Working Within Worthen Industries To Achieve Sustainability

Worthen Industries

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

In terms of sustainable innovations, Worthen has introduced and installed a waste free solar panel that is fully recyclable, transitioned to efficient company cars, and constantly tests and checks products to minimize waste. With the growth of Worthen industries they have gotten in a better position to help their business become more sustainable. Worthen has introduced and installed a waste free solar panel that is fully recyclable, transitioned to efficient company cars, and are constantly testing and checking products to minimize waste.


Author

Tanner Rose

Tanner Rose

School

Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University

Professor

Timothy Palmer

Timothy Palmer

Innovation

Worthen has recently begun investing in studying how to reduce their carbon footprint. Investment included acquiring Tomark, a company with a new backsheet design for solar panels, and completing research and development of emissions.

Tomark-Worthen takes pride in our environment and the precious resources found on our Earth. They have developed a solar panel backsheet without any fluorine-containing materials and produced through a zero waste process. Production in this way doesn’t require adhesives and solvents, making it VOC free and this process reduces steps in production.

Worthen Industries has completed small steps in preparation for larger plans of reducing emissions. One small step they have taken is product testing of “green chemistry” to reduce impact on the environment. They also have converted all of their company cars to either electric or hybrid vehicles that have gas mileage greater than 40 mpg. Worthen Industries is currently going through the process of covering their plants with their new PhotoMark® Reflections™ backsheets from Tomark-Worthen.


Working Within Worthen Industries To Achieve Sustainability

Fully Recyclable Solar Panels Being Installed On Worthen's Roof

Inspiration

David S. Worthen was appointed as president of the family business in the year of 2009. When coming into the position there was a lot of new information coming out about the effect of our carbon footprints having on the future. Constant innovation is a core part of Worthen’s business to provide valuable solutions to consumers. When considering the acquisition of Tomark, Worthen was trying to make a mark on reducing their emissions. Tomark-Worthen makes solar panel backings with zero waste and are fully recyclable, compared to others that require solvent based adhesives, release dangerous compounds into the atmosphere, and create waste that is left to deteriorate in landfills. Worthen is a family business that hopes to continue to operate and impact the community and world, that is why they reinvest into reducing less emissions and becoming more sustainable.


Overall impact

The steps that Worthen Industries are taking towards a more sustainable company will positively impact the community, the customers, and the business. By reducing the amount of energy used throughout all components of the business, there will be a noticeable change for all parties. By installing the solar panels from PhotoMark® Reflections™ backsheets from Tomark-Worthen, it will reduce half of the plant's current energy usage. This will cut costs for the business in the long term on reduced energy bills and will produce less chemicals entering the environment by not using that amount of energy. Switching the vehicles over to hybrid and electric options have also reduced emissions going into our environment. Constant testing of products and high quality check processes ensure for the materials used in products to not be wasted.



Business benefit

Worthen Industries has made an important move with acquiring Tomark and using the backsheets to further reduce emissions. This will allow Worthen to influence other industrial plants to follow them and buy zero waste backsheets to further reduce their emissions as well. Worthen Industries relies on what other companies think of Worthen Industries. With reducing emissions and ensuring lower waste through high quality work and quality checks, Worthen will appear better to other companies debating on working with them. Many companies rely on the quality and certifications of other businesses before doing business with them. Everyone wants to play a role in helping the business become more sustainable and Worthen is in a position to help themselves and many others. In fact, the main customer Avery, hopes to be at 75% plastic recycled goods by the year 2025, reducing waste and excluding solvent from the production process.


Social and environmental benefit

Worthen Industries is focused on making their improvements directly affect their own community and the environment surrounding them. “Worthen Industries’ success is built on the simultaneous pursuit of economic viability, environmental quality, and worker-community health. Sometimes this is called Corporate Social Responsibility; we just call it our Responsibility” (Worthen). Worthen has ensured that their investments in sustainable products are worthwhile and minimize alternate hazards and waste. They have done this by choosing to invest into Tomrack’s solar panels that are produced with zero waste, instead of cheaper alternatives that still produce hazardous waste that Worthen is trying to minimize. With the waste that is produced by their plants, Worthen sends out to be properly disposed of and develops reports regarding the amount of waste from each plant. The communities of Nashua and Grand Rapids will benefit in air quality with the reduced emission of Worthen’s cars and constant testing to reduce waste.



Interview

Kristi Koetje, Quality/Environmental Manager

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Worthen Industries

Worthen Industries

Nashau, NH, US

Business Website: http://www.worthenind.com/

Year Founded: 1986

Number of Employees: 201 to 500

Worthen Industries is a solution company, by applying technology and science to develop high quality adhesives, coatings, extruded films, and laminated products. Worthen provides these products to many different industries worldwide, including automotive, medical, military, and renewable energy. In terms of sustainable innovations, Worthen has introduced and installed a waste free solar panel that is fully recyclable, transitioned to efficient company cars, and constantly tests and checks products to minimize waste.