Hutchinson Aerospace & Industry, Inc., Earns Iso 50001 Certification for Energy Management

March 7, 2024
A company-wide commitment to carbon neutrality has led to significant successes.

Hutchinson Aerospace & Industry, Inc., a leader in the development of unique and custom solutions for shock attenuation and vibration isolation mounting systems, has been working to reduce emissions and act sustainably for the planet and future generations, with a goal to be 50 percent carbon neutral by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. The company recently achieved a major milestone, receiving ISO 50001 International Energy Management Certificates for its facilities in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and Ithaca, Michigan.

“This certification demonstrates the stance we are taking on saving energy, with ongoing goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint,” said Don English, Hutchinson’s maintenance manager and health, safety and environmental manager who led the charge for Hutchinson’s Ithaca facility. “Earning this certification has been a rigorous, year-long focus.”

Kevin Underwood, silicone and environmental manager, at Hutchinson who oversaw the certification process at Hutchinson’s Hopkinton plant, discussed some of the technology behind the company’s certification success.

“Sensors monitor energy consumption for all our major pieces of equipment,” he said. “Significant energy users— such as our chiller compressor, test lab power unit, compression presses and hydraulic power pack—are all monitored to tell us how many kilowatt hours we're consuming every 10 minutes of operation.”

Underwood said they use that data to review energy usage on a month-to-month basis, which helps the energy management team understand the plant’s manufacturing behaviors. For example, they can see if operators are following the processes for shutting down equipment on the weekends, or where there are opportunities to replace older pieces of equipment.

“We can use the data to compare an older piece of equipment with something new, and estimate how much energy savings we can accomplish by making the change,” said Underwood. “That lets us not only tap into standard capital from the standpoint of return-on-investment calculations, but into capital monies our corporation has dedicated specifically for decarbonization projects.”

“I think one of the biggest benefits of earning ISO 50001 certification is tracking our energy,” said Jason Bourgoin, antivibration and noise reduction, safety and maintenance manager. “It lets us keep an eye on what we're using, where we can save and how we can realize that savings by implementing new projects. It’s something we've never done before to this level. This certification is just the first step. It's really about continually growing and improving our energy usage over time.”

English talked about the financial impact of sustainability efforts.

“Companies that aren’t paying attention to their energy usage are either paying too much for it or wasting it, and that's real dollars, real money. Our electric bill looks a lot better now than it did eight years ago, and that's with rates going up and everything—we're going the other way. That's bottom-line money.”

Underwood said that saving the company money by consuming less energy is one of many benefits of their focus on becoming carbon neutral. But he notes that at Hutchinson, the team looks beyond that.

“Ultimately, it's a greenhouse gas reduction,” he said. “By using less power, our grid doesn't have to supply as much and there's less CO2 produced. So, we are being good planetary citizens.”

English explained that meeting the company’s sustainability goals has become an integral part of the culture at Hutchinson.

“We teach our employees what 50001 is and have succeeded in getting everyone on board,” he said. “They understand the impact of initiatives like scheduling and staggering our equipment start up, to avoid high peak demands, shutting down equipment that’s not being used and turning off lights. I know that sounds fundamental, but sometimes that can be a challenge. And everybody's embraced that idea. That's a culture change, and I know it's going to get better and better.”