American Seating Wins Award for Green Initiatives

Grand Rapids, MI (January 30, 2010) —American Seating, an innovative seating solutions provider for more than 120 years, was recently recognized as a Green Initiative Champion by Corp! Magazine.

Corp! Magazine solicited nominations for Michigan based businesses to recognize those who are making changes in their operations that will reduce their affects on the environment by becoming more sustainable. There were three categories of award; Green Industry Innovators, Green Initiative Champions, and Green Organizations. American Seating was honored the “Green Initiative Champion” award for changing the metal pretreatment process from an iron phosphate to a zirconium conversion process before the final application of powder-coat paint.

In September of 2008, American Seating transferred the pretreatment system in their North Plant, in order to eliminate the discharge of phosphates into the city waste water system which is treated and then released back into the ecosystem. Phosphates can cause an excess of algae and plant growth in rivers, streams, and lakes, which can lead to billions of dollars in damage to our waterways each year. This initiative was lead by Fred Kauppila, Superintendant of Architectural Environments, who stated “(The conversion) has gone over well. We continue to test product, and the quality has remained the same if not improved.”

A few months later, American Seating started to realize the benefits of the new pretreatment process. The waste water created from the phosphate system was estimated to be 42,000 gallons per month; it is now estimated to be around 8,000, an 80% reduction in water usage. The solid waste byproduct has decreased from 7,700 gallons per year to 2,200 gallons per year. This reduces waste going into landfills and also reduces cost for removal. Finally, the old system required the water to be heated to achieve proper results; the new process can be accomplished at ambient temperatures, and completely eliminates natural gas usage for this step. So many positive results were realized from the new pretreatment system that in December 2009 American Seating implemented the same process in their West Plant, which houses the assembly and manufacturing of transportation seating.

American Seating has become a member of the US Green Build Council West Michigan Chapter, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, and The Right Place Inc.’s Sustainable Manufacturers User Group. American Seating is dedicated to providing their customers with high quality and long lasting products while also being responsible stewards of the environment.

About American Seating
American Seating, operating since 1886, is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company employs nearly 500 people, and serves two primary markets: Architectural Environments, including sports and entertainment, education, and government/commercial facilities, and Transportation, including seating for public transit buses and rail.

For more information on the awards and all the winners go to: www.corpmagazine.com