CertainTeed and Warden Electric develop holistic sustainability effort
Conversion of power plant to biomass enables the two companies to work together on a three-pronged sustainability project involving green fuel production and materials recycling.
When L'Anse, MI-based Warden Electric Company recentlybought an existing power plant and converted it from coal, oil, and natural gasfuel to a biomass-powered plant, management at both the power company andCertainTeed saw an opportunity to leverage their close proximity and resourcesto benefit each other and the environment.
The partnership between CertainTeed and Warden involves three elements:
- convertingWarden's plant to green biomass fuel was the first in a string of environmentalwins for both companies;
- excesssteam generated at the power plant is channeled to CertainTeed for use inits production of mineral fiber ceiling tiles, displacing the use ofnatural gas, previously used to run the product dryers; and
- CertainTeedprovides scrap generated in its production process to the power plant tobe burned for additional green biomass input.
"The materials we burn for green energy today -- 400 tons per
day --used to go to landfills. Today they are diverted from landfills to
produce additional green energy resources for public use," says Mike Reid,
general manager/chief operating officer, L'Anse Warden Electric Power.
In addition to the Warden relationship, CertainTeed also has a number of otherenvironmental initiatives in play in L'Anse. For instance, CertainTeed divertsinert sludge from being sent to landfills by filtering it through threesettling ponds. Clean water filtered through the settling ponds is used toirrigate an approximately 120-acre spray field. The residual organic matterthat settles in the ponds is used as fertilizer for farming operations. In2008, more than 7,600 tons of inert material was converted for use asfertilizer.
CertainTeed also uses recycled content in product manufacturing and offers anend-of-life ceiling tile recycling program. Old panels are transported to themanufacturing plant where they are mixed with water, broken down into slurryand used to supplement virgin material in the manufacturing of new ceilingproducts.
As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, CertainTeed Ceilings is considereda leader in the effort to provide building materials that promote sustainabledesign. Comprised of high recycled content, CertainTeed ceiling products helpcontribute points toward LEED certification.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey