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EGLE's Pollution Prevention program helps Michigan businesses be more efficient, sustainable

Pollution Prevention Week 2020 promotional posterAs part of Pollution Prevention Week, MI Environment looks at one of the 98 active members in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) pollution prevention (P2) partnership programs.

Focusing on pollution prevention helps businesses become more efficient, innovative, competitive and sustainable, says Devan Dodge, EGLE sustainability analyst. Detroit diesel engine manufacturer Detroit Diesel is one example.

"To earn the Clean Corporate Citizen certification, like Detroit Diesel, organizations go through EGLE's intensive application process that includes verification of a functioning environmental management system, public comment, and department-wide compliance checks," she said. "The goal of the programs it to assist companies in their environmental goals through education and on-site assessments, give recognition for good works, and mentor small businesses."

One partner in the P2 program is Detroit Diesel. Its 130-acre campus provides many opportunities to reduce its environmental impact, says Michele Buckler, senior environmental engineer.

"Over the past decade, we have consistently managed to divert waste materials sent to landfills by over 99% by recycling all of our dunnage, scrap metal, and used oils," she said. "Our lineside sorting operations, dedicated compactors and balers, and good relationships with a variety of vendors enable an efficient recycling program."

More recently, the Detroit Plant Engineering team has focused on sustainable energy reductions, which in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It leveraged opportunities during routine maintenance and production build-outs of the 3-million square-foot facility to retrofit, redesign, and renovate with the goal of reducing baseload energy demand to support efficient manufacturing operations. This includes replacement of old lighting with efficient LED fixtures and new roofing with higher R-factors. From 2017 to 2019, the company has avoided over 472,000 MMBTU in energy consumption, thereby avoiding the equivalent of approximately 59,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Detroit Diesel has twice been acknowledged with a "platinum" rating in the U.S. Department of Energy's Superior Energy Performance Program. This is the highest achievement in this program, and Detroit Diesel is one of an elite group of less than 20 facilities in the United States to do so.

For more information on EGLE's Pollution Prevention program, visit its website.

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