Independent Plating Recognized for Environmental Leadership
Contact: Karen Angelo, 978-430-6303
April 1, 2015, Worcester, Mass. -- The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program and state legislators today presented Independent Plating with an award in recognition of the company’s environmental leadership at its Worcester, Mass metal finishing facility.
One of only 9 companies across Massachusetts being recognized as a “TURA 25th Anniversary Leader,” Independent Plating reduced the use of toxic chemicals by more than 500,000 pounds, including reducing cyanide compounds by 95 percent, hexavalent chromium compounds by 88 percent and hydrofluoric acid by 100 percent.
“Independent Plating is proactive in its approach to research and adopt greener solutions for its various processes,” says Pam Eliason, senior associate director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell. “The company is committed to efforts that provide safer, high-quality metal finishing in an environmentally sound manner and has demonstrated their technology and decision-making process and results to other companies, becoming a role model for Massachusetts businesses.”
The company primarily finishes steel parts that are used in products such as school and office furniture, high-end retail displays, medical devices and a broad range of industrial parts.
“We are always looking for ways to reduce toxic chemical use,” said Charlie Flanagan, CEO and President of Independent Plating. “Constant improvement is embedded in our culture and it stems from the TURA planning process. When we first started reporting toxic chemical use and submitting plans to the state 25 years ago, we were fulfilling a requirement. But now, by using safer materials we are viewed as a leader by our customers and are protecting worker health and saving money in the process.”
Independent Plating has significantly reduced the use of acids, bases and other reportable metal compounds and made the switch from hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium for several of its production lines. These changes have allowed customers to qualify their products for green certification and LEED points.
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.