There is no aspect of modern life that sustainability doesn’t touch. The steel industry is no stranger to this. In fact, more than 80 million tons of steel are recycled each year making it the most recyclable material in the world, [i] so it was a priority for Morgan to stay ahead of the game. The benefits are too strong to ignore. Prioritizing sustainability in manufacturing helps our customers, our employees, and, most importantly, the planet we call home.
Where We All Started
American steel is one of the founding industries of our great country. There aren’t many industries that can trace their roots right back to the foundation of the world as we know it. We hold immense pride in being a forerunner for the modern steel industry, but there are aspects to this legacy that might not be public knowledge.
At our corporate headquarters in Alliance, OH, some of our buildings have been standing since our company began in 1868. Despite the significant upgrades made within these historic walls, the outside might not tell the same story. Whilst other industries sought to modernize their facilities, Morgan, along with other steel industry members, put its efforts toward modernizing its manufacturing processes. Through great determination and collaboration, we have developed systems to make steel lighter, stronger, and last longer. We have joined in the revolutionization of the industry by following the three R’s: reuse, reduce, and recycle.
Changes We’ve Made
The steel industry found its start during the Industrial Revolution, a time before sustainability in manufacturing was prioritized. Thought leaders realized that their current methods couldn’t continue forever. Today, mines have safety protocols in place to preserve the land they use. [ii] Inhabitat, a company dedicated to researching the latest in environmental news, writes that improper procedures can cause floods, toxic chemicals and unstable land. Land rehabilitation is applied every step of the way rather than being done only at the end. The mining companies work to get the land stable again and plant trees to begin the process of replacing the used natural materials. Inhabitat says, organizations like the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Program plants high-value hardwood trees on reclaimed coal mines across multiple states, including Ohio, to reduce soil compaction. These trees filter water and air to make a cleaner world. [iii]
Reusing became a main focus as practices for recycling developed. Steel from cars can be remelted and brought back to grade before being repurposed. Mining raw materials can’t be eliminated however, but by reusing it can be limited. This has a ripple effect in labor costs, travel time, and more.
Many manufacturing sites have maintained the outside of original buildings while making updates on the inside. Since these updates aren’t public, the old-fashioned image of the industry stays engrained in people’s minds. They don’t see that we’re using new tools that use less electricity, that we have modern lighting that doesn’t waste as much energy by putting off heat instead of light, or reusing wood crates we receive through other purchases.
When we upgraded our office space in 2020, the building was made with the environment in mind. The siding maintains the temperature while our heating and cooling system inside will redistribute air to keep everyone comfortable. Not only does this keep down costs, but it reduces electricity which keeps down our need for additional fossil fuels.
Into the Future
Sustainability is not a goal that can be achieved at once. It is an ongoing process now and for the rest of time – even if that looks different as time goes on. By continually making small changes like providing recycling bins to our employees at their desks, sourcing materials locally when possible, and recycling wood crates in the shop, we can make long-time impacts. The world depends on our dedication to this process. We want to continue being a leader in this area because it is a service, we can do for those we impact the most.
Join the Revolution
Join us in reducing the steel industry’s carbon footprint. Contact us today to learn more about modernizing your crane with the latest in control and safety technology.
[i] “Steel and Recycling: Fun Facts!” Nationalmaterial.com, 6 Aug. 2020, www.nationalmaterial.com/steel-and-recycling-fun-facts/. Accessed 21 Feb. 2023.
[ii] “Land Rehabilitation After Mining.” Americanmineservices.Com, americanmineservices.com/land-rehabilitation-after-mining/. Accessed 21 Feb. 2023.
[iii] Bergen, Teresa. “Plant Trees on Old Mines Through the Reforestation Program.” Inhabitat.Com, 22 Apr. 2022, americanmineservices.com/land-rehabilitation-after-mining/. Accessed 21 Feb. 2023.