NEW KNOXVILLE — When you think of an environmentally friendly company, you might not think of a factory making electric motors and parts for forklifts.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency does, though. And the government agency thinks so highly of Crown Equipment’s New Knoxville plant that it recognized it with its first-ever gold-level Encouraging Environmental Excellence Award on Tuesday to mark Earth Day.
“This facility shows that being environmentally responsible is good for the economy and part of being a good corporate citizen,” said Craig Butler, Ohio EPA director.
The program recognizes businesses for completing environmentally beneficial activities. The gold level recognizes businesses that exceed environmental requirements. Crown’s New Knoxville plant has been a zero-landfill facility since 2009. It also made energy efficiency improvements, such as compressed air use reductions, re-engineering blow off guns, upgrading lights and turning off equipment when not in use.
The company also replaced five hydraulic/electric injection mold machines with four energy-efficient injection molding machines. Crown also committed to replacing all of its existing injection molding machines with more energy-efficient models through 2015 and reduced water usage by updating restrooms and sinks.
“In a conscious effort to improve the environment and benefit our customers, Crown has spent countless hours exploring and implementing conservation-minded practices, the foremost of which are the design, engineering and manufacturing of efficient, long-lasting lift trucks,” said Jim Dicke III, president of Crown Equipment.
Ohio EPA and Crown officials hoisted a white flag with the Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence on it to mark the occasion Tuesday.
Dicke also said the company improved its forklift energy efficiency, recycled materials and preserved land, with more than 5 million square feet of brownfield development worldwide.
“Today’s honor is further proof that ‘environmental protection’ and ‘sustainability’ and ‘green’ are not just words at Crown Equipment,” Dicke said. “Rather, they are the way we do business.”
Butler added, “We hope other Ohio businesses and organizations will follow Crown’s lead and go above and beyond the requirements of environmental regulations to make Ohio a better place to live and work.”