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Leaside plant wins enviro award

One of Leaside’s oldest manufacturing companies is building a display case for an unexpected award it received for outstanding environmental achievement. The award places Lincoln Electric in Leaside as number one among the company’s 40 manufacturing locations in 20 countries around the world.

“We knew we were in the running,” says operations manager Kendall Fullerton, who describes the attractive crystal award as a bit like a “mini Grey Cup”.

“But we were completely surprised. Winning the Global Chairman’s Award is a very big deal.”

The award is given each year by the parent company for maintaining an exceptionally safe and environmentally-conscious manufacturing environment. Fullerton, a resident of Leaside for the past 13 years, is bursting with pride.

“Over the past couple of years, Lincoln Electric has made serious significant reductions in air and water emissions, in energy use and the way in which it handles waste,” he says. For example, energy use has been lowered by 10 percent, water used in plant processes went from 60 million litres to 25 million, and hazardous waste materials were reduced 40 percent.

The reductions have been made through a combination of a capital investment over $2 million, training and awareness, as well as just doing things differently.

All water is now recycled through tanks so it can be reused. Air is cleaned internally, with welding fumes put through internal scrubbers so they are not vented to the outside. Even fans in the painting booths are “smart” because they shut down when a human being leaves the booth.

Fullerton shares credit with plant environmental health and safety manager Frank Conroy, and the other division manager, Gary Mercier. Over the past two years there were zero accidents at the plant and it passed numerous external audits.