Eaton Corp. on Friday, June 4, announced some of the contributions its employees worldwide made to improve the environment in recognition of World Environment Day, observed on Saturday, June 5. Employees in more than 50 Eaton locations representing Brazil, Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, the United Kingdom and the United States implemented initiatives to sustain their communities and the environment.
“As Eaton employees celebrate World Environment Day, we thank them and appreciate their initiatives to reduce their environmental footprints,” says Joseph L. Wolfsberger, senior vice president of environment, health and safety. “Protecting and improving the environment are among Eaton’s highest priorities as a company, and our employees have gone above and beyond compliance.”
Individual facilities around the world conserved energy and water through a series of improvements to daily operations:
• In Brazil and the Dominican Republic, where the climate allows, Eaton plants are collecting and recycling rainwater for use in the facilities. Another initiative is reusing condensed water from air-conditioning units to water grass and plants in the yards. Eaton’s plant in Gummersbach, Germany, is using recycled water to cool machines.
• To save energy, Eaton facilities across the world from Los Angeles to the Netherlands are replacing conventional lightning with LED lighting and installing motion sensors in traffic areas. Employees are taking special care to make sure windows are sealed properly and laminated with ultraviolet coatings to prevent energy loss.
• Eaton employees are responsible for planting hundreds of trees and acres of grass and wildflowers to improve the environment and promote wildlife habitat across the globe from Nebraska to India. The Airdrie plant in Alberta, Canada, is building a garden on its property to grow vegetables, which it donates to the local food bank.
• Eaton’s teams also are volunteering in their local communities. Many teams, along with family and friends, are participating in Adopt-a-Highway programs to help clean up America’s highways. Other teams are cleaning up the beaches and rivers in their communities. Employees at the Marshall Proving Grounds in Michigan taught area students the importance of environmental conservation during the local Earth Day Festival. The Reddings Lane facility in Birmingham, U.K. donated money and time to renovate the landscape and garden at the local library.
• Teams are using Eaton’s Intranet to discuss initiatives and learn more about reducing their environmental footprints. The Hengelo facility in the Netherlands held a contest asking employees to present their best ideas of ways to reduce waste. The facility intends to implement the winning ideas: solar cells to harvest energy to assist in powering the facility, energy-efficient lighting and a new recycling procedure.
• Eaton facilities are exceeding expectations when it comes to recycling. Programs to recycle paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard have been in place, but Eaton plants now are making an extra effort to recycle cell phones and other electronics, CDs, batteries, ink cartridges and wood. The Shenandoah plant in Iowa has partnered with Northwest Missouri State University to recycle all of the plant’s wood waste, which will be used to fuel the school’s boiler.
• In an effort to make the cafeteria more eco-friendly, the company’s World Headquarters in Cleveland installed a new sorting station to separate recyclable materials from trash and purchased reusable plastic trays to reduce waste. Other locations have replaced all cafeteria containers and utensils with supplies made of biodegradable materials. The Deerfield Beach facility in Florida is sending all food waste and coffee grounds to an organic composting center to be recycled. Similarly, the Fayetteville plant in North Carolina is collecting cooking oils that are then recycled by a local facility that produces animal food.
• Management of Eaton’s Sârbi facility in Romania declared June 5 “bike day.” No personal or company cars will be allowed on the grounds. Employees will walk, bike or use public transportation to get to work to reduce emissions.
“All of these initiatives support the mission of World Environment Day – to be the biggest, most widely celebrated, global day for positive, environmental action,” Wolfsberger says.