INX International Ink Co. has earned the Orion Environmental Stewardship Award presented by Orion Energy Services, for new energy-efficient lighting at its Charlotte, NC, facility.
The award recognizes significant reductions in power through usage of Orion products — in this case, replacing 129 400-watt metal halide lights with an equal number of six-tube high-intensity fluorescent fixtures. This reduced the INX facility’s annual lighting power usage from 533,209 kilowatt-hours (kWh) to 284,439 kWh — a 47-percent saving.
From an environmental perspective, the electric power reduction provides the air-cleaning equivalent of a 52-acre forest, taking 46 cars off the road or saving 23,508 gallons of gasoline per year. And it eliminates 558 tons of airborne pollutants annually.
When it comes to cost savings, the 248,770 fewer kWh is just the beginning. The cool-operating high-intensity fluorescents led to substantially lower plant cooling costs. And lower maintenance costs also helped cut annual lighting expenses from $34,229 to $14,067 — 59-percent reduction.
“While protecting the environment is an ongoing priority with INX,” noted INX International president and CEO Rick Clendenning, “this is a classic example of how environmental responsibility also makes sound business sense. In accepting this award, we also congratulate Orion for encouraging the dual benefits of their system.”
A lighting seminar attended by Mike Davis, INX’ Charlotte plant superintendent and manager of environment, health and safety, initiated the idea of switching to fluorescents. “We wanted to see what we could do about cutting our energy costs,” recalled Mr. Davis, “and be friendly to the environment, too.”
With so much attention being focused on energy efficiency and environmental issues, “I wasn’t expecting that the light would be so much better,” Mr. Davis added. “I did foot candle readings before the change and later on. In some plant areas, we’ve got an increase of up to 40 percent. That’s a big plus here. The lighting has been well received by everybody.”
Orion CEO Neal Verfuerth summed it up: “INX not only got the energy savings they were looking for, but better lighting. And, of course, the environmental benefits. They took a chunk of electrical power off the grid.”