Extended Producer Responsibility gaining momentum

Last week, the Product Stewardship Institute www.productstewardship.us announced that it was awarded $180,000 by the Connecticut Dept. of Energy and the Environment (DEEP) www.ct.gov/deep to “develop strategies that will guide the future of product stewardship and producer responsibility in Connecticut and the nation.” Continue reading

Steelcase as Environmental Leader

One core value that has remained constant throughout environmental leader Steelcase’s www.steelcase.com century-long existence is its commitment to protecting the environment. The manufacturer’s environmental leadership vision is: “To become more environmentally effective tomorrow than we are today by conserving resources, preventing pollution, achieving sustainability, exceeding compliance obligations, and nurturing environmental consciousness in our people.”

As a manifestation of that commitment, the company set goals and implemented

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How power metering empowers Toyota

Georgetown, Ky., just a horse’s trot north of Lexington, is horse country. Down nearly any country road, the land is crisscrossed with white horse-fenced bluegrass meadow after white horse-fenced bluegrass meadow. Many of the Kentucky Derby and Lexington Keeneland race horses are stabled here. The thunderous pounding of their hooves can almost be felt underfoot. Continue reading

Efficiency is power

The Toyota Production System (TPS) in action is a thing to behold. While touring Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc. www.toyotageorgetown.com to research the cover story, “How power metering empowers Toyota” (p. 18), I had the opportunity to witness the assembly of a Toyota vehicle, from steel coil to the lights-on, horn-beeped, systems-checked finished product. An entire car is assembled in 20 hours. Two vehicles roll off the lines every operational minute. Continue reading

Manufacturing energy use decline is an upper

It’s good to get good news. And from a green manufacturing perspective, news doesn’t get much better than the recent news that the manufacturing sector’s energy use and energy intensity has gone down since 2002.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Total energy consumption in the manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010.

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President: I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy

In his Jan. 24 State of the Union address, Pres. Obama pointed to “a future where we’re in control of our own energy,” and said he refuses to back down from supporting clean, green energy. “Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy.

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Logjams and energy jams opportunities in disguise

This issue’s cover story features the nation’s largest window manufacturer and a great American company, Andersen Corp. (see “Biomass gets famous window-maker out of a logjam”).

The manufacturer was borne of a logjam—literally. In 1903 a mileslong logjam occurred on the St. Croix River that deadlocked all flow of the thousands of logs felled from the forests nearby that were on their way to lumber mills to become the building materials of future homes and businesses. The logjam was immovable for weeks as loggers kept adding more logs to the river and expecting the river’s flow alone to unwedge the increasingly populated river.

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