by Matt Dybedahl
Over the last five years many businesses have been becoming more environmentally cautious with the way their companies produce, manufacture, and promote their products. Companies are positioning themselves as part of the green movement to create their product in a more efficient and sustainable manner. One company that is a leader in the green movement in Minnesota is Viking Drill & Tool which is based out of St. Paul. Viking Drill & Tool employs around 200 people and manufactures high end cutting tools. The company has been working closely with GreenPower to learn how to manufacture their products in a more environmentally friendly way.
GreenPower, which was established by the BlueGreen Alliance foundation, is a program designed to train manufacturing companies and their employees about the benefits of a more environmentally friendly company and how those skills translate into saving the company money and time. After completion of the training program businesses are eligible to receive certification by having their company reviewed under the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) green specialist examination.
During the GreenPower program Viking Drill & Tool learned how to save money by increasing recycling, reducing energy consumption, and reducing waste materials. LU.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis visited Viking Drill & Tool last April to view some of the processes that have already been implemented by the company. One measure that is already in place is the installation of new computers which design 3D models of their products. By designing the product first, the company is able to reduce waste materials. Also, a shredder has been built which creates packaging material out of waste cardboard. This process has saved Viking Drill & Tool about $3,000 in packaging materials. Lastly the company has created a process which recycles used oil; by recycling the oil they are able to reuse around 50 gallons of oil a day which otherwise would have been disposed of. Viking Drill & Tool is currently still creating and implementing processes which will help their company become more energy efficient and sustainable.