LaGrange, Ill.-based Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. said Monday it has received the the Illinois Governor's Continuous Improvement Award, marking the fourth time it has been honored for its significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy.
EMD said the company naturally generates waste as a result of its various manufacturing and rebuilding operations. But through its efforts in the most recent award year, the company was able to further decrease its total annual waste output by 13%.
"The sustainability programs and activities that you have undertaken reflect your strong commitment to the well-being of your clients, employees and neighbors," said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. EMD's actions, he said, "certainly serve as an example for others to follow."EMD said careful segregation led to a 7% reduction in the facility's landfilled industrial waste. Additional efforts included improving ISO14001 procedures, implementing visual control enhancements, and continuing employee education. Annual water usage was also decreased by 9%, an achievement accomplished by replacing a leaking cooling tower, and changing a fuel oil cooling system from once-through potable water to a recycling cooling tower arrangement. The EMD machining operations reduced cutting fluid disposal by 110,830 gallons, or more than 78%, by completely revamping equipment cleanout schedules, resulting in fewer emergency cleanouts.
As well, the old high-pressure sodium and self-ballasted mercury lamps previously used in the engine rebuild area were replaced with highly efficient T5HO fluorescent lighting. The change saved 134,351 kilowatt-hours of energy, and eliminated 201,500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, while saving $15,800 electrical expense annually and earning a $12,000 "Smart Ideas" rebate from utility company Commonwealth Edison, the company said. An additional 33,000 kilowatt-hours and 42 billion BTUs of natural gas were saved through other conservation projects, doing away with another 5.15 millionpounds of carbon dioxide emissions.