ebm-papst Fans, Blowers and Technology

Every Day is Green Day at ebm-papst

Posted on Mon, Jun 23, 2014

In keeping with our company’s GreenTech philosophy, Thursday June 5 was our annual GreenDay celebration. Throughout the week, employees contributed to several “green” pursuits. Encouraged to gather recyclable items from home, employees brought in an array of items including electronics waste, CFL & LED light bulbs, household batteries, and scrap metal. The collection yielded 36 CFL and LED light bulbs; 32 pounds of household batteries; 585 pounds of scrap metal; 1,401 pounds of electronics and more than ten TVs. These items were combined with the company’s regular recycling efforts. 

recycling bulbs batteries

In addition to our year-round recycling campaign, employees brought personal paperwork from home for shredding. We gathered half a ton of paper - equivalent to 8 trees. So far this year, ebm-papst has saved 138 trees by recycling 8.1 tons of paper!

To benefit the SPCA of CT. We donated 133 pounds of old blankets, sheets and towels for re-use in animal shelters.

Recycling old textiles, those not fit for re-use, was the one effort that remained elusive. Regrettably, we could not find an organization in Connecticut that would recycle old textiles even after contacting the Town of Farmington, as well as SMART (Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles). In the mid-1990s when I lived in San Jose, CA,
I recall the weekly curbside recycling collection included textiles (and these collections continue today - 20 years later).   

Our Green Week concluded with a crew of volunteers cleaning up a heavily used area of the Farmington River. The employees collected 50 pounds of trash & recyclable containers, another 40 pounds of scrap metal, and a truck tire. Like our last two GreenDay clean ups, there is always plenty of trash to be collected if you want to find it!

To learn more about this topic, please contact Phil Hartman at ebm-papst Inc.

2014 Clean Up 500px

About Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman, ebm-papst Senior Director – Marketing, is a fan of the company’s GreenTech philosophy of developing innovative products that meet our customers’ needs while at the same time offering increased energy efficiency & more eco-friendly processes with each new product generation.  In his 26 years with ebm-papst Inc. including locations in San Jose, CA and Farmington, CT, he has held several positions in the sales and marketing departments and has experienced exciting changes affecting ebm-papst, our customers and the markets we serve.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Hartford.  In his free time, Phil pursues outdoor activities year round.

Tags: Every Day is a GreenDay, Recycle, ebm-papst, Clean up, Green

Finding new ways to a 'green' enterprise

Posted on Thu, Jan 23, 2014
LizCallaghan 110x135by Liz Callaghan – Director of Customer Service & Logistics

As 2014 begins, we're continuing our GreenTech commitment to reduce our carbon footprint in all that we do. From packaging and shipping materials to logistics and customer service to lighting and equipment, here are just a few of the ways that ebm-papst makes good on our commitment to sustainability!

  • Wareshouse 350pxWe recently replaced all lighting in our warehouse with new LED lighting, which will significantly reduce our energy usage.

  • Over the years we have gotten away from the use of chemically based InstaPak foam and moved toward the use of recyclable brown paper. 

  • We recycle and reuse wooden skids for shipments.

  • We save all small cardboard boxes and dividers, to reuse them again.

  • We have reduced our paper consumption by emailing purchase order confirmations and customer invoices, rather than mailing a paper version.

  • In our logistics center, we've replaced our older pallet scales with new state-of-the-art scales. The floor scales are not only more accurate, they're also saving energy!

    FloorScale 300px

  • Our Logistics Center and Customer Service departments work with our customers to consolidate their shipments where possible. Bundling several orders together helps reduce the number of boxes and skids needed.

  • Our Logistics Center is equipped with motion sensor lighting in all aisles, helping reduce electricity costs. 

  • We continue to upgrade equipment, such as order pickers and forklifts, to more energy efficient models.

About Liz Callaghan
As Director of Customer Service and Logistics at ebm-papst, Liz Callaghan enjoys meeting in person the customers with whom she’s developed productive relationships over the past 17 years. Her responsibilities include warehouse logistics, international purchasing and inventory control. A constant learner, she leverages her diverse experiences to anticipate and address logistics issues in advance, ensuring the best possible service to prospective and current customers.

Tags: Customer Service, Every Day is a GreenDay, LED Lighting, Logistics, Recycle, Liz Callaghan, ebm-papst, GreenTech, Energy Efficiency, Carbon Footprint, Green, Energy Saving

Why Waste Cleanups Matter in Our Communities

Posted on Tue, Oct 15, 2013
PHBy Phil Hartman, director of marketing, ebm-papst Inc.

Litter is sometimes caused intentionally by people, and other times litter ‘just happens’: Wind, rising waters, accidents and other unintended events can affect the distribution of garbage without anyone trying to be destructive. In the end, it takes the efforts of volunteers to clean up “out of sight – out of mind” places like wooded areas and waterways. 

I enjoy being part of organized efforts to clean up our environment. For several years, I’ve helped ebm-papst volunteers organize trash clean ups in Farmington, Conn. at the Farmington river and around our plant and offices as part of our GreenDay campaign.  I have also participated in annual Source to Sea clean ups in West Hartford and Hartford which are coordinated locally by the Connecticut River Watershed Council and Park Watershed. The purpose of these cleanups is to remove garbage from, and improve the quality of smaller waterways that lead to larger water sources. Each year a different area is chosen for clean up, and on October 5th our group met in West Hartford along the Trout Brook waterway.  We worked on a section that runs along a new bike trail off South Quaker Lane across from Beachland Park. The link below describes the greenway project designed for safe biking and walking:

We covered less than ½ mile of the brook but our estimated haul was ~ 150 lbs of trash and recyclables, including several large bags of recyclable bottles  and cans, a car muffler, a 10-foot length of steel rebar, plywood, Styrofoam, metal pipes, and bags of assorted garbage with a heavy concentration of decaying plastic bags.

2013 10 05 0015

On a positive note, nothing too toxic was found, and even with all of this garbage the waterway appears to be somewhat healthy as we found frogs and evidence of waterfowl, freshwater clams and snails. 

Waterways like Trout Brook lead to rivers that lead to the ocean, so the more garbage we can keep from reaching the ocean, the better. Cleaner beaches, lower toxicity in our seafood, and a better habitat for nature are all worth pitching in for.

2013 10 05 0019

Tags: Every Day is a GreenDay

Cycling to ebm-papst on GreenDay

Posted on Wed, Jun 26, 2013

Hartman Phil sq

by Phil Hartman, Senior Director - Marketing, ebm-papst Inc.

With this year’s GreenDay theme of reducing and measuring CO2emissions we decided that one way to tackle this would be to leave some cars at home on June 5th.  This means carpooling, or getting to work by alternate transport such as cycling or on foot.  With enough participants, perhaps we could accumulate enough saved miles to make a dent in gas usage for a day. 

For me, cycling to work seemed like a good experiment since I don’t live too far from work.  A bike ride sounds easy, but before doing so I realized that a certain amount of thought had to be put into planning my route.  The most direct route (Rt 6) I normally take would put me together with cars driving at fairly high speeds in multiple lanes, going around curves, and over a small mountain; the good news is that the town recently painted bike lanes on Rt 6 where previously there were none.  On the other hand I could take a more indirect route using smaller back roads, but in many cases with no bike lanes and maybe more chances not to be seen by drivers.  In the end I decided to try my luck on the back roads to limit my exposure to high speed traffic and to avoid large intersections with multiple lanes to cross. 

I know from running that roads in the area aren’t always user-friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.  In some cases the roads either aren’t wide enough to comfortably accommodate a rider and traffic, and/or don’t have designated bike lanes, and/or the painted bike lane area is so tiny that it allows hardly any room for the runner or rider – an afterthought in road design not unlike fans sometimes being treated as an afterthought in system/cooling design!  Also there seems to be less control with cycling than with running in traffic.  While running, I face traffic and I can see what is coming at me, but with cycling the danger can be behind or perpendicular to you and you may not see danger coming - complicated by higher speeds achieved on a bike.  With either method you have to be very alert and try to be as visible as possible to drivers.  My bike ride to work opened my eyes even further to how much better roads could be designed if towns really wanted to support cycling.  There are Rails-To-Trails paths that go through Farmington which are perfect for cycling, but those paths are limited and were not useable for my commute to work from out of town.

After a very hot weekend, the morning of Green Day had perfect weather for biking to work.  While riding to work I noticed so much more detail about neighborhoods and the landscape than I do when driving.   As all cyclists and runners know, some drivers are more considerate than others when passing.  For my roundtrip, I have to say that most drivers were very accommodating and gave me adequate space when they passed.  I arrived to work energized and ready to go, and also enjoyed an invigorating ride home.

The result - I’m glad I ventured out on the bike to test the practicality of this method of transport.  I estimate that I saved approximately one gallon of gas, which may not seem like much but it all adds up especially over many people.  While cycling to work would not be practical for every day or year round commuting, there is no reason why I can’t find occasional days from spring through fall to ride to work on my bike.  It’s just a matter of planning and adjusting my schedule to make this possible, with the added benefit of reducing my carbon footprint.  If cycling to work does catch on within the company, we may have to build and install a bicycle rack to accommodate everyone – perhaps a new value added project for our manufacturing department?!

As a group using an alternative method of tranportation, we saved 275.5 miles = 12.8 gallons* of gas. And 0.114 metric tons of CO2

*Based on an average fuel economy of 21.5 mpg, from the US EPA.

Tags: Every Day is a GreenDay, GreenTech, CT, Energy Efficiency