Sustainability and Manufacturing: How They Go Hand in Hand

Timothy Rodman, Schroeder Industries Allie Carpenter, Schroeder Industries

Manufacturing is often viewed as putting sustainable practices at the low end of the priority totem pole. Heavy machinery running non-stop, draining valuable resources, and pouring CO2 emissions back into the atmosphere is a leading cause to a global concern.

CO2 emissions—otherwise known as greenhouse gasses—become trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and its ability to dissipate radiant heat into space. Scientific evidence indicates that the human expansion of CO2 emissions—the greenhouse effect--since the pre-industrial era has accelerated climate change and global warming [1-Nasa].

That has never been the case for Pittsburgh-based filtration manufacturer Schroeder Industries.

History will show you that Schroeder Industries has always been an environmentally conscious manufacturer. Not only through use of the products we supply but also in the practices in which we manufacture them as well.

In this Machinery Lubrication Exclusive article, we will uncover what we are doing in our manufacturing facility to support 2030 Zero-Net-Carbon (ZNC) initiatives as well as what each of our product lines are doing to improve sustainability in just about every market.

What is Sustainability?

Before we attempt to solve a problem, we must understand the goals we are trying to achieve.

As sustainability becomes a larger conversation in the world, it’s time we set the record straight and answer the question – what is it? The popular online defining tool Oxford Languages defines sustainability as: “The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” and “Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.”

Just as Oxford Languages has two definitions for sustainability, Schroeder understands that it takes both to truly make a difference.

The first definition really illustrates the core competency of manufacturers like Schroeder Industries. You cannot build a sustainable product without first being a sustainable organization. Using a 5S System, following ISO 9001:2015 procedures, and many other steps like these helps keep Schroeder Industries a quality-first “clean” business.

The second definition is what we’re hoping to achieve by highlighting our efforts and what our “made from clean, for clean solutions” can bring to the manufacturing sector. In 2019, we gave our employees reusable water bottles and coffee cups to help eliminate our carbon footprint of single use plastic containers. As a compliment to the reusable drinkware, we incorporated water refilling stations and a zero-waste coffee bar that has helped us reduce the need for plastic water bottles and Styrofoam cups.

“We reuse proper materials and have separate dumpsters for wood, metal, and garbage” says Schroeder Plant Manager John Ciora. He even bought a paper crimper to use for recycled paper and eliminated the use of foam bags.

Having done our part to implement designated waste bins for plastic, aluminum, and cardboard separation, we believe we are truly making strides for a better tomorrow.

What is the Schroeder Industries 2030 Initiative?

As more and more organizations aim to be Zero-Net-Carbon (ZNC) by 2030, we wanted to share what we have found successful and reiterate the praises we have been singing since 1946 - the power of a clean fossil fuel.

In 2018, industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions—from direct or indirect consumption of fossil fuels--accounted for approximately one quarter of the total emissions produced in the United States, or approximately 1.47 billion metric tons—the equivalent weight of 980 million compact vehicles, 28.1 thousand of the RMS Titanic, or 4,440 empire state buildings [2-EPA].

ZNC may seem like an almost impossible goal to achieve, but we have a few tricks up our sleeves in our 75 years of experience. As an American Manufacturer to some of the most versatile ‘green material’, it is our goal to spread the word and share the technology proven to support ZNC initiatives for 2030 and beyond.

Introducing the Schroeder Industries’ 2030 Initiative

The purpose of the Schroeder Industries’ 2030 Initiative is to share data-proven solutions organizations can also take to best support their energy savings (es) and sustainability deadline.

As a filtration manufacturer and engineering firm, we have always lived by the idea that clean oil makes all the difference. Prolonging the life of any given mineral oil or fossil fuel eliminates climate killing practices by:

  • Reducing oil disposal.
  • Running clean emissions.
  • Providing clean energy.
  • And so much more!

Each of our product groups offer at least one product or service that helps the pioneers of the future retrofit existing operations with the planet in mind.

How Schroeder Plans on Being a 2030 Sustainability Front Runner

Sustainability and environmental consciousness have been on the minds of Schroeder Industries for some time now. By encouraging employees to eliminate single use plastic with provided replacements, establishing solutions to recycle and reduce water, along with other initiatives, we are ready to take the next step in our journey.

While 2030 may be the “big” number when it comes to wanting to be completely sustainable. Whether that be emissions free, no carbon footprint, or any other term you can think of, we at Schroeder Industries want to start our sustainability mission yesterday. We hope to be emissions free/no carbon footprint by 2030 ourselves. But before then, we will be doing whatever we can to get us there as soon as possible.

At Schroeder Industries, we know there is no Planet B, and we are here to help us not need one.

 

References

1- NASA. "The Causes of Climate Change." Global Climate Change, 23 Mar. 2021, pp. 1-7.
2- EPA. "Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 4 Dec. 2020, pp. 1-5.

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