Greener Package Award

J.L. Clark Clean Manufacturing Award


J.L. Clark is a 104 year old manufacturing company that produces decorated metal tins and decorated plastic containers to major industries and customers. We formed an aggressive Green/Sustainability Team that looked at each process in our facility and determined the scope of changes required. The major changes involved the following: Installing a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer which has a 99+% VOC destruction rate and reduced our gas usage by 18-20% each year. Our railcar program saved 83.2 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year and reduced 2,240 gaylords of corrugated boxes from having to be recycled per year. All water cooled air compressors are now on closed loop system which reduced our water usage by 8.1 million gallons of water per year. Other changes included downweighting of metal used in containers, waste prevention/recycling of waste, and lighting projects. We have won the Community Green Sustainable Awards for a Large Business in 2008 and the Continuing Excellence Award in 2009.

Motivation for Change

Reduce the potential for exposure to our employees and environment--we take our responsibility to the community and our environment seriously.

Judge's Comments
Great energy reduction program. Converting trucking to rail is positive.

Clean Production

The Litho department is in a permanent total enclosure (PTE). That air, plus all of the oven exhaust air goes into the RTO where the VOCs are destroyed at a 99+% reduction rate. Again, our UV printing process has no VOCs. As each piece of metal produced at J.L. Clark goes through our Litho department and our metal sales for 2008 were $57.7 million. The impact of the combination of the RTO and UV printing eliminates VOC destruction by virtually 100%. br/> Space Heaters: Due to the age of our facility, J.L. Clark has areas that require supplement space heating. This is achieved via ceiling hung space heaters. The sodium potassium metal contained in actuator valves on these heaters were removed and properly disposed of off-site. The sodium potassium metal was a highly explosive hydraulic fluid in these valves.

Consolidation of Hazardous Substances: We have consolidated all hazardous substances to one clearly marked specified area to reduce the potential of exposure to our employees.
The remarkable statement would be in one year J.L. Clark documented a diversion of 145 tons of waste from our landfills. As our Metals manufacturing facilty produces structures made of steel, the most recycled material in the world, and our Plastic Injection Molding facility; plastic, we recycle each piece of scrap. This is either done via our Plastics Regrind Program or through our recycling of each scrap of left over in our manufacturing process. We recycle oil, strapping, banding, solvents, cardboard, wood, etc. Another aggressive program was to gather all unwanted magazines and junk mail. We sent an e-mail to them letting them know of our Green/Sustainable Mission, asked them to remove us from their mailing list and thanked them for helping our environment. This greatly reduced the amount of incoming unwanted magazines and junk mail. As new magazines come in or employees depart, this is an ongoing program.

Community Benefit

Plastics Facility: In our compressor room curbing was installed around the floor drain to prevent accidental discharges to the sanitary sewer. Essentially this serves to reduce the impact to waste water treatments of the local municipality.

Metals Facility: In our Litho Department the trench drain to the sanitary sewer has been sealed to prevent discharges to the local waste water treatment plant whereby reducing the potential impact of unintended releases to the local waste water treatment plant.

Lab Chemicals: J.L. Clark removed and properly disposed of lab chemicals that were no longer being used or intended for use.

Material Health

Napthalene Reduction: The EPA has started to focus on the hazards of naphthalene and the reduction of its use. The reduction of 145 gallons with just one customer is only a start for J.L. Clark. Educating our customers, requesting a change to their specifications in coatings and doing trials and test for them is an ongoing process for us. Reducing 50% of our use of virgin solvents which contain naphthalene to recycled solvents has also made an impact.

Resource & Energy Optimization

Our Railcar Program netted the largest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We saved 83.2 tons in 2008. J.L. Clark now ships resin via our Railcar Program versus trucking the resin in as we did previously. Each piece of plastic produced at J.L. Clark requires resin in the process. In 2008 - 290,738,814 units were produced. The change in the packing case for a major customer also reduced CO2 emissions equivalent to removing 18 eighteen wheelers and 2 cars from the roads each year. This is due to being able to put more parts in each box and more boxes in each truck whereby reducing the amount of trucks needed to ship our product to the customer. Plastic Re-Grind Program: Six gaylords of unground plastic scarp equals one gaylord of re-grind. As one truck hold 40 gaylords; one truck of re-grind equals six trucks of unground plastic parts. In 2008 this eliminated 10 trucks from hauling plastic re-grind to our scrap buyer.

Gas reduction 18-20% from RTO facility wide. Electricity reduction from our Lighting Project saved 12-15% of our overall electricity use.

In 2008 J.L. Clark had two programs which had recordable reductions in water usage. We made put all of our air compressors on a closed loop system. These water cooled air compressors are used to generate air to run our production equipment. Instead of running domestic water straight into our compressors and out to the Sanitary District we now have a closed loop water system that takes where the water is chilled and re-used. This saved 8.1 million gallons per water in 2008. The second reduction was our Decorating Process Water Filter System. The wash water on the printers for cleaning up the printers now has a closed loop system which means we do not dump the water down the drain, we clan and re-use. This program saved 3,855 gallons of water in 2008. There were smaller projects such as removing all commercial bottled water systems and installing a filtering system to the faucets.

Water Circulation: We have gone from a water cooled compressors to closed loop and air cooled compressors. This serves to reduce the amount of water consumed as well as the amount of water discharged by the facility.

Categories: Facility/Process Transport Greener Package Award Winner