The C.A. Lawton Co. (Calco), a gray and ductile iron foundry in De Pere, WI, has earned a grant to help finance its environmental programs. The Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI) is funded by state grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and also supported by a federal grant from the State Energy Office awarded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The PSI program supports sustainability efforts by small and mid-size manufacturers that are intended to help companies’ bottom line. Participants have made investments in projects that have exceeded $1 million, and most projects break even in approximately 12 months, or sooner, according to Calco.
The value of the PSI grant was not announced, nor was the value or timing of Calco’s update projects.
Calco will use the grant among in several ways, including investing in air compressors and new, more efficient lighting. It forecasts an ROI in less than two years.
The projects were identified by experts affiliated with the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Focus on Energy, SCS BT Squared (a civil and environmental engineering firm), and Calco.
The foundry stated that each project offers the benefit of reduced energy consumption. Also, the new compressors will help to reduce plant maintenance requirements and will increase tool life.
Calco produces large-dimension castings and machined components for domestic OEMs in the HVAC, municipal pump and valve, mining, and power generation industries. It noted that in its forward-planning it uses an environmental management system that measures the potential ecological impact of its actions. The system is part of its ongoing effort to reduce waste, re-use or recycle materials, and select and use materials from suppliers that demonstrate environmental awareness in their business activities and minimize energy consumption.
“We strive to do what’s ‘right,’ and we use our status as a family business with a long history to think about our business over the long term,” explained Calco president and CEO Alex Lawton. “There are times we can measure our ‘paybacks’ in decades rather than months and years or occasionally forego individual payback in the name of societal benefit.”