- Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
- EMS Basic Information
- EMS Training
- EMS Success Stories
- Waste Management Related Initiatives
Acushnet Rubber Company (Doing Business as Precix) Success Story
Utilizing the structure and tools of an Environmental Management System enabled Precix to reduce their consumption of lead and completely eliminate the use of two suspected carcinogens from their production processes. Precix, a manufacturer of elastomeric products for automotive, aerospace and chemical processing industries, used the framework of the EMS to analyze their processes and environmental impacts. In doing so, Precix reduced waste, saved money, and minimized potential human and environmental exposures.
As part of their EMS activities, the company identified modifications in production and materials that could eliminate the use of some hazardous chemicals. For example, trichloroethylene was identified as a significant environmental impact because of its potential impact on human health as a suspected carcinogen and its expensive hazardous waste disposal costs. In 1995, the company used 47,000 pounds of trichloroethylene and emitted 19,000 pounds. By convincing suppliers to change the oil they used in part stamping, Precix was able to modify their operations and quit using trichloroethylene completely. The company saved approximately $120,000 annually, which included the costs of the chemical, labor, handling, equipment and waste disposal.
Focusing on the EMS concept of continual improvement, Precix continued to look for ways to minimize the negative effects of their manufacturing activities on human health and the environment. They reduced their lead consumption, an EPA priority chemical, by 92 percent and quit using an OSHA suspected carcinogen, methylene chloride. Precix's lead consumption decreased from 2,184 pounds in 1999 to 164 pounds in 2003. Furthermore, Precix replaced 30,000 pounds of methylene chloride used to clean production vessels with an organic solvent, dibasic ester. Thus the same process that had previously resulted in 9 tons of methylene chloride emissions annually, produced only 200 pounds of air emissions from dibasic ester.
Through the EMS Precix identified and reduced the amount of hazardous materials used and generated, thereby allowing the company to switch from being a large quantity generator of hazardous waste to a small quantity generator, saving the company approximately $4,800 annually. Now the company assesses a new material's cost, toxicity, and cost of disposal before it is incorporated into a manufacturing process.