Caterpillar Earns Pollution Prevention Award

Caterpillar received an award from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, for its high-tech environmental solutions to reduce waste and contribute to environmental preservation.

Caterpillar received an award by the Waste Management and Research Center, a part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), for its high-tech environmental solutions to reduce waste and contribute to environmental preservation.

Caterpillar was recognized for three projects in the continuous improvement category of the 14th annual 2000 Governor''s Pollution Prevention Awards.

A team of employees from the Technical Services Division achieved breakthroughs in welding techniques. Using laser technology in the heat-treating process created environmental, health and safety benefits through elimination of the paint and solvent waste stream as well as a significant reduction in laser gas usage and a decrease in energy consumption.

This new technology saves the company $480,000 annually.

"Caterpillar continues to demonstrate its commitment to the environment, showing the value of reducing, reusing and recycling waste materials and improving air quality," said James Garner, deputy director for IDNR. "Since this award began in 1986, a Caterpillar facility has been named nine times."

The second project, Caterpillar is being recognized for is a project developed in conjunction with the Waste Management and Research Center that prolongs the life of metal working fluids by applying membrane filtration technology to remove contaminants from metalwork fluids to reduce pollution. It also reduces worker exposure to contaminants and corporate liability for waste disposal.

The third project recognized for pollution prevention is Caterpillar''s recycling program.

The program includes the recycle, reuse or resale of 23 different waste streams, accounting for nearly 9 million pounds of material, which would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated.

"Caterpillar understands the value of pollution prevention -- as an environmental strategy, as a sustainable business practice, as a fundamental principle for all our society," said Duane Livingston, vice president with responsibility for Caterpillar''s Corporate Auditing and Compliance Division. "Prevention methods can help reduce the air, water and the land pollution that results from waste generation, treatment and disposal. It also reduces workers and resident health risks and environmental risks associated with pollutant emissions and conserving natural resources and landfill space."

Award applicants are judged in statewide competition on the "innovative strategies and their uses of technology to prevent or reduce the volume and toxicity of waste."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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