As an established corporate champion with the Green Suppliers Network, AEP accepted a challenge from EPA to identify and nominate six suppliers to participate in a new E3 pilot project. Headquartered in Columbus, OH, AEP approached Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's office and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) to garner their support.
Mayor Coleman quickly saw E3 as good vehicle for Columbus manufacturing businesses to reach the city's Get Green Columbus, GreenSpot and other goals. "Green manufacturing practices provide strong benefits on many fronts," said Mayor Coleman, "It's important that Columbus businesses recognize that environmental stewardship can work hand in hand with sound business practices." One of Mayor Coleman's priorities in partnering with E3 was that each assessment would result in a carbon footprint benchmark for each facility due to his signing the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in February, 2007. He felt that the inclusion of carbon metrics was important because it would lead to proactive thinking on carbon dioxide emissions ahead of any future carbon legislation.
Mark Bueltmann, AEP's manager of sustainable supplier development, worked with Ronald Mills, executive director of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio to identify manufacturers in Columbus that were both large users of energy and large generators of solid waste. Bueltmann explained that it's in both AEP's and SWACO's best interest to get their largest accounts to use electricity more efficiently and generate less solid waste so that capacity is freed up and the region can grow its manufacturing sector. Greg Hume of TechSolve, a NIST MEP, shared that AEP has demonstrated a vested interest in the Columbus region. AEP sees an opportunity in local economic development to retain the manufacturers currently located there and to attract new manufacturers that will bring good jobs for the future of the city.
TechSolve and the University of Dayton Industrial Assessment Center vid six suppliers that collectively employed more than 1,000 local residents. With the six assessments being completed in late 2009, the suppliers participating in E3 have learned of opportunities to save an average of $890,000 per facility annually based on the recommendations made by each review team. Two of the suppliers have realized savings of $237,900 to date.
The identified opportunities could result in the following:
The six suppliers participating in the pilot project seems to be just the beginning of a lasting E3 initiative in Columbus. Three additional AEP customers located in Columbus have committed to pending assessments and planning has begun to fund 40 E3 assessments a year for the next three years. Two additional energy providers have approached TechSolve about nominating some of their small manufacturing customers. AEP and TechSolve plan to expand efforts in Columbus to surrounding communities in 2010 and beyond.
“These businesses have stepped forward and are leading the way when it comes to reducing waste. The results from E3 can become a blueprint to renew American businesses.”
—SWACO Executive Director Ron Mills
"The E3 program not only supports our sustainability mission but also helps manufacturers in the City of Columbus with their individual sustainability and energy efficient initiatives."
—AEP Chairman and President Mike Morris