Ohio EPA Announces 2021 Encouraging Environmental Excellence Winners


September 23, 2021 – Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson today recognized 15 organizations with the Agency’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) stewardship award.

“I am honored to recognize these 15 organizations with the Encouraging Environmental Excellence award,” Director Stevenson said. “Their efforts in recycling, waste-reduction processes, renewable energy programs, and sustainability programs make a lasting impact on their communities and the environment as a whole.”

Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence program recognizes businesses and organizations for completing environmentally beneficial activities and serves as an incentive for organizations to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. Applications are evaluated using environmental stewardship criteria developed by Ohio EPA. All applicants must be in compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
To obtain recognition for stewardship, an organization can work through four levels of recognition: Achievement, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All levels require a commitment to meet or exceed environmental regulatory requirements.

Platinum level honors a business or organization that expands its environmental program beyond its facility and demonstrates how its environmental stewardship efforts benefit the local community, region, or larger geographical area. This year’s Platinum Level winners are:

  • First Solar – (Perrysburg (PGT1) and Perrysburg and Walbridge (PGT2) locations) for reducing manufacturing waste generation intensity in Ohio by approximately 47 percent through efficiency improvements, recycling, and waste minimization projects; encouraging children to learn about renewable energy through hands-on activities in partnership with Imagination Station; and partnering with Clean Streams to improve water quality in the Maumee River.
  • Kenworth Truck Company for being a zero-waste facility; reusing plastic drums and wood pallets; reclaiming and reusing 387,000 gallons of solvent; recycling or eliminating the use of three million pounds of cardboard, five million pounds of wood, and more than a million pounds of metal; and energy saving by switching to LED lighting, staggering air conditioning set points, and optimizing and conducting preventative maintenance.
  • Scott’s Miracle-Gro for donating vegetables grown in company gardens to local food banks; running an onsite food composting program; educating associates on sustainability topics; installing EV charging stations; using bicycles for traveling around campus; installing environmentally friendly permeable pavement; connecting associates with environmental volunteering opportunities at nature preserves and community gardens; and diverting more than 118 tons of waste from landfills in the past six years.

To earn the gold award, a business or organization must have a comprehensive environmental stewardship program, go beyond regulatory compliance requirements, and complete environmental stewardship activities that reduce waste and improve environmental performance. This year’s Gold Level winners are:

  • AES for implementing programs designed to increase waste diversion and increase energy efficiency; diverting or reducing an estimated 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; and saving approximately 11,000 megawatt-hours of energy in the past year.
  • Honda Development and Manufacturing of America, LLC – Anna Engine Plant for sending 99 percent of manufacturing waste materials to recycling and waste-to-energy facilities; reducing carbon dioxide produced by 4 percent; continued environmental stewardship activities; and reducing electricity usage in furnaces used by die cast machines by 26 percent.
  • Honda Development and Manufacturing of America, LLC – East Liberty Auto Plant for sending 98 percent of manufacturing waste materials to recycling and waste-to-energy facilities; reducing carbon dioxide by 4 percent; replacing two old chillers with newer, more efficient units; and continued environmental stewardship activities.
  • Honda Development and Manufacturing of America, LLC – Marysville Auto Plant for sending 99 percent of manufacturing waste materials to recycling and waste-to-energy facilities; reducing carbon dioxide produced by 8 percent; installing a hydrogen fueling station to allow tow motors and forklifts to run on hydrogen fuel cells; and replacing 54 propane-powered motors with hydrogen, which reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 70 percent.
  • The Ohio State University for developing university-wide sustainability goals; installing heat recovery chillers, lab airflow optimization, lighting retrofits, steam-to-heating water conversion, and building control optimizations; recycling or reusing approximately 1,400 tons of material that is not considered standard recycling materials; diverting more than 2,100 tons of organic material from landfills; and requiring all new construction projects on campus to meet LEED building standards.

The silver level award recognizes a business or organization’s outstanding achievements in environmental stewardship. This year’s Silver Level winners are:

  • AGC Automotive Americas for participating in environmental awareness month activities; reducing waste sent to the landfill by 50 percent; performing life-cycle assessments of equipment; reducing hazardous waste by reusing 47,000 pounds of cotton rags; reclaiming 4,100 gallons of solvent to be reused; and recycling more than 20 different waste streams and diverting 96 million pounds from landfills.
  • Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. for training all employees how to properly recycle materials in the plant; encouraging ideas for environmental improvements or new programs; conducting life-cycle assessments to ensure compatibility of materials that could impact the atmosphere or wastewater; replacing lighting throughout the plant with LED lamps and motion-sensor/timed lights in key areas to save energy; and installing a steam trap monitoring system to reduce wasted energy.
  • The Huntington National Bank – Cleveland Avenue for repurposing an old retail store into a new operations center, incorporating 24 solar panels, 28 active sun-tracking skylights, 84 solar canopy panels, and 1,280 rooftop solar panels, producing 526,000 kilowatt hours annually; installing 12 EV charging station ports; installing UV-rated glass film on all windows; and eliminating Styrofoam, single-use plastic service ware, and single-use plastic bottled water in the cafeteria.
  • The Huntington National Bank – Easton Oval for retrofitting the facility to incorporate energy efficiency concepts; installing 1,152 bi-facial rooftop solar panels and reinstalling 206 Sharp panels, producing more than 602,000 kilowatt hours annually; installing 12 EV charging station ports; eliminating Styrofoam, single-use plastic service ware, and single-use plastic bottled water in the cafeteria; and reducing paper printing by 25 percent.
  • Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District for reducing pollution and improving water quality through sewage and stormwater treatment; reducing electricity usage by more than 14 million kilowatt hours by using renewable sources, including NEORD’s own renewable energy facility; reusing incinerator ash in topsoil amendment and in concrete mixtures, which resulted in an estimated 75 percent reduction in landfill waste; and a new recycling effort that diverted 480 tons of waste from landfills.
  • Weastec for using a directive called Restriction of Hazardous Substances to make their products 100 percent recyclable; implementing recycling methods to reduce impacts to landfills; and improving and upgrading existing systems to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 74 percent.

Details on award recipients from 2020 can be found on Ohio EPA’s website.

Through the E3 program, Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance helps businesses receive recognition for environmental stewardship efforts. To learn more about the E3 program and the nomination process, please visit www.epa.ohio.gov/ocapp/ohioe3 or call 1-800-329-7518.

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