Cross-posted on the NIST MEP blog
UEMC, Inc., a woman-owned manufacturer located in San Antonio, Texas, is now hiring. The company has over 50 years of experience in contract sewing, screen printing and textile related manufacturing … and now sustainable manufacturing practices.
In October 2009, UEMC, Inc. participated in a local Lean. Clean. Energy. program as part of a national manufacturing sustainable effort. Five Federal Government Agencies—Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor, Small Business Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) of The National Institute of Standards and Technology – have jointly created the E3 Initiative (Energy, Economy, Environment), which is focused on helping manufacturers implement sustainable manufacturing practices. The E3 program is designed to capture the knowledge and tools of the five agencies to run effective sustainability initiatives across the nation.
The E3 program benefits manufacturers throughout the country not only with cost savings, but also by providing access to technical and financial resources.
That’s exactly what UEMC, Inc. experienced. Linda Jordan, the CFO of UEMC, was quick to agree that E3 is about much more than just saving the company money and energy:
“The impact reaches far beyond energy, dollars or the environment. It is about people and community. When TMAC (the San Antonio, Texas, MEP affiliate) conducted our E3 assessment last year, we had 100 people employed on the floor. We are now up to 200 employees with plans to grow to 240. Every dollar that we don’t have to spend on wasted energy or materials is one more dollar that we have available to invest in our workforce. That has a direct impact on the quality of life for our local community.”
While the combined effort of all five federal agencies contributed to UEMC, Inc.’s growth, the company’s success is due to the actions they took after receiving their E3 assessment. First, they tackled those items that did not require large investments such as implementing a system to fix compressed air leaks and replacing over 100 incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
With the easy tasks out of the way, UEMC, Inc. focused on a complete retrofit of all production, warehouse and office lighting. All lighting was converted to the most efficient available fluorescent lighting and motion sensors deployed where practical. Overall, UEMC reduced demand by approximately 30 kilowatts and reduced consumption by over 100,000 kilowatt hours per year.
UEMC, Inc.’s story is one of many coming from E3 activities across the nation. Beyond the success in the companies and communities, it’s been exciting to be part of the E3 team in D.C. and see the value of different federal agencies working in concert. It’s beyond “getting together” and talking. The E3 team is deploying resources throughout the country. By getting our hands dirty and working with manufacturers, we have helped to create jobs and boost the economy.
As the great American manufacturer Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” One nation, five federal agencies, dozens of proactive manufacturers—all working together for sustainable success.