Back before few people were even thinking about “green”, ESS was founded on the principle to find safer and more environmentally friendly cleaning product alternatives. This product commitment extends to all operational aspects as well. Listed below are a few of the cornerstones to the ESS commitment to Sustainability:
1. Green Power – For all manufacturing, packaging and office functions, ESS uses green power through the “Green-e” program offered by the local power utility. This program focuses on using alternative, more sustainable sources of electricity.
2. Returnable Containers – ESS has had an active empty container return program for drums and totes in place since 1993. Industrial customers return empty containers to ESS at ESS expense so that they can be re-conditioned, with replacement parts added as needed, and re-used again. Once a container reaches the end of its useful life, it is used one final time to hold non-regulated waste for disposal. Not only does this program save the customer the cost of the container, but it keeps these used containers out of landfills.
3. Water Management – The minimum amount of water is used to clean ESS process equipment and tanks in order to achieve proper cleanliness. Since most ESS products are designed to be free rinsing, water is used very efficiently in the cleaning process.
4. Recycling Program – All corrugated boxes, paper office waste and plastic bottles are recycled through a local recycler. Because of the number and variety of packaging used every day, this can add up quickly.
5. Products – ESS products are the ultimate cornerstone to the ESS’ commitment to sustainability. They are formulated to be neutral pH, non-hazardous, free rinsing (requiring less rinse water) and use primarily organic (carbon-based) ingredients that are biodegradable.
In 2004, ESS won the Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Performance because ESS neutral products replaced alkaline and solvent cleaners in industrial cleaning applications, thus eliminating over 83 million pounds of hazardous materials from the environment over a five year period. Today, that total is estimated to be more than five times that amount. Other winners that year included Target Corporation, General Motors Truck, GE Medical Systems, Green Bay Packaging, Rockwell Automation, S.C. Johnson and Sons and Placon Corporation.
6. Waterless Urinals – Waterless urinals do not flush like normal flush urinals – in fact, there is no flush at all. By eliminating the 1 gallon of water used each flush in a typical flush urinal, it has been shown that up to 40,000 gallons of water can be saved per year per urinal by replacing a flush urinal with a waterless urinal.