Environmental Initiatives Award

North America Water Heating


Values Environment story

As part of A. O. Smith's Company-wide commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 10% by 2025, all manufacturing facilities are tracking all wastes generated at all facilities: solid wastes, non-hazardous and hazardous drummed wastes, special wastes, wood wastes, recycled wastes.

The team at Johnson City, TN (USA), applied a continuous improvement problem-solving process to their metrics to chart a goal of 90% landfill diversion, targeting three major streams:

  1. solid wastes (that would go in the trash compactor)
  2. special wastes (porcelain enamel, WWT filter cake, welding flux/slag, welding dust)
  3. wood wastes

2022.06.22 Values ButtonFor solid wastes, the team educated all employees on the types of trash vs. recyclables and tracked performance-to-target for all employees on video communication boards. On the special wastes, the team maximized porcelain enamel reclaiming in the Mill Room and optimized WWT filter cake generation to reduce waste. For wood wastes, the team consolidated its efforts in shipping and receiving to reuse or return wooden skids and launched a wooden skids and boxes giveaway to employees and the general public in October. In addition to the environmental impact, the team calculated the changes saved the Company over $78,000 in 2021.

"A. O. Smith is committed to being a good citizen on several fronts, including continuously improving the environment," said fabrication manager Lisa Snapp. "Our EHSS function is responsible for reducing wastes at the source, and we embraced the Companywide effort to minimize waste and increase recycling, reuse and energy recovery from generated wastes which would otherwise result in landfill diversion."

"Our selection committee chose this project because it clearly aligns with our values of being a good citizen," said Kevin Wheeler, chairman, president & CEO. "By taking the initiative to apply continuous improvement principles to our work processes, the team identified opportunities to eliminate or greatly reduce material waste through a full complement of recycling, reuse, energy recovery and environmentally sound disposal. While the Johnson City team fell just short of its aggressive goal of diverting 90% of all wastes from the landfill, the processes put in place are delivering significant financial and environmental savings, as well as a compelling model to replicate in other facilities."

"We could not be more proud to win the Values Recognition Award," Lisa said. "We could not have achieved this result without the valuable contributions from our folks on the floor and front-line leaders."

2022.06.22 Values Recognition ENVIRONMENTLeft to Right: Kevin Wheeler, Aaron Whiston, Kevin Domack, Rick Watkins, Jeff Walker, Dave Warren, Levi Sager, Will Potter. Not pictured: Lisa Snapp. © 2022 Aaron Johnson for A. O. Smith Corporation.

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