The 2011 Assembly Plant of the Year was designed from the ground up to be an environmentally friendly facility. Even the carpets, paint and windows are “green” at the Philips Respironics plant in New Kensington, PA.

The 2011 Assembly Plant of the Year

All indoor paint and coating products comply with the volatile organic compound limits of the referenced Green Seal and South Coast Air Quality Management District standards. The installed carpet also complies with the testing and product requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus program. In addition, installed carpet cushions and carpet adhesives comply with the Green Label testing and product requirements.

Almost one-third (31 percent) of the total building materials content in the two-year-old plant were manufactured using recycled materials. In addition, 50 percent of the total building materials’ value is comprised of products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured within 500 miles of the site.

Green manufacturing also thrives on the plant floor at Philips Respironics. “To reduce cost, we have implemented reusable packaging with the major components in our assembly process,” says Eric Kulikowsi, senior director of North American operations. “With reusable packaging, we have reduced cost by eliminating the plastic bag and cardboard box our suppliers were packaging our components in, reducing the need to de-trash at the assembly line.

“The reusable packaging is more dense than the expendables, so this has reduced the amount of shipments needed, warehouse space and picks to the production floor,” adds Kulikowski. “With our plastics supplier, this has also created a closed-loop shipping process where they deliver a tractor trailer every day. We fill it with empty bins so we are experiencing less freight damage and handling of the components and packaging.”

All Philips New Kensington employees are also encouraged to think and act green on a daily basis. The plant promotes green ideas to implement in everyday life through an education and awareness program and a sustainability intranet site.

“In addition, we encourage employees to stay green through our onsite recycling programs,” says Rachel Darcangelo, human resource manager. “We encourage and support bicycling to work by providing bicycle storage racks. We also encourage the use of compact cars and low-emission vehicles by providing convenient parking close to the building.”