Being environmentally friendly and conscious is a way of life for Shawn McCormick, who is the safety and environmental manager at Kimball Office Furniture. His dedication is one of the reasons the company recently received a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
The company was one of five in the state who were recognized for their extraordinary efforts to protect and benefit Hoosiers and their environment. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Commissioner Thomas Easterly presented the awards during the 16th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show held on September 25 and 26 at The Palms Banquet and Conference Center, in Plainfield, Indiana.
In a press release, Easterly said, “The companies receiving awards today, and their owners, operators, managers and employees, are great examples of businesses that are helping to protect our environment. They deserve congratulations on their accomplishments in reducing waste, preventing harmful releases, and increasing the efficiency of their operations. It’s my honor to recognize their extraordinary environmental stewardship.”
Kimball was recognized for Five Years of Continuous Improvement. The company minimized packaging, returning skids to suppliers, and recycling aluminum cans to result in a waste reduction of more than 12 million pounds. They also achieved a cardboard recycling rate of 90 percent and more than $185,000 savings through recycling. Energy efficiency projects, including lighting upgrades, motion lighting, energy audits, and shut-down protocols, have saved more than $174,000 in 28 months. The company also recently eliminated formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds from finishes.
City of Salem Mayor David Bower said he was shocked when he heard how much money the company has saved.
“It just blew my mind!” said the mayor. “They are doing great things here.”
Last week, during a special presentation, the mayor, along with city council and plan commission members, presented their own award to Kimball for the work they have been doing.
McCormick said he could not have done what he did without the help and dedication of his team.
“We all live here,” he said. “This is our home.”
He said he has ideas for continuing their efforts, like reducing water usage at the plant and replacing all light fixtures with environmental light bulbs.
“It’s time consuming, but it’s something that we do,” said McCormick, adding that he is more than willing to share his ideas with other manufactures in the area. “I’m really fortunate to work for a company who cares (about the environment).”
He said employees are even bringing things in from home to recycle.
Bower said he was proud of the company and their efforts.
“I’m very impressed with what you guys have done,” he said.