Crown Equipment has achieved zero landfill status at its New Knoxville, Ohio, facility, recycling 96 percent of its waste, with the remaining 4 percent (less than 1 ton per month) converted into energy at a waste-to-energy facility, according to the company’s 2009 ecologic report (PDF), reports Reliable Plant.
The heart of the forklift manufacturer’s sustainable manufacturing efforts is its vertically-integrated production through which the company makes 85 percent of its own components to reduce the company’s overall environmental footprint.
Crown has also reduced its water consumption by 35,000 gallons and electricity use by 17,000 kWh year over year thanks to new dry filter technology. In addition, the adoption of water-based paints reduced the amount of hazardous air pollution by 11 tons year over year, and since shifting to non-solvent-based cleaning solutions, air emissions have been reduced by 48,000 lbs. per year.
The company also has eliminated 70,000 lbs. of VOCs and hazardous waste in 2009 by using a powder coating paint system.
In 2009, Crown also established EPA SmartWay transport partnerships, incorporated recycling symbols on lift truck parts, implemented the reuse of hydraulic oil used in the test assembly process, increased recycling efforts to include additional plastic material, and installed and upgraded controls on six air make-up units, which reduces natural gas consumption.
Taking manufacturing sustainability one step further, Crown also offers its Encore brand of remanufactured lift trucks as well as remanufactured components from the company’s reNEWed parts program. The company remanufactured more than 17,000 reNEWed motors and drive units in 2009.
Other environmental programs include research and testing of fuel cell technology for forklifts, and the material handling industry’s first Fuel Cell Qualification program for its line of electric forklifts.
Crown recently supplied Wegmans Foods Markets with 50 fuel-cell powered pallet trucks and nine stand-up forklifts through Lift Inc.
The company also developed multiple technologies to help save waste and fuel in materials handling. These include the e-GEN Braking Systems for its electric forklifts and eSmart Accurate Fuel Tracking for the Crown C-5 Series internal combustion forklift.
Over the past 10 years, Crown has retrofitted more than one million square feet of brownfield facility space into new buildings for manufacturing and business operations.
In 2010, the company plans to expand its returnable packaging program, evaluate the use of renewable power including the use of wind power at its New Bremen, Ohio manufacturing plant, and increase recycling in its manufacturing processes.
The New Bremen manufacturing facilities also feature computer-controlled heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to reduce facility-wide energy use.