LIMA — The Ford Lima Engine Plant was awarded an environmental excellence award Tuesday morning by the Ohio EPA, making it the first in the region and only 10th in the state.
Laurie A. Stevenson, director for the Ohio EPA, awarded the plant with its Encouraging Environmental Excellence Platinum Level award, its top award given for environmental stewardship.
Stevenson said Ford was awarded based on its commitment to reducing water and energy use, reducing waste and community outreach.
“We’ve had a long, great relationship with the company, so we have been aware the last couple years of how they’ve been progressing with their sustainability efforts,” she said. “We began to work with them probably a couple years ago to get them into the program and to get them recognized at the highest level because of the activities around the plant.”
The plant has been operating as zero waste to landfill since 2016 with the help of reusable shipping containers, recycling of different materials and a new lubrication system that saves water and electricity. The plant also uses two on-site limestone quarries as a geothermal energy source.
“We’re always looking at the whole business and where there is any form of waste and what we can do to drive it away,” said plant manager Shawn Stewart. “We don’t treat this as just another task, it’s part of the way we approach the business.”
Mike Felix, director of manufacturing for Ford Motor Co. and former Lima plant manager, said sustainability is a key element of its company as an identity.
“There’s many replicable examples of things that the team has done here that we can cascade to other engine plants within my division but also across all manufacturing sites,” Felix explained. “We have a very strong sharing of what I would call best practices across manufacturing. The team here routinely reviews with other locations and shares innovative ideas that come up across all of our manufacturing sites.”
The other recipients include Honda Research and Development Americas Inc. in Raymond, the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio University in Athens, YSI Inc. in Yellow Springs, American Municipal Power, Inc. in Columbus, General Motors Toledo Transmission Plant, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Washing Systems in Loveland, who has received the award twice.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.