YELLOW SPRINGS — Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler is recognizing YSI Inc. with Ohio EPA’s highest environmental stewardship honor in a flag-raising event highlighting the company’s focus on efficiency, protecting water resources and public outreach.
“YSI makes instruments used by scientists, including our staff at Ohio EPA. They have improved these instruments with batteries that are safer for the environment. Their employees are encouraged to volunteer in the community to protect water quality and educate people about water,” Butler said. “I am pleased to recognize YSI for its service and environmental leadership.”
YSI is a manufacturer of sampling and monitoring instruments, including equipment widely used to track water quality conditions and trends. The company implemented conservation and efficiency programs at its Yellow Springs facility and its employees take their expertise into the local and worldwide communities to educate people about water quality and to protect water resources.
Ohio EPA’s E3 program recognizes businesses and other organizations for completing environmentally beneficial activities and serves as an incentive for organizations to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. Platinum level honors organizations that expand their environmental program beyond their facilities and demonstrate how their environmental stewardship efforts benefit the local community, region or larger geographic area.
“YSI not only manufactures instrumentation that provides critical data to measure the health of the earth’s ecosystems, we continually look for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and to reduce our impact on the environment,” said David Barclay, YSI Inc. general manager. “Whether it is through new processes, infrastructure improvements or innovative product designs, we are an environmental company.”
YSI has eliminated the use of nickel-cadmium batteries and is transitioning away from alkaline batteries in its water monitoring instruments. These batteries can contaminate water if they leak. The company is transitioning to lithium-ion batteries to protect water quality. Additionally, YSI began a take-back program for its equipment. These instruments are repaired to extend their lifecycle. Instruments that can’t be repaired are recycled, along with other solid waste, resulting in about 1,000 pounds of materials diverted from landfills each month.
At its Yellow Springs facility, the company switched to LED lighting and improved the HVAC system. YSI expects this to produce at least a 55 percent reduction in electricity use. The company also has reduced water consumption and natural gas use. It already has reached its electricity, natural gas, greenhouse gas and water reduction goals set by management in 2015 with a completion date of 2019.
A Xylem brand, YSI employees participate in Xylem’s Watermark program which focuses on providing and protecting water resources as well as educating people about water issues. In 2017, Xylem employees completed 644 volunteer hours for activities such as storm drain labeling, river cleanups and water sampling assistance. Locally, YSI employees participate in the Dayton Children’s Water Festival and partner with organizations such as the Little Miami River Kleeners and the Tecumseh Land Trust.
To obtain recognition for stewardship, an organization can work through four levels of recognition. In addition to Platinum level, these include Achievement at the base level; Silver Level recognizing outstanding accomplishments in environmental stewardship; and Gold Level recognizing comprehensive environmental stewardship programs. All levels require a commitment to meet or exceed environmental regulatory requirements.
Through the E3 program, Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance helps businesses receive recognition for environmental stewardship efforts. To learn more about the E3 program and the nomination process, please visit www.epa.ohio.gov/ocapp/ohioe3 or call 800-329-7518.