Mercury Marine has earned “Green Master” designation from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council for the fourth consecutive year, keeping the Fond du Lac manufacturer in the top 20 percent of the 175 participating companies. Mercury learned of the achievement last week during the 2015 Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council annual conference in Milwaukee.
The Green Masters Program measures and ranks companies on a broad range of sustainability issues, and Mercury ranked exceptionally high in energy and water conservation, waste management, community outreach and education. Mercury Marine scored well above the state average in nearly all of the nine sustainability categories, and scored 479 total points — 37 points higher than in 2013 — out of a possible 592. The program average was 314.
“Applying sustainable manufacturing processes to create the most sustainable products is at the core of our culture at Mercury Marine,” said John Pfeifer, president of Mercury. “In every facet of our business — from product design and manufacturing to employee wellness initiatives and community education and support — Mercury is committed to setting and accomplishing significant goals in sustainability.”
Strengthening Mercury’s overall score were employee initiatives such as accelerated college degree and internal education programs; individual health improvement projects, including health coaching and at-work weight-reduction support; and community involvement that raised funds for many organizations, including the United Way, Relay for Life, local food drives and troop support activities.
Mercury earned its first Green Master designation in 2011.
“To earn this prestigious and important designation once was an honor,” said Kevin Grodzki, Mercury Marine president of global sales and marketing. “To earn this four consecutive years speaks volumes about Mercury’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. Our customers look to Mercury as the leader in the marine industry and we will continue to manufacture the most sustainable products using the most sustainable manufacturing processes.”
The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council pointed at Mercury’s recently introduced Enertia ECO Propeller as an illustration of the company’s commitment to environment-friendly products. The ECO prop, specifically designed for high-horsepower outboard-powered vessels, offers boaters a 10-percent increase in fuel economy at cruising speeds while maintaining the performance and reliability standards inherent in all Mercury propellers.
“For the fourth year in a row, Mercury Marine has shown outstanding dedication to sustainability,” said Tom Eggert, executive director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. “Mercury Marine is part of a very small group of Wisconsin companies that consistently score in the top 20 percent in the Green Masters Program.”
Additional accomplishments by Mercury in 2014 included:
Responsible Consumption of Energy
- Energy conservation through the use of variable frequency drives, direct digital controls, and demand controlled high-efficiency ventilation systems.
- Lighting upgrades using high efficiency lighting in factory offices and exterior locations to reduce energy consumption while improving lighting levels.
- Reduced energy use through factory burner equipment tune-up for peak burner performance, improving energy efficiency with more efficient burns.
- Implemented a process to treat oily wastewater (generated from parts washers and machine coolants) that resulted in approximately 500,000 gallons of wastewater not being shipped offsite for treatment. The process eliminated approximately 22,750 miles of semi travel on area roadways and alleviated the associated environmental impacts.
Electronic Recycling Event / Office updates
- Mercury Marine sponsored a communitywide Electronics Recycling Event in conjunction with the opening of the Mercury Museum in Fond du Lac. Those who dropped off items for recycling received a voucher for free admission to the museum. The collected items weighed a combined 23,700 pounds
- Recycling bins are placed next to all trash containers
- Eliminated individual printers / scanners for shared, multifunctional devices
- Copiers and printers are set to two-sided printing
- Paper files replaced by an electronic system
- Company removed from bulk / junk mailing lists
- Purchased environmentally friendly office supplies (paper, toner, ink cartridges)
- In order to reduce the volume of disposable cups, the company distributed 3,500 reusable drinking mugs to employees.
- Mercury reduced overall water usage by utilizing cooling water from its Internal Test Center as makeup water for engine cooling in Dyno cells in its Engineering Research / Product Development Center.
- Implemented a water-saving project to monitor water usage at Mercury through the city water department measuring system. City water usage is now monitored and trended to alert plant personnel of large variances in consumption.
- Mercury diverted more than 50 percent of its waste away from landfills.
Additional information on the Green Masters Program and a complete list of participants are available at www.greenmastersprogram.com.