Kimball Office receives State Award for Environmental Achievement

Representatives from Kimball Office Furniture, Salem accept the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. From left: Rick Bossingham, Assistant Commissioner of IDEM’s Office of Compliance Support; Shawn McCormick, Safety & Environmental Manager at Kimball Office - Salem; IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly; and Dusty Hancock, Director of Operations at Kimball Office - Salem.

Five Indiana businesses have received Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence for extraordinary efforts to protect and benefit Hoosiers and our 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.

“The companies receiving awards today, and their owners, operators, managers and employees, are great examples of businesses that are helping to protect our environment,” said Easterly. “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.” 

 Pollution Prevention

• National Office Furniture (NOF), Santa Claus. NOF–Santa Claus employees explored the United States Green Building Council Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program for Existing Buildings (LEED EB), and received LEED EB Silver Certification in 2011. Projects to conserve water, increase energy efficiency, and implement chemical management plans have resulted in a 38.1 percent reduction in water consumption, a 23 percent reduction in electrical consumption, and 46.7 percent reduction in natural gas consumption over a four year period from 2008 to 2012.

Five Years of Continuous Improvement

• Kimball Office Furniture, Salem. Kimball Office Furniture minimized packaging, returning skids to suppliers, and recycling aluminum cans to result in a waste reduction of more than 12 million pounds; the company has 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.

• Rieke Corporation, Auburn. Rieke has worked hard to reduce its water and electric consumption. From 2008 through 2012, they have reduced their water consumption by 84 percent. At that same time, Rieke has also reduced their electricity usage enough to power 58 average American homes for a year, while reducing their air emissions by one fifth each year. Since Rieke began tracking reductions about ten years ago, they have diverted more than 332 tons of waste from landfills.

Energy and Renewal Resources

• Ryobi Die Casting, Shelbyville. Ryobi made significant reductions in electricity consumption by upgrading obsolete equipment and fixtures. Mounted coils on old holding furnaces were replaced with submersion heating tubes on new furnaces and a facility-wide lighting project resulted in the elimination of unnecessary fixtures, and a conversion of 983 fixtures to metal halide. The lighting level increased as much as 200 percent in some areas. The two upgrade projects have yielded a reduction of more than 4.6 million kilowatt hours each year and a significant reduction in power plant-related air emissions. The Indiana Office of Energy Development approved a five hundred thousand dollar Conserving Hoosier Industrial Power, or CHIP, grant to help fund a lighting project.

• Monarch Beverage, Indianapolis. Monarch Beverage vehicles log more than six million miles per year in the company’s distribution of its products. The company systematically converted the power source for its larger vehicles from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas, including the installation of a state-of-the-art compressed natural gas fueling station. At full conversion, Monarch Beverage will reduce its annual diesel fuel consumption by more than 800,000 gallons, reduce its transportation operating expenses by more than 60 percent, and achieve a significant overall reduction in harmful tail pipe emissions. Project partners included Cummins Westport, Citizens Energy, Allison Transmission, Palmer Trucks, Stoops Freightliner and Proliance.

The awards are 100 percent recycled glass, made in the United States.

The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence is an annual program to recognize Indiana’s leaders who have identified and implemented innovative environmental practices into their programs and facilities. The awards program is open to all Indiana facilities, state and local units of government, individuals, and technical assistance organizations that implement exemplary environmental projects with measurable results. Five additional environmental excellence awards will be presented on October 2, during the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management District’s Annual Conference in Bloomington. For more information about the 2013 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence, visit