Felling Trailers Inc picked up the 2018 Green Manufacturing Award at the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers Convention & Trade Show this year.
NATM’s Green Manufacturing Award was established to recognize manufacturers who have made significant contributions toward improving their environmental impact in their manufacturing processes and facilities.
Felling has worked for years to reduce its environmental footprint by establishing initiatives to maximize energy efficiency and minimize waste, most recently by achieving ISO 9001:2015 Certification for its quality management system.
The company also took steps to maximize energy usage by upgrading to T8 fluorescent bulbs.
“The benefits of the T8 greatly outweigh the transition cost from the metal halide (bulbs),” said Paul Radjenovich, Felling’s vice president of operations.
The T8 fixtures use a fourth of the electricity of the previous metal halide fixtures, have 30-percent less light loss, and provide a life expectancy that’s 40 times greater. The T8 also provides a higher color rendering index (CRI) of 85, compared to the 65-70 that the metal halide bulb provides.
Felling also implemented a partnership with Stericycle, a waste management solution provider, whose services handle pick-up and proper disposal of liquid paint waste, fluorescent light bulbs, metal halide bulbs and oil-absorbent rags to ensure environmental safeguarding, protection of people and organizational compliance.
In one year, nearly 8,000 gallons of paint waste was reused as fuel in cement kilns, 165 gallons of paint waste was considered waste-to-energy and 500 light bulbs were recycled.
The company also invested in ventilation systems that capture welding fumes and gases at their source and remove them from the worker’s breathing zones, improving air quality, employee comfort, safety and performance.
The captured air is then filtered through a high-efficiency canister filter with a 99.9-percent efficiency rate, exceeding OSHA requirements.
“Our work environment has improved dramatically over the years, not only the air quality but lighting and temperature control as well,” said Lyle Mader, special projects coordinator at Felling Trailers. “The air exchangers allow us to maintain a higher room temperature in the winter by not sucking out a majority of the heat with the dirty air.”
Along with the award, Felling received a cash gift that goes to a charitable organzition of the recipient’s choosing. Felling selected mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which provides financial assistance to qualified individuals with a desire to learn a skill that is in demand, bringing much needed support to the widening skills gap in manufacturing.
“The skills gap is real, and we believe much of that widening gap has to do with the perception that a four-year degree is the “best” option for most students. Meanwhile, student debt from four-year degrees is rising, and many of our kids are missing out on, or worse, being discouraged from pursuing in-demand careers in the trades,” said Felling President and CEO Brenda Felling Jennissen. “As an industry and company who relies heavily on the skills that result from trade schools, Felling Trailers, Inc. proudly selected mikeroweWORKS Foundation to receive our Green Award donation. We are grateful to the other vendors who contributed to this cause as well.”
This year PPG, Optronics International, LaVanture Products Company, The Carlstar Group, Dexter Axle, Marsh & McLennan Agency and Kenda/Americana Tire & Wheel sponsored this award bringing the total donation to $8,000.