Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company, Lexington, Ky., was presented the Environmental Award by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) during closing night ceremonies at the association’s annual conference, April 17 to 21, at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, Austin, Texas. As part of its commitment to “go green with increased awareness and visibility for environmental issues,” SC&RA instituted the award in 2011 to recognize a member company that has made outstanding contributions to environmental protection.
Link-Belt has made a significant, long-term commitment to the environment. The company has collected extensive data, integrated widespread employee involvement and established a formal environmental management system. All of these efforts culminated in ISO 14001 certification in October 2011. The International Organization for Standardization issues this certification as a framework to assist organizations in developing their own environmental management system. ISO 14001 is set up so that it can be integrated with other management functions and assists companies in meeting their environmental and economic goals.
“The environmental management system followed by Link-Belt applies to any and all contractors that work at this company’s facility,” noted SC&RA President David Lowry before presenting the award to Pat Collins, Link-Belt’s Lattice Cranes marketing manager. “They must comply with all set policies and practices and fully communicate these policies to their employees. Failure to comply can lead to termination of their contract.”
Long before receiving ISO 14001 certification, Link-Belt made a conscious decision to protect the environment. In the late 1980s, Link-Belt began painting the cranes it manufactured with low volatile organic compound (VOC) paint to minimize ozone pollution. More recently, the company adopted low hazardous air pollutants (HAP) paint.
It joined the EPA Wastewise program, placed a recycling receptacle at every workspace, added low wattage lights that automatically turn on but only when needed, and painted the factory walls and ceiling white to better disseminate the light. Additionally, Link-Belt clarified its commitment to conservation of resources and the reduction, reuse and riddance of waste by setting very immediate and aggressive recycling and reuse goals well into the future.
The company has made great strides in reducing vehicle emissions from its supply chain by implementing a lean manufacturing process that has dramatically reduced the number of truckloads of metal and other components moving in and out of the facility. Additionally, Link-Belt recently established a goal to become a zero landfill facility. Last year alone, Link-Belt recycled 88 percent of all industrial refuse it produced — just over 4.9 million pounds.
Link-Belt also committed to lowering energy consumption and its carbon footprint from natural gas and electricity by two percent per year. Heat generated from paint ovens, air compressors and filtered shot blast air is ducted back into the plant, where it is circulated by large industrial fans to reduce the need for ambient heating. Link-Belt surpassed its 2011 goal of 20,937 tons of released carbon dioxide by 420 tons.
The aggressive environmental goals are driven by strategic initiatives from Link-Belt’s parent company, Tokyo, Japan-based Sumitomo Heavy Industries.
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