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Landfill-Free and the Future of EHS in the Automotive Supply Chain
Interview with Bryan Hennessey, EHS Professional at Shiloh Industries
Bryan Hennessey is an up and coming expert in the EHS field. Bryan was kind enough to spend some time with us to share some of his industry insights into the world of automotive supply manufacturing, safety, and landfill-free initiatives.
Bryan’s specialties are in ergonomics, safety, and environmental training. He earned his Master’s in Industrial Engineering at Ohio State University and worked his way up to his current role at Shiloh, where he now manages their 20+ locations worldwide as a Corporate Environmental Health Specialist
Q: I’m sure you have many goals and objectives on your plate – what’s #1 on your list right now?
One of my biggest goals is getting all 20 of our sites on the same page. Since several of our sites were acquisitions, I want to get them all utilizing best practices and sharing information. My job is to identify what’s working at one site and apply it to another.
Q: What does Landfill-Free mean to Shiloh?
GM, Ford, Honda, Subaru – all the big auto manufacturers are trying to reduce their environmental impact. This carries over to us as an automotive parts supplier. Thus, we incorporated the GM landfill-free objectives into our own corporate culture.
Our landfill-free initiative means understanding what is going in the trash and finding alternative outlets for it.
We define landfill-free as sending less than 1% of waste to landfill.
Q: How do you identify your waste streams?
While we don’t necessarily go dumpster diving, we do take a close look at all of our waste streams and track them. We watch the process and assess from there. Once we’ve identified a waste stream, we ask a lot of questions. Why is it a waste? Is it cost-driven?
Another example is the oil absorbents we get from ITU AbsorbTech. Instead of sending disposables to landfill, they now get reused. Each waste stream has its own process.
We partner with Heritage as a waste consultant and vendors like ITU AbsorbTech to drive down our waste to landfill.
Q: How do you track your waste streams?
Each facility is required to track their waste through a spreadsheet. We conduct internal audits for certification, and will soon conduct external audits as well.
Q: How do you get employee buy-in for these objectives?
Most of it comes down to trials and honest feedback. If we have to change a process or the way an employee does their job, we want to get their feedback. For example, we trialed new safety cut sleeves for a week. After that time period, we got some negative feedback and decided not to move forward with that particular PPE.
We also get buy-in from continuous engagement. We have safety meetings, safety committees, and employees get credit for their safety improvement ideas.
Q: What advice would you give to an EHS person just starting out?
Ask questions. You don’t know everything you think you know. Get everyone included. If you don’t involve everyone, you might upset the current dynamic.
Q: What do you see for the future of EHS?
The trend now is lean initiatives and getting more done with fewer people. My challenge is to balance these continuous improvement initiatives with the real people actually getting the job done.
In other words, we don’t want to get so lean that we’re putting unrealistic goals on people. The challenge for the future is to balance what we want to achieve on paper with what our people are able to realistically accomplish.
Landfill-free and lean operations are not going away, and they will continue to drive the future of EHS. The keys to success lie in good, open communication, asking questions, and setting realistic goals.
Q: What are your top “go-to” resources?
Networking is huge. I work closely with colleagues and other connections. Vendors are also a great resource to get insight into what other companies are doing. Google, of course, is also a great resource – when you have a problem or question, someone has almost always done it before.
In Bryan’s parting words, he stressed the importance of being proactive because the answer to your challenge won’t always just fall into your lap. Much like Yogi Berra might have said, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
Thank you, Bryan, for these great industry insights!
Hallman Lindsay Greenfield
20:59 30 Jan 20
We have used ITU Absorbtech at our location for years now. Skyler always does a great job. He is very professional and efficient.read more
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ITU has been Venango Steel's uniform and mat supplier for nine years. It has been a great partnership. The quality of the products meets or exceeds expectations. Jeff Miller is our representative and Chad Prather is our route driver. They go the extra step to keep the customer happy ! Thank you Jeff & Chad !read more
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Our rep is Branislov and our manager is Kieth both are very friendly and give us great service. We have had ITU for over 40 years. I like what they do for "coats for kids" by cleaning all the donated clothes. Also they are a very environmentally aware company.read more
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CDM Tool has been using ITU for a long time. They have dedicated drivers. Bob our driver knows our company so well, he is able to tell based on our supply's that are used how business is going. He then adjusts so we don't overpay. The best part is that they don't create more work for me. We have never had an issue with lost uniforms.read more
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Family owned company that truly takes care of their employees and customers as if they were family!!!
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Customer service is great! Dave and Bernie are amazing, very helpful and respond quickly. Staff is friendly and professional.read more
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Bob Casey is my route driver, very nice guy, always takes care of everything. I have been with ITU for better than 20 years, I would never change. Merry Christmas Bob C.read more
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Very easy to work with. Matt is a phenomenal salesman, great personality. Brian our service representative is always very courteous and pleasant to work with. A great change for our company and glad we are doing business with them.read more
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Bob Casey is extremely helpful and always upbeat! He always has our companies best interests in mind, making suggestions to that end and is great at communication. I look forward to working with Bob for many more years!read more
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Our Route Representative, Bob Casey, is very conscientious, courteous and extremely helpful. He continually looks for areas we can improve or adjust as our usage and needs evolve, and suggest products as appropriate. Thank youread more