Green conference draws diverse cross-section of sustainable manufacturers together

Patrick White and Michael Keefe

Michael Keefe (right) shares details of Chrysler’s heat recovery systems with Patrick White of Caterpillar at the Sustainable Manufacturer and Water 2.0 Conference & Exhibits.

You could almost feel the crowdsourcing, bask in the commingling, and hear the “ah-has” at the inaugural Sustainable Manufacturer and Water 2.0 Conference & Exhibits. Sustainable manufacturers of all sizes and from industry segments as diverse as food, lift trucks, automotive, heavy equipment, lighting, packaging, aerospace, energy, home hardware, precision components, chemicals, doors, containers, software, furniture, lubricants, and landscaping came together to hear from experts, share best practices, and converse with each other. Continue reading

Extended Producer Responsibility gaining momentum

Last week, the Product Stewardship Institute announced that it was awarded $180,000 by the Connecticut Dept. of Energy and the Environment (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 century-long existence is its commitment to protecting the environment. The manufacturer’s environmental leadership vision is: “To become more environmentally effective Continue reading

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. 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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Understanding LEED® Certification: Part III

Editor’s Note: This Part III is the first half of an article covering energy and atmosphere.

The world’s energy crisis may be the single largest issue of our time. From the tangible effects of climate change to the realities of fossil fuel resource depletion, the way we generate energy is more important than ever. Continue reading