Healthy returns Featured

7:00pm EDT January 26, 2009

Sometimes the environmental dangers of a workplace are unknown and unavoidable.

Take the common occurrence of mercury that was used 20 to 30 years ago in things like switches, thermometers, pressure gauges, medical devices and so on. These materials can leak and cause dangerous conditions for workers. And that’s why Clark-Reliance Corp. has become one of the leaders in safer working conditions.

Clark-Reliance, the industrial manufacturer that has introduced an array of instrumentation and filtration products into industries ranging from petrochemicals, refining, power generation and even the U.S. military, introduced a mercury-free level switch in 2007 as part of the company’s overall effort to make a greener industry. The switch is not only a big seller for Clark-Reliance, it also is preventing mercury spills for all of its customers.

Pushing efforts like this for a safer world outside of Clark-Reliance started at home.

President and CEO Rick Solon and his leadership team began an internal recycling program in 2007 to reduce solid waste going to local landfills and decrease the company’s cost for hauling away excess waste from its offices and manufacturing plants. The recycling program had simple functionability: The company purchased small recycling buckets for each employee to keep at their desk and larger 30-gallon bins were kept throughout the office. There was also plenty of creativity: Shop-floor workers were given special recycling cans to separate out excess aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, wood and cardboard, and the company purchased coffee mugs for everyone to eliminate the use of plastic foam cups.

The program also created a bit of an economic stimulus package for the company, as it created savings from reduced hauling fees and actual financial returns on more than 1,200 pounds of e-scrap used computer equipment. To reward the employees for holding up their end of the green agreement and to keep them highly involved, Clark-Reliance used the recycling money to purchase gas cards.

With all these adaptations made since 2007 and plans to go paperless underway, Clark-Reliance isn’t just pushing a greener environment for its customers, it’s building one of its own in Northeast Ohio.

HOW TO REACH: Clark-Reliance Corp., (440) 572-1500 or