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Shawmut Recognized for Environmental Leadership

Contact: Karen Angelo, 978-430-6303, karen@turi.org.

May 6, 2015, West Bridgewater --The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program and legislators today presented Shawmut Corporation in West Bridgewater, Mass. with an award in recognition of the company’s environmental leadership.

One of nine companies across Massachusetts being recognized as a “TURA 25th Anniversary Leader,” Shawmut Corporation has successfully eliminated the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) and nearly eliminated all hazardous waste.

A producer of coated and laminated performance materials, Shawmut employs 400 people at eight locations. Since TURA was first enacted in 1990, the company has been working consistently to reduce toxic chemical use from the solvent adhesive lamination process. With the guidance of the Office of Technical Assistance (OTA), Shawmut converted to a hot-melt adhesive process that replaced the use of TCE completely in 2013.

“OTA worked alongside us to identify safer alternatives to TCE and provided guidance on the changing face of compliance here at Shawmut, including guiding our status change from a large quantity generator of hazardous waste to a very small quantity generator and assisting with our petition to eliminate our EPA Title V Operating Permit,” says Kevin Souza, Regulatory Compliance Manager for Shawmut Corporation.

Shawmut saved approximately $1 million per year in the solvent-based adhesive lamination process as a result of lower adhesive application weights and less waste, resulting from the implementation of better process controls. The complete elimination of TCE in 2013 resulted in an additional $750,000 in annual savings.

Before eliminating TCE, the company was classified as a large quantity generator and typically spent about $20,000 annually on hazardous waste disposal costs. In 2014, the cost decreased to $600, a savings of more than 95 percent.

“The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance is proud to have worked with Shawmut through the years to assist them in their efforts to eliminate TCE from their production processes,” says Scott Fortier, OTA Team Leader. “This was no small effort for the company, going from an operation that relied on the TCE formulation to completely replacing it with an environmentally-friendly process. For their achievements in improving worker health and safety and improving air quality in the community and environment, they deserve recognition as a TURA 25th Anniversary Leader.”

Read more in the Shawmut Corporation case study.

The awards and facility tours taking place from March through May showcase environmental accomplishments—reducing the use of toxic chemicals, reducing waste and conserving energy and water—since the Toxics Use Reduction Act was enacted into law by the Massachusetts legislature in 1989.

About the Toxics Use Reduction Act Program

The Toxics Use Reduction Act does not restrict chemical use but requires companies to evaluate toxic chemical use, submit usage reports to the state and assess the implications of reducing use by making process changes or switching to safer alternatives. Data show that Massachusetts companies continue to make progress in reducing toxic chemical use and waste: between 2000 and 2012, companies reduced use by 23 percent, waste by 42 percent and on-site releases by 73 percent.

Celebrating 25 Years
 Twenty-five years ago, the Massachusetts legislature passed landmark legislation—the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA). Today, the TURA Program is considered a model environmental policy by other states and countries. The three agencies below have provided training, grants, technical assistance and support to help companies reduce toxic chemical use and costs, improve health and safety and compete globally as more international regulations restrict the use of toxic substances.

  • Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Provides education, training, and grants for Massachusetts industry and communities; sponsors research and demonstration sites on safer materials and technologies; provides policy analysis; and manages the TURA Science Advisory Board.
  • Office of Technical Assistance & Technology (OTA). A non-regulatory agency within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs that provides free, confidential, on-site technical and compliance consultations to Massachusetts businesses and institutions.
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Certifies Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planners, receives and reviews toxics use reports submitted by companies, provides guidance, takes enforcement actions, and collects chemical use data and makes it available to the public.
Shawmut Corporation Event Photos