You might say green is the new way to stay in the black. Several industry manufacturers have made eco-friendly operational changes that are saving the planet and the bottom line.

Often the decision has been spurred by the recession, rising energy costs and society’s push to go green.

The Branchburg, N.J. headquarters of Pegasus Products now is 100 percent solar-powered. Last fall, the firm completed the installation of a series of rooftop solar panels with the help of a 30 percent government grant offered to companies that produce clean energy. Pegasus Products projects it will recoup its $275,000 investment within the next few years.

“It’s good for the environment and it’s good for business,” said Frank Patel, company founder/owner.

Merlin Industries Inc. is running on solar, too. The vinyl liner and pool cover manufacturer began installing a three-solar power system at its corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant in Hamilton, N.J., in autumn 2009. The system is designed to handle nearly 100 percent of the power requirements of the facility. “When we were shown the carbon offset figures of the system, it blew us away!” said Merlin Industries President Andrew Maggion in a press release.

The addition of the solar power system is just one part of Merlin Industries’ ECO green initiative, which started with recycling efforts implemented company wide. 

Another industry manufacturer, Pentair Water Commercial Pool and Aquatics, has committed to being green by using some of its own line of green products in its plants. The company employs its variable- frequency drive systems in-house to streamline down to the exact power needed, cutting wasteful power consumption.

Other companies making changes include: 

  • Emperor Aquatics now provides a lamp recycling process for used lamps. According to Scott Paparella, a company spokesperson, the process recycles the glass and prevents the lamps’ toxic mercury content from seeping into the soil and/or water supply. It’s all part of manufacturers’ responsibility to provide for the whole life of the product, he added.
  • Cardinal Systems is expanding its  recycling program and also has installed a more efficient heating system that includes burners powered by materials recycled from in-house. 
  • Water Tech Inc. now is participating in The Big Green Box battery recycling program, an international battery recycling effort for consumers and companies.
  • Pen Fabricators recycles all scrap vinyl and cardboard rolls and is a nearly 80 percent paperless office.
  • Flexible Solutions’ pool division provides most marketing and training materials digitally. “We have decreased both our spending and our waste by creating CDs and DVDs with all our product information, rather than printing vast amounts of literature,” said Monique Nelson, sales/marketing manager.
  • Orbeco-Hellig has redesigned some packaging. The new packaging reduces box sizes by up to 30 percent, using less cardboard and making storage and shipping easier.
  • Hayward Pool Products implemented several green initiatives after completing a series of energy audits. The company has significantly reduced its use of power via small changes, including the installation of motion sensors and special curtains that reduce the loss of heat in shipping and receiving areas. Additionally, all packaging and shipping materials now are paper-based, and a recycling program was implemented.
  • OpenAire has committed to several green initiatives including using water soluable fabrication materials, working with eco-friendly vendors, implementing an in-house recycling program, and reducing electricity usage during off-peak hours.