In recognition of Earth Day 2023, and to share some insights into how Benchmark is doing its part to improve sustainable practices across our global communities, we are proud to highlight the outcomes of our inaugural Benchmark Environmental Challenge!
The environmental challenge
Much like the BEX Olympics, the Benchmark Environmental Challenge was open to all Benchmark manufacturing sites and was offered as a voluntary opportunity for Benchmark facilities and their employees. This internal global competition was aimed at reducing our environmental impact and aligning our ongoing efforts to enhance and provide more transparency around our global ESG/Sustainability efforts.
The benefits of the program to Benchmark, employees and the local communities in which Benchmark hosts facilities included:
- Reducing utilities (e.g., energy, waste, water, etc.) usage at Benchmark locations worldwide
- Further promoting ESG/Sustainability and employee engagement across Benchmark
- Acknowledging and recognizing site/employee efforts regarding sustainability
- Featuring select site projects and recognizing them in our annual Sustainability Report
- Providing measurable indicators of sustainability success
The Competition and Results
The Benchmark Environmental Challenge took place from May to December 2022. It featured seven global Benchmark sites and over 3,300 employees. Each site reviewed their utility usage and looked at innovative strategies to reduce water consumption, electricity usage, and waste. The teams then acted on their strategies, each coming up with unique methods to improve their overall environmental impact.
Some of the methods included simple steps such as replacing incandescent lights with LED lights or turning off equipment when not in use to reduce electricity. Other efforts, however, were far more intensive in terms of their overall impact and their overhaul of internal processes. Some noteworthy examples include installing more energy-efficient manufacturing equipment to reduce electricity usage, creating higher output, and designing, developing, and implementing an internet of things (IoT) system to control on/off lighting when no one is in the work area (or when the production line is turned off).
We were honored to formally announce this year's winners at Benchmark’s global leadership conference in Arizona in February 2023. Overall, the combination of simple and more intensive methods across the participating facilities significantly helped to reduce utility usage and improve environmental impact while also saving money. The winners (listed below) were selected based on their overall environmental impact reduction as well as their cost savings:
- 1st place – Korat
- 2nd place – Ayutthaya
- 3rd place - Minnesota
- Honorable Mention – Concord, Guadalajara, Penang-Waterfront, and Suzhou
Each of the recognized facilities showed excellent work ethic and ingenuity in developing a plan and putting it into action. Korat took the most steps of any facility to reduce environmental impact with some very impactful actions, including:
- Reducing paper usage by transforming documents to electronic form in the Image Quest system
- Implementing a recycling and “Say no to plastic” campaign to reduce waste as well as sell glass, aluminum, and plastic bottles
- Reducing food waste by making bio-fertilizer from vegetable and fruit scraps from the canteen and using an on-site garden to grow plants and sell to employees for their home gardens
Making the world a better place
Overall, each facility made important changes in support of Benchmark’s ESG/Sustainability journey aimed to reduce our environmental impact by minimizing waste and promoting the sustainable use of resources for the benefit of future generations. Together, as One Benchmark, we are building sustainable processes and solutions to positively impact the environment, engage our people, support our local communities, and advance our vision with customers. As a result of the tremendous success of the 2022 competition, this week we kicked off the Benchmark Environmental Challenge again for 2023!
We will continue to enact exciting initiatives worldwide to make the world a better place. To learn more about the Benchmark Environmental Challenge (as well as our DEI and sustainability initiatives), check out our 2022 Sustainability Report and stay tuned to Benchmark’s blog.