Meadowcraft making environmentally friendly changes
Clint Engel -- Casual Living, January 2, 2008
Meadowcraft will continue its green programs and sustainability efforts this year by making changes in its manufacturing facilities to further reduce its environmental footprint.
“Since 2000, we have produced our cushions and umbrellas under one roof while our wrought iron furniture has been produced in two separate facilities,” Meadowcraft President Jerry Camp said. “Starting in 2008, we will be manufacturing wrought iron furniture in one location. All wrought iron furniture will be produced at our state-of-the-art facility in Wadley, Ala., while cushions and umbrellas will continue to be manufactured in Selma, Ala.”
While still serving as its customer service and administrative hub, Meadowcraft’s Birmingham, Ala., facility will be transformed into a Research and Design Center as well as a job shop for building prototypes and welding fixtures.
“The 220 associates involved in Birmingham’s manufacturing of wrought iron furniture will be offered an opportunity to apply for positions at our Wadley, Selma and R & D facilities,” said Larry York, Meadowcraft’s vice president of human resources. “In addition, we will work with local, state and federal resources to provide job placement assistance.”
Camp said, “This change, along with process improvements, will significantly add to Meadowcraft’s sustainability program by reducing natural gas consumption by 46 million cubic feet and save an additional 3 million kilowatt hours of energy. This transformation will allow for more efficient operations and continue to make us a stronger and more viable competitor in the world market.”
Over the past five years, Meadowcraft invested $20 million dollars in capital projects and human resources as well as teamed with suppliers to meet its goal of being a world class outdoor furniture manufacturer. In addition to empowering its associates to “Put Pride in the Box” through quality, on-time delivery and customer service, focus was expanded to research and development of new products/designs and sustainability.
Working toward its goal, Meadowcraft’s engineers and production associates implemented lean manufacturing techniques to improve product quality and productivity while continuing to minimize natural resource consumption.
As a result, in 2007 more than 70% of its material purchases were from recycled material; 90% of the steel and more than 80% of the corrugated paper used came from post consumer use goods. This combined with its recycling programs saved more than 60,000 trees, 25,000 cubic yards of landfill space, 14 million gallons of water and 20 million kilowatt hours of energy.