(WAUPACA, WIS.) Oct. 19, 2021 — Waupaca Foundry has been honored by the American Foundry Society in two significant operational areas.
Bryant Esch, director of environmental engineering for Waupaca Foundry, received the 2021 Environmental, Health & Safety Service Award. This award is presented to individuals in the industry for dedication and service to help build and improve environmental, safety and health conditions within the metalcasting industry.
Esch has more than 30 years of experience in environmental engineering, environmental health and safety, and coordination of environmental compliance and sustainability activities.
“We want to set the bar for environmental performance and the use of state-of-the-art technology in the foundry industry,” Esch said. “There are elective actions that we do that go above and beyond environmental requirements and energy efficiency, water use, waste reduction are significant tools to affect overall improvement in our processes.”
These efforts have resulted in company sustainability teams being recognized as follows:
- In 2020, the foundry won of the 2020 Green Foundry Sustainability Award presented by the America Foundry Society. The company was cited for implementing the ISO 50001 program to create a formal management system approach to energy reduction which achieved an overall reduction in energy consumption of more than 20% at all United States plants.
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program, recognized Waupaca Foundry for voluntarily agreeing to reduce energy usage by 25 percent over 10 years. The firm has reduced energy intensity at all six of its plants by more than 21.1 percent from 2009-2019.
- Waupaca Foundry earned the title of 2019 Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment Award from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce for significant progress in the facilitation of water use reduction for its Wisconsin-based facilities in Waupaca and Marinette, Wisconsin.
- In Waupaca, Wis., a waste heat recovery system was expanded to increase its energy efficiency by 15 percent. This project received a grant from Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program as well as recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy as an industry best practice in 2019.
Waupaca Foundry also earned the 2021 AFS Safety Innovation and Insight Award for its risk reduction program. In this program, the foundry has developed a method of measuring safety improvements using lagging indicators to establish risk reduction goals, measuring improvement through the hierarchy of control, and organizing incidents according to common causal factors. This initiative was the cornerstone of the Northeast Wisconsin Foundry Risk Reduction Partnership with OSHA.
The program has reduced recordable injuries by 28% and resulted in a 17% reduction in the Days Away Restricted or Transferred Rate or DART rate. Foundry leaders cite benefits of their program as changing the work environment to a reporting environment that measures improvements rather than failure.
“Zero safety incidents is a measure of luck, not improvement,” said Jon Loken, director of safety for Waupaca Foundry. “Creating an environment that identifies ergonomic issues, risk reduction, increased training and creates safety audits, suggestions, and surveys is a proven method for improvement.”
The awards were presented at the American Foundry Society’s 33rd Annual Environmental, Health & Safety Conference in early October.