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On September 18, against the backdrop of beautiful Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler presented 10 Ohio organizations with the agency’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Awards. Ohio EPA’s E3 Awards program recognizes businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in the Buckeye State for going above and beyond to demonstrate environmental excellence. “These organizations are leaders in environmental stewardship. Their activities are conserving energy and water, and keeping reusable materials out of landfills, thereby, improving Ohio’s water and air quality. At the same time, these activities are reducing long term operating costs, proving that good environmental policy is good economic policy,” Director Butler said.

Over the past year, a team in the Agency’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) has worked to improve the E3 program to streamline our review process and expand the eligibility criteria so that we can recognize a wider range of organizations and stewardship activities. In addition, the team is set up to work in partnership with any organization interested in participating in the program, providing guidance through the application process. These improvements have helped increase participation in the program to a total of 41 award winners to date, and we expect this number to increase significantly over the next several years.

The E3 program provides three recognition levels: Achievement, Silver and Gold. Silver recipients demonstrate a commitment to exceed regulatory compliance obligations and have exceptional achievements in environmental stewardship. Gold recipients exceed regulatory compliance obligations and commit to long-term achievements in environmental stewardship.  Following are the recipients of the 2015 E3 Awards.

Six organizations were recognized for both E3 Silver and Gold:

TimkenSteel’s Water Treatment Plant, Canton - TimkenSteel’s water treatment plant receives, cleans and returns wastewater from the Harrison, Gambrinus and Faircrest plants. Now using an alternative to their water treatment coagulant, chemical use is down 90 percent or 777,000 pounds per year. Water treatment solids and dryer filter cake have been reduced by more than two million pounds annually. 

University Hospital, Cleveland - University Hospitals’ Case Medical Center (UHCMC) has created a sustainability department, council and committees. The organization’s annual recycling volume has increased by 270 percent and recycling costs are down 46 percent – all over a four year span. By donating unused equipment and medical supplies for humanitarian relief, 38,000 pounds of waste is no longer directed to landfills.

GOJO Industries, Cuyahoga Falls – Between 2010 and 2013, GOJO reduced water usage by 40 percent, solid waste by 36 percent and greenhouse emissions by 46 percent. In 2013, by eliminating more than 9,000 pounds of hazardous wastes, the company changed its status from large to small quantity generator.

CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. – Northwest Ohio Trans-Shipment Terminal, North Baltimore - The terminal – the first of its kind in the world – operates technologies of green design including ultra-efficient wide-span electric cranes that lower emissions, optical scanners that reduce truck idling times, technologies which automatically track railcars and remote switches that increase operational efficiency.

Industry Products Company, Piqua - In 2012-2013, the company recycled 70 percent of its waste, even incorporating some of its recycled materials into new products. Rewiring buildings and replacing lights saved IPC 36 percent in energy use, even as the business grew. Monitoring propane lift truck emissions reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) by 122 tons.

Ford Sharonville Transmission Plant, Sharonville - The Ford Sharonville Transmission Plant is reclaiming 45,000 gallons of machining oils annually for direct reuse. The reduced purchases of new machining oils resulted in an annual estimated cost savings of $540,000. Reuse of the oil and recycling of swarf (machining mud product) has diverted 600 tons of waste from landfills and saved an additional $20,000 annually.

The two organizations were recognized for E3 Gold:                     

Cleveland Indians, Cleveland - In 2007, the Indians became the first American League team to install solar panels at their home ballpark (forty-two panels generate 15,000 kWh of energy per year). In 2014 the Indians recycled 35 tons of aluminum and plastic, 63 tons of paper, and 137 tons of cardboard. Last year, the organization composted 86 tons of food scraps through an anaerobic digestion system which creates methane gas that is sold to a local power company. Leftover product can be used as a natural fertilizer for fields in Northeast Ohio. In addition, last year 14,550 pounds of fry oil was recycled and converted to biofuel and 5,918 pounds of food was donated to a local food bank. 

ID Images LLC, Brunswick - Through aggressive programs to minimize waste, ID Images increased the use of recyclable materials and reduced the company’s landfill trash by 37 percent. By minimizing the paper width needed to convert their products, and using an industrial shredder that converts waste material into packing for finished products, ID Images reduces costs from purchasing packing materials.

The two organizations were recognized for E3 Silver:             

GKN Driveline, Bowling Green - Through process modification, GKN generates no hazardous waste at the site and aims to become a zero waste facility (currently achieving a recycling rate of 99 percent). The company reduced coolant waste in its machining process by separating contaminated coolant and metal chips more efficiently. By recycling coolant, less water is both used and discharged, and GKN has lower disposal costs.

Melink, Milford – Melink Corp. provides energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for commercial and institutional building industries. Melink constructed new headquarters that are certified gold for new construction under Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council. Highlights include: a geothermal heat pump, solar thermal system, solar photovoltaic systems, wind turbine, battery storage system, lighting efficiencies, automatic lighting systems, building insulation improvements, hybrid electric fleet vehicles and vehicle plug-in stations. The estimated direct energy costs savings is roughly $45,000 per year.

Congratulations to all the 2015 winners! 

Interested in applying for recognition for your organization under the Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Program?  If so, please visit or call (800) 329-7518.  We would be glad to help guide you through the process and get your organization the recognition it deserves!