Green innovation pays off

Mike Katz believes that environmental improvements in his Port Washington, Wis. manufacturing plant invariably pay off in profit improvements.
An engineer with a Harvard MBA, Katz got rid of a nasty metal-cleaning chemical at his 70-person company, Molded Dimensions, even though it was the time-honored, proven solution. After exhaustive testing, his team was able to replace trichloroethylene with an aqueous cleaning agent.
The water-based solution actually did a better job and the bond improved between the inserted metal and the surrounding urethane or rubber. There were other payoffs as well:
• A productivity increase from a less demanding process.
• Elimination of handling and disposal of a hazardous material.
• Lower cost for the water-based cleanser than the trichlor.
• Space saving.
All in all, the savings came to nearly $40,000 per year.
Katz told a Clean Air Partnership that his company’s experience is that green improvements should not be avoided for cost reasons. Cost savings are a predictable outcome from the innovations.
His comments and example made the case one more time in favor of a “green and gold” strategy where the environment and the economy move forward together.