Three Summit County companies are winners of new awards from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
GOJO Industries Inc., Main Street Gourmet LLC and Multibase are among five businesses statewide to receive the first Encouraging Environmental Excellence awards.
The Ohio EPA started the program to recognize organizations committed to such practices as reducing waste, improving efficiency and working as environmental stewards.
In 2011, GOJO in Cuyahoga Falls achieved a 13 percent reduction in water usage, 20 percent reduction in hazardous waste, a 12 percent reduction of solid waste, a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gases and a 15 percent increase in solid waste recycled, the EPA reported.
GOJO is committed to sustainability and is implementing an environmental management system.
Main Street Gourmet in Akron recycled nearly 80 tons of paper, plastic and metal in 2011 and reduced its solid waste by 50 percent.
The company uses proceeds from recycling to further add to and improve the recycling program.
Nearly all of the company’s organic waste — about 2,000 pounds a month — is composted and sold as fertilizer.
Multibase, in Copley Township, replaced conventional fluorescent lighting with energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures, including some equipped with occupancy and motion sensors.
The new lighting system uses 59 percent less electricity and has reduced energy consumption by 16 percent and carbon dioxide, a key global-warming gas, by more than 200 tons per year.
The changes saved the company about $40,000 a year.
Multibase, a Dow Corning company, also recycled 14,500 pounds of plastic, 1,900 pounds of cardboard, 2,100 pounds of plastic film and 180 pounds of office paper monthly.
All three companies were honored with bronze awards by the EPA.
“I am happy to recognize these companies because they are a great example of the kind of environmental ethic Ohio companies need to have, not only to bring about significant improvements to Ohio’s environment, but also to allow them to reach a new level of competency in today’s competitive market,” EPA Director Scott Nally said.
The EPA will award silver and gold award winners later, spokeswoman Linda Oros said.
For more information, go to www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioE3.aspx.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.