CLEVELAND ... Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) today announced it has joined the Green Suppliers Network (GSN) program. GSN is a public-private partnership involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a leading provider of technical assistance to manufacturers.
Eaton joins a group of large manufacturers committed to sharing both lean - and clean - manufacturing techniques and environmental process improvements with their small and medium-sized suppliers to help them become more competitive and environmentally involved as partners in the program.
As a "corporate champion" in the program, Eaton will engage 20 of its suppliers as GSN Partners in the first year of the program. Based on its first-year experiences, Eaton will identify additional suppliers to include during the following three years.
"Eaton is proud to be part of the GSN program, which combines responsible environmental practices and manufacturing efficiencies to create economic growth and healthier communities," said Alexander Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer.
"The elimination of waste in the manufacturing process improves the environmental performance of a company and its suppliers, reinforces a company’s commitment to its customers and the local communities and promotes operational efficiency," Cutler said. "We look forward to working with other proactive manufacturers in our various industries to identify additional opportunities for environmental process and manufacturing improvements."
Susan Hazen, EPA assistant administrator, said the Green Suppliers Network is working to “accelerate environmental performance while maintaining and strengthening economic competitiveness. Eaton joins several other major United States corporations that are realizing and enjoying the benefits of the program at the corporate level and throughout their supply chains."
Under the GSN program, Eaton will work with all levels of its manufacturing supply chain to improve processes, increase energy efficiency, implement cost-saving opportunities and optimize use of required resources to eliminate waste.
Richard Jacobs, Eaton vice president - supply chain management, noted that many of Eaton's smaller suppliers do not have the resources to acquire the consulting support needed to review their operations and evaluate various lean manufacturing process tools that can lead to implementing lean process solutions. Jacobs said he plans to involve 20 suppliers from Ohio in the first phase of the program as GSN partners.
Eaton's GSN involvement is consistent with the company's commitment to Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), said Joseph Wolfsberger, EHS vice president. Wolfsberger said Eaton’s operations are committed to minimizing waste, pollution and exposure to hazardous materials and to "responsibly managing the resources and materials used in our businesses."
Eaton Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with 2005 sales of $11.1 billion. Eaton is a global leader in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 60,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 125 countries.