Canam Group is aware of the impact that its activities exert on the environment in each of the communities where it is present. Through its Environmental Policy, the Corporation pledges to comply with current regulations and improve the efficiency of its facilities. In 2014, Canam Group made responsible choices, principally with regards to the management of residual materials, energy use and fuel consumption.
During the course of the year, the Quebec City, QC, plant pursued its development of a residual materials management system designed to assess and reduce shipments to landfills through an improved sorting of recyclables. The plant is attempting to receive the certificate of performance conferred by ICI ON RECYCLE!, a provincial recycling program administered by RECYC-QUÉBEC. The St. Gédéon de Beauce, QC, plant was awarded such a certificate in 2012.
The Lean manufacturing approach that was implemented at Canam Group plants contributes to the protection of the environment through green initiatives. For example, the application of the 5S workplace organization method for a milling machine at the St. Gédéon de Beauce, QC, plant allowed for an 80% reduction in the use of absorbents and the production of hazardous waste. The addition of panels on each side of the machine considerably reduced the amount of lubricant droplets that fell on the floor, thereby cutting back on the use of absorbent material, which is costly to dispose of. It has also been shown that when properly applied, the 5S method improves cleanliness, orderliness and security, which allows for leaks to be detected more easily and dealt with faster to safeguard the environment
The Mississauga, ON, Buckeye, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, Washington, MO, and Sunnyside, WA, plants continued to use water-soluble paints applied with a dip coating process, thus contributing to the improvement of air quality while also reducing their volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
Canam Group acquired four new trucks equipped with automatic transmissions that will allow for savings of up to 20% in diesel costs compared to trucks with manual transmissions while also reducing the carbon footprint of its fleet. Two of these trucks went on the road in 2014, garnering positive comments from drivers, while the two others will be put into service in 2015.
In 2014, six Canam Group facilities had direct access to rail transportation, using it primarily to receive raw material shipments. In addition to reducing transportation costs, rail shipments produce 60% to 80%* less greenhouse gas emissions compared to highway transportation.
A pilot project was launched in collaboration with CN in 2014 for the rail transportation of steel components fabricated for the Rogers Place arena project in Edmonton, AB. The pieces are placed in containers at the St. Gédéon de Beauce, QC, plant and then loaded onto wagon cars in Montreal for transportation to the jobsite. The combined use of road and rail transportation produces six times less greenhouse gas emissions than highway transportation alone in addition to generating significant savings for Canam Group. The experience was positive and will be repeated again in 2015.
In 2014, the Boucherville, QC, plant finalized the replacement of diesel-powered forklifts by electric models, which significantly reduces pollution and maintenance costs. The Corporation will extend this initiative to all of its facilities.
Back in 2012, the Corporation introduced a new software tool for managing and annotating technical drawings that would allow users to perform tasks on monitors, thus eliminating the printing of drawings. Moreover, all data is centralized, rendering it accessible to multiple users in real time, regardless of their location. The installation of this software continued in 2014 and some 800 workstations are now equipped with this technology, which is twice as many as in 2013.
Canam Group advocates the use of videoconferencing tools to reduce both travel costs and time spent traveling. A total of 23 business locations are currently equipped with this technology, some with more than one station. This tool is being used more and more for meetings as well as to provide training to employees at multiple sites in North America, Romania, India and China.