Crown surpasses 5 million square feet of global brownfield development

Achievement detailed with release of the company’s 2012 global ecologic report.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
June 22, 2012 - MMH Editorial

Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s largest materials handling companies, today released its 2012 ecologic report highlighting some of the new and innovative ways the company is minimizing waste, managing energy and maximizing product and facility lifespan. The 2012 Crown ecologic report can be downloaded at

One of the key milestones Crown reached in 2012 was exceeding more than five million square feet of global brownfield development. In the past year alone, Crown undertook three significant brownfield developments:
—A vacant 937,000-square-foot former manufacturing plant in New Castle, Ind., which now houses Crown’s deep-draw press operation.
—A 75,000-square-foot brownfield facility in Minster, Ohio, which will house the company’s wire harness assembly process.
—A 37,000-square-foot brownfield site in Basingtoke, England, which will house Crown’s retail branch and corporate headquarters.

For these sites, Crown used innovative sustainability principles to guide the refurbishment process. At the New Castle facility, refurbishment activities started with cleaning and removing oily residue off the walls and ceilings while recycling these fluids and other structural components. Crown took the old broken concrete that required replacement and ground it up for reuse at the site as backfill for other concrete work. To date, more than 10,000 tons of concrete has been ground up and made ready for reuse. Additionally, the company reused Styrofoam panels as insulation at the facility and offices, and recycled more than 300 tons of scrap steel.

Crown is also using its sustainability principles to continuously improve the sustainability of raw materials and its manufacturing processes. A key component of this effort was investing in a full-time analyst to implement a lifecycle assessment program that will provide Crown with a method to evaluate the ecological and human-health impact of its products during their existence. The analyst will collect and examine impact data on the environmental consequences of available materials, designs, manufacturing processes, product use patterns and throughout end-of-life disposition.

“Understanding environmental impacts throughout the stages of our products’ lifecycle allow us to implement strategies around reducing, reusing and recycling; as well as define which design concepts produce the least environmental impact through quantifiable data,” said Brian Duffy, Crown’s director of corporate environmental and manufacturing safety. “The environmental performance data added to our current design criteria of durability, reliability, aesthetics, quality, costs and others, allows Crown to make more informed sustainable choices.”

Crown’s ecologic program also included these accomplishments, among others, throughout its global operations:
—Built and deployed its 500th new forklift to be operated with fuel cells.
—Achieved zero landfill status at two U.S. facilities: The company’s electronic manufacturing plant in New Bremen, Ohio, and its Dayton, Ohio, Crown branch location.
—Installed a component cell in its Celina, Ohio, manufacturing plant that eliminated the need to transport component parts between manufacturing sites – saving more than 20,000 transportation miles and removing 27 tons of greenhouse gases annually. Employees identified and developed the program.
—Launched an environmental group in Mexico that partners with the government to improve the environment through local conferences.
—Crown Germany installed an intelligent heating system that monitors external warehouse doors and latent heat within heaters and utilizes the gathered information to reduce unnecessary heating by switching off the blower heater when warehouse roller doors are opened.
—Crown Mexico introduced railroad service to transport material from Laredo to Querétaro, reducing emissions by two tons of carbon per trip; totaling more than 200 tons of carbon emissions per year.
—Implemented a sustainability initiative in Australia that will renovate and update designated facilities and establish sustainability standards for new facilities moving forward.

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