WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS MANAGED
We are in the beginning phase of our data collection and measurement efforts with regard to our use of energy and resources in our operations. As an initial step in our measurement efforts, in fiscal 2019, five manufacturing sites implemented a new energy management system which provides real-time access to data with analytics to identify key performance trends and opportunities for operational efficiency, as well as energy and environmental impact reduction. This new program, known as Monitoring, Targeting and Reporting, or MTR, will be expanded to additional sites in fiscal 2020.
MTR will serve as the primary tool for assessing site energy consumption and resource efficiency and providing benchmarking information – all with the goal of increasing operational efficiency at a submetered device level. We expect that as a result of the data collected using MTR, we will obtain actionable data to help us make impactful decisions regarding better and more efficient use of energy and resources in our operations.
In addition to launching MTR, we determined that it was critical to engage with each of our manufacturing sites – worldwide - to ensure we captured a global perspective on our varying operations. As a result, we are in the process of surveying teams at all global manufacturing sites to understand existing activities and future capabilities for water and energy conservation, solid waste reduction and hazardous waste management. We expect to use the data collected in this survey to identify opportunities for enhanced environmental sustainability across our global locations. We are also working with our various sites to establish baseline metrics on certain energy and resource uses with the goal that all sites will be expected to report against a set of environmental metrics we consider impactful on an ongoing basis.
This new effort complements and augments TTC's established focus on Lean Enterprise, a management methodology that is designed to extract waste out of all processes, ultimately preserving natural resources and avoiding unnecessary spending. Where waste still exists, sites are encouraged to reuse and recycle materials wherever possible. For example, we:
- Reuse packaging throughout our manufacturing facilities and in partnership with key suppliers
- Reuse water through innovative water reclamation and treatment systems in select facilities
- Recycle steel, aluminum, plastics, cardboard packaging and paper
- Recover and reuse powder (paint) coating
Shakopee Energy Conservation
In fiscal 2019, we installed the energy submetering data collection technology at our manufacturing facility in Shakopee, MN. The data showed that air compressors were continuing to operate at full power during periods of limited production. Ultimately, it became clear that air leaks were causing the compressors to operate unnecessarily to maintain pressure. After completing the necessary maintenance to fix the issues, the site saw an immediate reduction in energy costs and improvement in operational efficiency.
CLOSING THE LOOP IN OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
The Toro Company participates in an exclusive closed loop recycling partnership in California with Revolution Plastics, a leading recycler and manufacturer of film, bags and tubing for the agricultural sector. Revolution Plastics collects growers’ used drip tape, washes it, converts it to pellets and then produces recycled PE resin, which TTC then purchases to use in other drip-irrigation products.
The partnership commenced in April 2019, and TTC started receiving deliveries of recycled resin the following month. As of November 2019, 381,000 pounds of drip tape have been recycled, with a goal of recycling 2.5 million pounds by the end of October 2020. This innovative program is designed to help support growers’ sustainable irrigation objectives, reduce landfill plastic waste and serve as a compelling model of a closed-loop production process.
In addition to designing sustainable manufacturing processes, TTC is committed to building and maintaining sustainable features at many of its other facilities. As we construct, expand, or renovate our sites, we seek to integrate green building systems and practices to reduce our operational environmental impacts. Nowhere is that commitment more evident than at our world headquarters in Bloomington, MN.
Our headquarters facility features an innovative green roof which helps to reduce stormwater runoff and improve energy efficiency and ambient air quality. Inside the facility, energy efficient LED lighting and motion sensor controls are featured throughout, and many of our carpet selections are manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, a concerted effort was made to connect our employees with the outdoors through daylighting and easy access to outdoor spaces and natural gardens.
“Thanks to Toro’s new recycling service with Revolution Plastics, Toro growers in California now have a reliable and sustainable outlet for their used drip tape.”- Ralf San Jose
Director of Marketing for Toro’s Agricultural Business