Romeo Engine Plant
receives C3 designation
by CHRIS GRAY
The local Ford plant has shown a commitment to have a good impact on the environment while churning out engines.
Observer Staff Writer
The Romeo Ford Engine Plant has renewed its Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) designation from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
The C3 program was set up for companies to meet environmental compliance. To qualify for C3 designation, an applicant must develop and implement environmental management systems, practice pollution prevention and have a strong environmental compliance record.
Gerald Yarema, environmental engineer at the engine plant, said the efforts put forth to be environmentally responsible not only makes business sense for reduced bills, but is also good for the community.
"It's a good example for the community," he said. "People have the idea that companies come in and leave the place a mess, but we don't do that. We put a lot of effort to make sure what we do has no impact."
For the engine plant, efforts such as reducing electricity and natural gas usage by 12 percent, reducing the amount of packing waste by 2,000 pounds contributed to the cause.
"Anything that is not a produced engine is going to be waste," Yarema said. "We do things to manage waste, and where possible avoid waste."
The plant has also reduced water consumption by 10.6 percent, which corresponded to a reduction of wastewater usage by 11.3 percent.
The renewal status of the C3 is valid until Nov. 15, 2018, but requires reports to be submitted on an annual basis.
"This is sustainable business because we can operate like this for a very long time," he said.
Yarema said Ford has core requirements for its plants to comply with regulations on items like waste management and water discharge permits. However, plants can go above and beyond, which for the Romeo location has been participating in Macomb Orchard Trail cleanup.
The plant has also been involved in Department of Agriculture studies that track the potential movement of invasive species like the emerald ash borer as well as installing owl and bluebird boxes. This has resulted in the plant being named a Neighborhood Environmental Partners twice by the MDEQ.
Yarema said the awards and designations are the result of all of the plant's employees working together to further reduce the impact they have on the environment.
"Achieving that award year after year is due to the performance of the entire plant, not just one person or a small group," he said. "The awareness is tremendous."