Sustainable Manufacturing

John Deere Golf's commitment to sustainability begins (but doesn't end) at its turf care facility in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., says Maureen McCormick (left)
by By Larry Aylward/Editorial Director

Editor's note: The June issue of Superintendent magazine features a special report on golf and sustainability. "Driving Sustainability" comprises a 32-page supplement. We were fortunate to have 13 advertisers/sponsors involved in the supplement to make it possible and to help educate superintendents about sustainability. We asked the sponsors to share their philosophies about sustainability as it pertains to their products. It's clear these companies take sustainability very seriously and are committed to its economic, environmental and social components. While their stories appeared in the June issue, we're also sharing them in this newsletter. Today, a look at John Deere Golf.

Maureen McCormick, segment manager of media relations for the John Deere Ag and Turf Division in Cary, N.C., says sustainable manufacturing is critical in the supply chain.

"While superintendents are becoming more aware of their own needs for sustainable practices at home, they also can be more selective in the vendors they work with as a way to demonstrate a desire for being good stewards," she says.

North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently recognized John Deere Turf Care in Fuquay-Varina as a 2011 Environmental Steward.
The state's Environmental Stewardship Initiative, designed to promote and encourage superior environmental performance by North Carolina's regulated community, began in 2002. An "Environmental Steward" is an organization that has demonstrated environmental leadership through its commitment to exemplary environmental performance beyond what is required by regulation.

The award recognizes John Deere Turf Care's superior environmental performance, commitment to continued reduction of its environmental impact and demonstrated commitment to exceed compliance. The facility is one of only 16 in the state that have achieved this recognition.

"John Deere Turf Care shows an obvious commitment to efficiency, waste reduction and innovation," said DENR Secretary Dee Freeman. "For example, the company requires all its suppliers to use only reusable containers instead of cardboard, and sends out its final products with either no packaging or on returnable metal racks so as to avoid waste."

Reasons cited by the advisory board in its recognition of the facility include:
 . Integration of environmental management into core business operations through lean practices, driving environmental awareness through efficiency improvement programs.

 . Its compliance history and commitment to continual improvement, including packaging reductions for both incoming parts from suppliers and outgoing finished products.

 . Its commitment to continue solid waste reduction after already reducing it per ton of product by more than 90 percent.

 . Its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy usage.

 . Its water reduction efforts, particularly during its recent expansion.

"John Deere is committed to those linked to the land," says Marc Howze, factory manager for John Deere Turf Care.