What Is A Carbon Footprint?
Being aware of the Carbon Footprint will allow you to make informed choices that impact your business & the community!
We hear a lot about “carbon footprints” and sustainable thinking but what do these “GREEN” buzzwords really mean and what “GREEN” efforts has FWE done to reduce its carbon footprint?
FWE’s Greenhouse Footprint
A great deal of sustainable thinking may go unnoticed at FWE, starting in the front office, through our test labs and on to the production floor. By examining each step of our manufacturing process, we have already Reduced, Recycled & Reused to a greener bottom line as seen in savings in both cost and time. As a business, it’s a smart decision. As a corporate citizen, it might be one of the smartest decisions we can make.
A carbon footprint is “the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.” Greenhouse Gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons and others. Human activity has generated an enormous increase of carbon dioxide emissions over the last 200 years. Reducing these emissions is what lowering carbon footprints is all about.
Each footprint can be looked at as the sum of two parts – the primary footprint and the secondary footprint. The primary footprint is about 46 percent of our total emissions and is controlled completely by our own actions. Our secondary footprint is responsible for approximately 54 percent of the total CO2 emissions and is the result of actions made on our behalf.
What can we do…
To improve our own carbon footprints without detracting from our quality of life? Cutting back on unnecessary energy consumption with simple behavior modifications, such as using public transportation and unplugging household items when they are not in use, is something everyone can do. These actions are referred to as “carbon offsets.”
Measures your direct emissions of CO2. These come from the usage of fossil fuels to heat our homes, power our vehicles (cars, planes, trains, etc.) and keep our lights on. These are the emissions over which we possess individual control.
Measures your indirect emissions, the ones associated with the production and breakdown of goods and services from which you benefit.
In FWE’s effort to reduce greenhouse emissions, a larger understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) became apparent. CSR is an effort to make a significant contribution towards sustainability and competitiveness, an integrated social and environmental concept in lowering a carbon footprint of a company. FWE is proud to be a socially responsible corporate enterprise by reducing the company’s overall impact on the environment through the reduction of natural resources and energy, as well as strong recycling and other efforts.
To the right is our “Top 10” starting with our first opportunity to invest in automated time and motion lighting of the entire 165,000 Sq/Ft (15,330 Sq/Meter.) manufacturing, distribution and offices. Not only was this a good start to corporate social responsibility it will reduce electric usage and thus conserve valued global resources. Not a bad start, but we knew we could do much more.
The Business Benefits
Not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced within our four walls, FWE has contributed to eliminating and reducing GHG emissions outside our four walls, regardless of origin. With forward thinking and management determination, FWE has found creative solutions in reducing our carbon footprint with real bottom-line cost saving benefits consistent with environmentally friendly behavior.
Working Together …
In taking action to protect the environment—we can make a difference as every action counts. For example, the burning and clearing of tropical forests is a major – though often unrecognized – source of greenhouse gas emissions. It accounts for roughly 16 percent of total global yearly emissions, more than the yearly emission all of the world’s cars, trucks, ships, trains and planes combined. Please consider in joining us in “Protect an Acre” with Conservation International, a global non-profit organization dedicated to the responsible and sustainable care for nature, and the well-being of humanity.
Company-wide, FWE is actively looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint and favorably impact our products and environment. Make an effort to support Corporate Social Responsible (CSR) companies and consider a lower carbon footprint lifestyle.
LESS LIGHT IS A BRIGHT IDEA! – FWE will save up to 45% on energy in comparison to a typical building built just 10 years ago with the combination of natural lighting sky panels and the use of HEF and LED High Efficiency lighting fixtures rather than metal Halide and florescent lamps. In addition, installed throughout 100% of the entire facility are individually controlled motion detection sensors. Automated on/off lighting is key in energy cost savings, only lighting areas of activity. No worries about turning off the lights at the end of the day or over the weekend, they take care of themselves. In all, FWE will trim its CO2 emissions by1,000 pounds a year with this newer lighting solution.
RUNNING HOT AND COLD – As much as 50% of the energy used in buildings goes to heating and cooling. Making smart decisions about heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can have a big effect on energy consumption and producing greenhouse gases. FWE converted to High Efficiency air handling units and programmable thermostats to reduce heating and air conditioning cost. In the summer, FWE volunteers for brown out periods as a corporate citizen. In the winter, FWE recycles heat created from manufacturing process within our factory. This process of capturing, recycle, and re-use of heat is equivalent to providing 100%of the heat needed for a typical 50,000 Sq/Ft (4,645 Sq/Meter) building set at 67F (19.4C).
WORK ENVIRONMENT AND AIR QUALITY– According to the EPA, indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental health risks of our time. In general, factories are associated with manufacturing products and as long as the factories are working, pollution is being created. Therefore, virtually all premises have a pollution exposure. In the process of crafting FWE products, large laser machinery is utilized, requiring certain gases to effectively cut metal. Management wanted to eliminate the need to introduce unwanted elements in the manufacturing environment. The answer was “thin air;” separating abundant nitrogen that exists in the air we breathe every day. From inside the factory, FWE filters air an average of 800,000 cf/Hour down to the nano level of 0.2 microns. This safe utilization of nitrogen is then used during manufacturing in laser machinery as a shielding agent, meeting demands of manufacturing while the balance of the clean filtered air is directly vented in to the work environment while the nitrogen is recycled. This safe,environmentally friendly and renewable method of corporate stewardship is a significant contribution towards sustainability. This solution also contributes to clean cuts on steel, eliminating sharp burrs, so that additional grinding (deburring) is no longer needed required. That saves energy, labor, money and time. It also reduces the risk of injury. In one day FWE filters & recycles over 9 million cubic feet of air, equivalent to exchanging air in a 100,000 sq ft factory 4.6 times a day.
REDUCE – As most manufacturing facilities know, paperwork is an essential requirement to keep production organized and timely. Leading edge factory techniques have given birth to an in-house hyper “E-manufacturing environment” at FWE that has reduced paperwork and drawings in the factory by 85%. While no organization is completely paperless, FWE has taken considerable effort in reducing its paper needs to only a fraction of what would have otherwise been used in a traditional manufacturing facility. In the front of the house, reports, forms, catalogs, brochures, faxes and all the other documentation that was traditionally committed to paper are now done in various electronic formats and available on a number of platforms. This has an added benefit of keeping everyone on the same versions and having access to that data in multiple locations, even on the road. FWE is currently experimenting with going paperless with warranty registration and one of our product-line manuals, to make the case for other product manuals in the future. This process has already reduced paper consumption by nearly 2,500 pounds a year, the equivalent of 25 trees and 5,000 gallons of water.
REUSE – E-Waste in the form of PCs, servers, monitors, cell phones and other consumer technologies are reloaded and reallocated through a method of life cycle management that takes the latest and most powerful technologies, required in some departments, and reprovision them throughout various departments where needed. Where some organizations lease and renew user interfaces and desktops, with a new inventory every 3 to 4 years, FWE’s life cycle management can triple or quadruple the life of certain technologies. In this way, equipment can be used for a decade or more by carefully selecting and maintaining equipment and moving it throughout the organization for as long as it can. Desktops, servers, drives and other components are then cleaned and reloaded for a final time to be given to employees, sold on line via popular “E-account” websites or donated to organizations such as Horizon for the Blind where they continue to be of use and avoid the landfill. This reduction in office machines is then multiplied in the reduction of waste in the landfills of those very items.
RECYCLE PROGRAM– Not only does our “reduce efforts” reduce the amount of paper consumed, but it also has the “remainder” cycle program benefit of recycling (ie; 85% eliminated and remaining 15% recycled) for an efficient lower GHG foot print.
VIRTUALIZATION OF THE DATA CENTER – Virtualization of the Data Center has reduced the physical server and rack footprint in the IT rooms, by taking several physical servers and consolidating their operating system onto a Virtual Machine (VM). The need for 12 physical servers can be reduced by 3 to 4 times. Remote workers can access everything by logging into their Virtual Desktops. All of this reduces the amount of energy required to maintain all desktops and IT services, reduces the energy to cool down the server rooms, reduces E-Waste at the end of a PC or server’s life cycle, and again, important (for the bottom line), big savings in reduced cost of equipment.
PACKAGING, RECYCLING AND “OUT-OF-THE-BOX” – Packaging is predominantly made of recyclable corrugated board. Corrugated offers a robust environmentally friendly packaging to deliver products to market. FWE has worked with vendors to reduce the amount of packaging needed to safely ship components and products we use in FWE manufactured products. In addition, over the years, FWE has experimented with the reduction of our packing materials to safe guard the environment while assuring product to market requirements. In addition to corrugated board, FWE recycles containers, boxes, paper goods, wood, shipping skids and metal. FWE also uses no inks or dyes in its packaging and avoids the potential for a negative environmental or health impact. Via grass root employee “Out-Of-The-Box” efforts, we are also looking to recycling as a way of giving back to the communities in which we live and work. Approximately 80% of solid-waste packing materials are part of a recycle or a reuse programs. In addition, recycle bins are scattered throughout the facility for convenience to collect aluminum cans and plastic bottles to be recycled and those funds are given to charitable and civic causes such as schools and cancer organizations, and the American Legion’s Legacy Scholarship trust fund to benefit children who have lost a parent.
CAN AN IDEA GROW? – FWE has given or planted over 350 trees through its effort of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and has reduced the company’s overall impact on the environment through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions outside the four walls of the factory.
IN ADDITION… FWE encourages employees to contribute to the organic garden located onsite of the manufacturing facility. The garden produces vegetables and fruits consumed both at home and work. Not only do these plants absorb and reduce GHS, the onsite garden reduces the food mile multiplier of GHG typical of farm to market to home incurred by transportation. The average of of which is about 1500 food miles per item.
ENERGY STAR® The trusted symbol for energy efficiency.
The ENERGY STAR® label was created to reduce pollutants, carcinogens and the inefficient use of energy that contribute to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. FWE has more Heated Holding Equipment than ever before that is certified to be in conformance with the Energy Star Standard. Food Warming Equipment Co. is an industry leader in the variety of models available that meet the Energy Star Standard.
As part of our commitment to sustainability and improved practices, we continue to certify more and more products to this exacting Energy Star standard. In doing so we enable customers to make the right decisions that allow them to save money, energy, and natural resources, and meet ever increasing environmental standards. As such, Food Warming Equipment Co. is proud to display the Energy Star seal and share the products of our innovation.
Restaurants consume one-third of all retail electricity used in the world in addition to consuming a tremendous amount of gas and water as well as producing a large volume of waste. FWE engineered products help with the conservation of energy and water while typically decreasing the amount of wasted food product that would otherwise find its way into the landfills. FWE’s Greenhouse Reduction
By producing high-quality, energy efficient industry leading products, FWE helps reduce customers’ energy costs as well as lower food costs associated with waste. FWE manufactures many Energy Star rated products and even products that are not marked with the Energy Star logo are often times meeting or exceeding those requirements. This not only helps our customers, but crosses boundaries to all that share our planet.
That is just restaurants! However, FWE manufactures kitchen equipment that are also used in hotels, resorts, hospitals, correctional facilities, schools K-12, higher education and theme parks around the world.
FWE Heated Holding
Our energy efficient, heated holding and transport cabinets safely extend the holding times of prepared foods, keeping the “just cooked” flavor and texture. Foods can be cooked and held prior to use. This helps reduce labor, energy and the need to throw away foods prematurely that would find its way into landfills, reducing energy cost and lower GHG.
FWE Cook and Hold, Low-Temp Ovens
By using Cook and Hold Oven technology, the oven can be prepared and loaded with product at night and the chef and staff can walk away. The product cooks un-attended, saving multiple layers of energy and cost. Electric rates are cheaper at night at non-peak rates, rather than during the day at a premium Kw rate. Thus, the benefit is three-fold; lower total energy consumption and at a cheaper price, as well as reduced labor and the associated overhead cost of lights, HVAC and other GHG impacts.
Food Warming Equipment Company, Inc. … efficient, sustainable and green.