The Fleetwood Folding Trailers operation in Somerset, Pa., recently received one of the 2003 Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence in the category of Resource Protection.
Fleetwood Folding Trailers, a unit of Riverside, Calif.-based Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., won the award for reducing emissions related to its painting operations along with solid-waste management and water and electricity conservation efforts.
Since April 2002, Fleetwood Folding Trailers has been powder coating metal components including towel racks, body railing and screen doors. The new process eliminated 20 tons of toxic and nontoxic air emissions and five tons of hazardous wastes from the environment each year.
As a result, employees working in spray booths no longer are exposed to harsh solvents, operating costs have been lowered and product quality has been increased substantially. Gerald Moon, Fleetwood’s manager of environmental programs, also implemented an in-house recycling program that diverts more than 1.7 million pounds of solid waste from Pennsylvania landfills each year and generates $260,000 in revenue.
Water recycling has reduced Fleetwood’s consumption by more than 29,000 gallons per day and new lighting fixtures and related programs lowered electricity use by 63,000 watts annually, saving $32,000 per year.
Fleetwood also contributes to Tread Lightly, a nonprofit organization that helps outdoor enthusiasts preserve and protect natural resources.
Fleetwood and the other award recipients “displayed innovation and commitment in their efforts to preserve and protect the Commonwealth’s environment resources,” said Kathleen McGinty, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection.