SKF earns corporate and state awards

Jim Lewis, manufacturing systems manager for Flowery Branch-based SKF USA, Inc., recently traveled to SKF world headquarters in Sweden to receive an environmental award for the plant’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Team. The local team was recognized with the corporation’s “Innovation Award 2002” for efforts in minimizing environmental waste.

Established in 1995, the SKF, USA Waste Reduction and Recycling Team is a group of nine volunteers from various company departments. The team meets monthly to discuss opportunities for recycling and waste reduction. In the spring of 2002, the team received First Place in the Georgia Department of Community Affairs “Keep Georgia Beautiful Award” in the waste minimization category for company programs in paper/cardboard recycling, reduced waste generation, reduced oil waste, recycling of computers and printers, the elimination of hazardous waste and other programs.

For example, as part of the industry’s environmental preservation efforts, SKF switched to reusable containers for shipping. The company also provides suppliers with wooden, reusable modular containers which reduce cardboard and pallet waste. Suppliers saw an immediate savings in shipping costs and are now passing these savings on to SKF in reduced material costs.

The recycling of grinding wheels has provided another environmental benefit. SKF ships used grinding wheels back to the manufacturer, and they are recycled into asphalt and roadbeds. This eliminates disposal in the landfill.

“One big focus is point of source reduction,” said Lewis. “As waste streams are identified, a sub-team is assigned to eliminate the waste either through point source reduction or recycling.”

Founded in 1975, SKF, USA, Inc. employs 300 people and manufactures ball bearings used in automotive and industry applications. The facility is located at 5385 McEver Road in Flowery Branch. 770-967-3311.

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