Environmental Management Systems
Kimball's sustainability path is to be a leader through sustained, continuous improvement of our impacts on society and the environment. We recognize that regulatory requirements are simply baselines, and that we must strive to go beyond maintaining the status quo.
Kimball International internal sustainability team members monitor all facilities and production processes, provide training and assistance, and evaluate materials for use in Kimball products.
All Kimball manufacturing locations have implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) and nearly all of these locations have achieved third party ISO 14001 registration, the global standard for environmental protection and commitment to continuous improvement. The ISO 14001 Environmental Management System requires continuous improvement initiatives to reduce impacts on the environment. Each and every Environmental Aspect of the facility must be evaluated and rated as to their impact. Once the rating has been completed, the facility must determine which of these Aspects are Significant Environmental Aspects (SEAs) and develop Objectives, Targets, and Programs for improvement.
Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP)
Several Indiana manufacturing facilities for Kimball Office and National Office Furniture have been accepted into the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) for demonstrating long-term compliance with environmental laws and voluntarily agreeing to implement continuous improvements in sustainability. The Kentucky facilities of National Office Furniture are members of the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection’s (KDEP) Kentucky Excellence in Environmental Leadership Program (Excel).
All Kimball manufacturing locations have an Environmental Management System (EMS). A majority have achieved third party ISO 14001 registration, the global standard for environmental compliance and commitment to continuous improvement. Environmental Management System teams at each location identify and prioritize those key Significant Environmental Aspect (SEA) programs to focus upon related to energy reduction.
Every Kimball International employee understands and accepts that he or she must do everything possible to reduce unnecessary waste to protect our environment, wisely use our resources and aid the Company’s profitability.
Kimball International has completed a baseline Greenhouse Gas profile for each of our manufacturing facilities. A Greenhouse Gas tracking system has been established to verify continuous improvement results. We will continue to evaluate processes, equipment, and other energy sources for reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Kimball International operations have been substituting less harmful chemicals or eliminating them entirely at its facilities since 1990. These efforts have resulted in major reductions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions from company production processes.
Reducing vehicle fuel usage and emissions earned Kimball's truck fleet certification by the (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency as a "SmartWay" Partner. Kimball's ranking in the top 25th percentile of partners reflects a high level of success saving diesel fuel and reducing emissions.
As part of the Company's organization-wide sustainability commitment, Kimball operations are dedicated to eliminating pollution generated at the source, using renewable materials, and reclaiming and recycling of materials to minimize any adverse impact on the environment.
Sustainable and continuous improvement projects completed under the Significant Environmental Aspect (SEA) programs have led to increased efficiencies and resulted in a reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions, a significant reduction in VOC air emissions, reductions of both solid waste and hazardous waste materials, and a major reduction of water usage.
These reductions benefit the local community and the surrounding environment.
Waste Reduction & Recycling
Kimball’s Environmental Policy Statement is the foundation of the Company’s environmental and sustainability policies and actions. Regarding recycling, it specifically states, "We strive… to maximize the reclamation and recycling of materials to eliminate any adverse impact on the environment."
Kimball is committed to developing products and processes that are environmentally friendly, and to promote recycling and the wise usage of renewable resources. In all, Kimball International recycles 65 different items in over fifteen categories.
Each Kimball manufacturing location has Significant Environmental Aspect (SEA) programs to address initiatives and promote continuous improvement in the following areas: waste reduction/recycling; energy/Greenhouse Gas reduction; air emission reduction; and water reduction programs.
From the Product Development Teams to the Manufacturing Shop Floor, employees throughout Kimball International demonstrate commitment to finding ways to eliminate waste and pollutants, reduce materials usage, and provide for safer, cleaner facilities and communities. The positive results seen thus far are directly due to the actions of Kimball employees who took time to make a difference.
Responsible sustainability practices also make good business sense. Efforts to lower costs through reduction, re-use, and recycling remain strong.
Corporate Recycling Center
Kimball’s Corporate Recycle Center (CRC) supports the programs of numerous regional facilities, providing a central location for consolidating recyclable materials for re-sale and transport.
Based upon feedback and requests from the Environmental and Safety Managers at numerous Kimball manufacturing facilities, Kimball established its CRC in November of 2002.
Currently the Kimball CRC recycles over 65 different waste materials. Among the materials recycled are steel, aluminum, glass, fabrics, printer cartridges, electronic equipment, and several types of plastic, wood and cardboard, which is either sold for re-use or recycled by type of material.
The sustainability and continuous improvement projects have reduced the overall waste generated at Kimball facilities as the amount of recycling has steadily increased.