Briggs & Stratton has made environmental stewardship a priority – from the significant decreases in product emissions to commitments reducing energy use in our factories. The Company takes this responsibility seriously by enhancing manufacturing and corporate operations, as well as working with engineers to produce products that further decrease their impact.
DOE Save Energy Now Pledge, progress with our 25% reduction goal
Briggs & Stratton pledged as a charter member of the Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now – LEADER program in 2009, now the Better Buildings – Better Plants Challenge to reduce our energy intensity by 25% in the next 10 years.
Briggs & Stratton quickly began its energy reduction with energy efficiency improvements at all of its manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and distribution centers.
Reporting our energy intensity to the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Used per Annual Sales as a corporation, Briggs & Stratton has reduced its energy intensity by 20% since committing to the program.
Briggs & Stratton continues to assist other companies through benchmarking, open invitations to manufacturing energy training, and by setting the example in energy efficiency. Briggs & Stratton was featured in a DOE case study titled, Briggs & Stratton: Putting all Energy Efficiency Options on the Table.DOE Case Study
On track to generate as much as 556,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) Annualy – Equal to the amount needed to power 48 homes every year
Regen Project – National Award
An exciting approach to renewable energy…
Every day the buzz of small engines fills the reliability laboratory inside Briggs & Stratton’s Production Building. Employees continually monitor engines to meet the exacting standards. Engineers at Briggs & Stratton realized we could lower our operating cost if we could capture power that is wasted in heat, and test loads from the existing dynamometers. The goal was to harness that energy and convert it into electricity for the plant’s consumption. The problem was such a regeneration system did not exist.
In October, 2012, Briggs & Stratton was awarded the International Renewable Energy Project of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers. The power regeneration project was recognized for multiple awards, including the Environmental Innovation Award from the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance, and Briggs & Stratton’s very own Innovation Showcase Award.
The reliability lab is on track to generate as much as 556,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually – equal to the amount needed to power 48 homes every year. That captured electricity is fed back to the plant’s internal grid, which will save the company $50,000 a year.
Another environmental plus: the electricity generated by the 12 test stands alone reduces the plant’s greenhouse gases by 442 tons annually.
Our Energy Teams and their supporters are key to the success of the Briggs & Stratton energy program. The Plant Managers, a great support to their energy leaders, understand energy efficiency is important to their facilities. At our regular meetings, team members exchange best practices, share new ideas and participate in training.
Teams focus on numerous areas in the plants that provide opportunities for energy savings, including lighting, compressed air, hot and cold water processing, HVAC, melt furnaces and electric demand management. In 2014, energy efficiency features on a new compressor and a new melt furnace produced energy savings of over $100,000 per year.
Also in 2014, energy team personnel from four Briggs & Stratton facilities gathered to participate in a Steam System Training and Energy Assessment in our Statesboro facility (pictured). This event was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. They helped us to identify seven different areas in the plant where energy efficiency related to steam system use could be improved. The savings potential totaled $67,000 per year. Just as importantly, plant personnel increased their energy awareness, creating the potential for more opportunities in the future.
Most recently, Energy Management was added as one of the categories of the corporate Continuous Improvement Program. This addition will help create visibility for the plant Energy Teams and increase the sharing of best practices among the plants. The CI program supports Lean Team activities throughout the company.
Energy Star Partner
Briggs & Stratton partners with Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR utilizing their interactive energy management tool that allows us to track and assess energy and rank our buildings against thousands of similar buildings and operating characteristics across the U.S. Briggs & Stratton’s distribution centers in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and McDonough, GA were recognized for their superior energy performance as they ranked in the top 15% of all similar buildings nationwide.
Life Cycle Assessment
Briggs & Stratton conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to better understand the environmental impacts of lawnmower throughout its life.
In the Use Phase, we learned that:
The LCA findings will help us design better products and improve our manufacturing and distribution processes.
The average lawnmower consumes 5 gallons of fuel annually. That’s equivalent energy consumption of driving a car 135 miles once.
The carbon dioxide (C02) emissions from 300 mowers is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the average home for one year.
The engines Briggs & Stratton manufactures today have significantly lower emissions than those made in 1995. These engines emit up to 75% less exhaust emissions and up to 73% less evaporative emissions.
The ingenuity and creativity of our employees has led to significant reductions in waste going to landfill(s). In our Auburn, Alabama plant, we had obsolete and scrap fiberboard rings and styrofoam blocks that could no longer be re-turned or recycled, so we decided to make some fun and allow our kids to create structures and igloos out of this material.
Hazardous Waste Disposed (Tons)
In the past 5 years, we have realized a 60% reduction in the amount of hazardous waste generated in our manufacturing operations as a result of tremendous improvements in painting & coating efficiencies.
We deferred 90% of our waste away from landfills, a tribute to our employees and plant sustainability teams that continue to find creative ways to reduce, re-use and recycle.
Waste Generated (Thousand Tons)
Dealer Portal for ID oil recycling centers
Used lawn mower engine oil can be recycled responsibly for free at participating Briggs & Stratton dealers nationwide. It’s important to dispose of oil properly because a single quart of oil poured down a storm drain can contaminate a million gallons of water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If poured on the ground, oil contaminates the environment and eventually enters the ground water as a pollutant.
By providing the dealer oil recycling solution, Briggs & Stratton hopes to encourage all homeowners to tune-up their mowers as an environmentally responsible action anyone can do. Performing a tune-up once a year on your lawn mower can cut emissions by up to 50 percent. At the same time, it makes the mower start more easily, run smoother and may even extend the life of the mower.
Even a first-time do-it-yourselfer can manage this task. The extensive support provided by Briggs & Stratton includes convenient, all-in-one Tune-Up Kits and a video tutorial atmowertuneup.com
Call our toll-free Mower Tune-Up Hotline (March-May) to answer maintenance questions
Aluminum Puck Recycling
One of the most innovative recycling projects originated out of Briggs & Stratton's aluminum die casting departments. In the past few years, Briggs & Stratton has designed an on-site recycling process, creating reusable aluminum pucks. By creating reusable pucks, this eliminated 5 million pounds of aluminum chips per year that were shipped (tolled) - the equivalent of saving 125 truck shipments. Each Briggs & Stratton engine is equipped with aluminum castings (made from recycled aluminum). This requires approximately 5% as much energy as primary aluminum production, a dramatic conservation of energy.