit in the United States. The manufacturing facility in Louisville, Kentucky, was first commissioned in 2005, and beginning in 2008, the company made waste and energy reduction projects a priority, with over 60 percent of the corporate capital budget dedicated to environmental projects for the past several years.
Waste reduction projects include improvements to the waste water treatment system, recycling all metal chips and shavings from the manufacturing process, reuse of undamaged wooden pallets and reuse of machine cutting fluid.
Natural gas reduction projects implemented over the past 12 months have reduced energy usage by approximately 35 percent. Electric usage reduction projects are on-going, with significant progress being made with shut-down procedures implemented for the compressed air, cooling tower and process scrubber fans. Those three energy reduction projects alone resulted in an approximate 10 percent reduction in annual electric usage, despite higher production volumes at the facility.
A dedicated cross-functional energy team meets monthly to track and update the status of existing environmental projects. The team acts as a point of contact and incubator for new ideas on energy and waste reduction. The facility also benefits from the strong support of management from the Tenaris Group, which has a long history of environmental stewardship at its companies around the world.
Sherwin-Williams Richmond Plant
Sherwin-Williams is one of the world's leading companies engaged in the manufacture, distribution and sale of coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial and retail customers. The Richmond, Kentucky plant has operated since 1976, and has three buildings on a 90-acre campus. The facility is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified and has more than 350 employees.
With a strong commitment from management and a participative team structure, the Sherwin-Williams Richmond Plant has implemented a very successful energy management program and has generated significant efficiency improvements and cost reductions, reducing energy consumption by more than 30 percent since 2006. The facility is a model for effective energy efficiency efforts and is a nationally-recognized leader in implementation. The Richmond Plant’s success has become a driving force for improving energy efficiency throughout the Sherwin-Williams corporation.
Sustainability efforts at the plant began in earnest five years ago, gaining momentum as projects were implemented and greater cost savings were realized. Over time, the culture of the plant shifted and sustainability efforts became an accepted part of operating the facility, with capital investment in sustainability projects becoming part of the budget. As an additional benefit, the substantial energy team successes helped improve employee morale and engagement at the site. Some of the implemented projects have involved waste heat, compressed air, boiler room heat, vents off condensate pumps and lighting. Currently, the energy team at the Richmond Plant continues to implement dozens of open energy projects and achieve energy use reduction and cost savings. Through their experience, they have seen that a 40 to 50 percent improvement is possible.
This is the third year that KPPC has presented the Environmental Sustainability Awards in conjunction with national Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, the third week of September.