Our leadership is also committed to protecting the environment
Since 2001, Waterville TG has held an ISO 14001 compliance certificate. This certification covers our Waterville, Coaticook, and Petrolia (Ontario) factories as well as our distribution centre in Sherbrooke.
Our environmental policy
Waterville TG, manufacturer of weatherstrip systems for the automotive industry, has adopted an environmental policy that sets out management commitments for the protection of the environment. The principle that guides our environmental policy aims to create and sustain harmony between the company’s work, the community’s quality of life, and the protection of the environment, across all our sites in Canada.
Thus, Waterville TG commits to:
- Complying with laws and regulations, as well as the additional requirements we abide by.
- Setting environmental objectives, targets and programs, and measuring their achievements, paying particular attention to the management and reduction of waste, as well as to the reduction of energy consumption.
- Protecting the environment, including pollution prevention, considering the use of processes, methods and materials which reduce environmental impact.
- Continuously improving our management system, with the aim of advancing our environmental performance.
Our environmental policy is more than just an intention, it’s part of our actual experience. Consequently, a number of initiatives have been implemented, over many years.
Since 2003, we have recycled the weatherstrips waste (rubber), which is processed outside the factory. It is granulated, serving in the manufacture of other products. Our objective is to completely eliminate the landfilling of our production waste.
In 2004, we modified the system we use to apply silicone coatings. The new process is easier, and of a better quality. This initiative allowed us to reduce landfilled waste, to reduce the amount of silicone used, and to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Constant optimization of the system is part of a specialized team’s tasks.
In 2019, we were awarded the Eastern Townships environmental excellence prize, established by the Eastern Township Environmental Foundation, together with the Conseil régional de l’environnement de l’Estrie. Our initiative enabled a 47% reduction in the landfilling of residual materials between 2014 and 2018.
In 2020, we achieved the recycling of 70% of our residual materials. We are continuing our efforts to develop a recycling market for leftover residual materials. Additionally, in our recycling business relationships, we prefer local businesses in order to promote the circular economy.
Numerous other recycling projects have been implemented in order to reduce materials sent to landfills: paper, cardboard, glass, metal, wood, and plastic. We also promote composting.
Between 1996 and 1998, we modified the boilers at the Waterville and Coaticook factories to use natural gas, instead of heavy fuel oil. In doing so, we were able to reduce our CO2 emissions, by more than 55% per year.
Between 1994 and 2006, we installed automatic thermostat controls in the Waterville and Coaticook factory offices, which enabled a reduction in our consumption of energy.
Between 2006 and 2008, we installed high-efficiency compressors and dryers in our Waterville and Coaticook factories. In doing so, we reduced our consumption of electricity by 3,423 MWh per year: enough to provide 171 homes with electricity!
Between 2011 and 2012, we replaced the lighting systems in our Waterville, Coaticook, and Petrolia factories and offices, and at our Sherbrooke distribution centre with high-efficiency equipment. This investment translated to reductions in the consumption of electricity of between 6% and 40%, depending on the factory.
Since 2014, we have had an electricity management system (EMS) in place at our Waterville site. This has enabled us to implement systematic energy management. The EMS was tested by our team in the rubber extrusion division. By itself, the control process to ensure efficient shut-off of the equipment during shut-downs represents a more than 5% reduction in the energy consumption.
Conservation of natural resources focus
Between 2003 and 2009, major investments were made by the installation of refrigeration compressors and a complete network of piping across the Waterville factory, which enabled independent, closed-loop cooling of production equipment, rather than using water from the aqueduct. In so doing, we’ve reduced our water consumption by more than 75%.
In 2003, we restored and reforested the banks of the Coaticook River near our Waterville factory, to prevent erosion and the deterioration of the natural environment.
In 2007, a car-pooling system and incentive parking lots were put in place. By doing this, we contributed to the reduction of CO2 emissions, the reduction of traffic, and to the consumption of fewer natural resources.
In 2019, we undertook to raise awareness about the importance of the work that bees do. In doing this, we gave out packets of seeds to our employees, to grow high numbers of flowers, which provide enough pollen during the summer months to enable bees to survive the winter.
Our various environmental initiatives have been recognized by different organizations.
In particular, we won the Pollution Prevention award in Honda’s Green Factory Achievement program in 2008. That same year, the same automaker also awarded us the Conservation of Natural Resources award.
Also in 2008, Waterville TG won the Eastern Township Environmental Foundation prize in the Medium- and large-sized businesses or institutions category.
In 2016, Hydro-Québec recognized us for our exceptional role in the pilot project for the implementation of an electricity management system (EMS) based on the standards in the voluntary ISO 50001 standard. As well, in 2007, Waterville TG became a member of Hydro-Québec’s Energy Savers’ Circle for having carried out a compressed air use optimization initiative, which enabled us to reduce our consumption of electricity.
Toxic Substance Reduction Act
In 2009, the Government of Ontario adopted the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009. The purpose of the law was “to prevent pollution and protect human health and the environment by reducing the use and creation of toxic substances.” (Section 1(a) of the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009)
In complying with our commitment to transparency and the regulatory requirements of Ontario’s Toxics Reduction Act, we provide an annual report for our Petrolia facility in Ontario to the public and to our employees.