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No-Sag wins Environmental Excellence award

Statement issued Thursday by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management:

Furniture accessory manufacturer No-Sag Products of Kendallville has been honored with a 2011 Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence during a presentation held today at the Lilly Conference Center in Indianapolis.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner (IDEM) Thomas Easterly presented the award in the category of Recycling and Reuse to Branch Manager Russ Dunton and Jason Maneke during the 19th annual Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts, Inc. conference and exposition.

Since setting its first voluntary goals in 2006, No-Sag has made significant progress in reducing, reusing and recycling. As it strives toward its ultimate goal of being a zero-waste facility, the company has made many achievements in conservation, continual improvement and environmental stewardship, including:

• Reducing by 75 percent the frequency of trash pickups;

• Replacing existing light bulbs with more energy efficient T8 bulbs;

• Re-sizing the tempering oven to reduce gas usage;

• Reusing furniture stretch wrap rolls and caps;

• Color-coordinating special sized pallets and setting up a return/reuse program with top customers;

• Donating wood shavings for use as animal bedding;

• Donating money made from recycling aluminum cans to Habitat for Humanity;

• Donating empty clip reels to local schools’ archery teams to use as arrow quivers; and,

• Positively impacting employees, who are recycling more at home.

“No-Sag Products’ commitment to environmental innovation and improvement is commendable,” said Commissioner Easterly. “They have taken significant efforts to reduce their environmental footprint.”

Dunton explained that “waste minimization is a form of resource conservation and an integral part of our environmental strategy. Tactics employed must maximize cost-effectiveness and timeliness, while insuring the safety of personnel. Financial benefits are multi-tiered and manifest themselves in ways not always apparent at first glance.”

“As we continue to look for ways to extend our efforts, we often find that employees supply the most creative and effective ways to leverage benefits,” Dunton said. “The pride and ownership generated when their ideas are implemented yields value and buy-in that sustain the original efforts and are self-perpetuating. While we have found many financial incentives and benefits through our recycling efforts, we contend that the program at its core is well-received by manufacturing and society as a whole. We believe this program offers advantages to those organizations that embrace green practices and gains favor with like-minded originations and individuals.”

Other award recipients include the Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant Program and the City of Hobart, the School City of Hobart, and the Lake County Solid Waste Management District in the Outreach or Education category; the city of Muncie and Muncie Sanitary District in the Greening the Government Category; and Purdue University, Physical Facilities in the Recycling and Reuse category.

Initiated in 1994, the Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence awards program is open to all Indiana facilities, state and local units of government, individuals, and technical assistance organizations that implement exemplary environmental projects with measurable results. A review committee consisting of representatives from industry, environmental organizations, education, and government evaluate each Governor’s Awards application, considering how each project reflects and advances environmental excellence, economic prosperity, and leadership commitment to these improvements.

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