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Appliance maker wins national supply chain award

December 14, 2016
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Whirlpool fridge
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool is a global maker of household appliances, including refrigerators. Photo via

An appliance maker in the region is one of nine companies to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its integrated supply chain.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool said last month that for the second year in a row, it has received the EPA’s SmartWay Award.

The company received the award in September during the annual meeting of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

The award recognizes industry leaders in supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency.

Whirlpool was recognized in the large shipper category, which represents companies that move goods more than 500 million miles annually.

Each year, the SmartWay Excellence awards program recognizes one percent of the top 3,000 supply chain partners of the EPA.

Alison Jones, senior director of North American Logistics at Whirlpool Corporation, said it was an honor to receive the award in back-to-back years.

“We're proud of our commitment to the environment,” she said.

The selection process for the award considers various factors: environmental leadership through effective collaboration; advanced technology and operational practices; robust SmartWay data validation and reporting; communication and public outreach; and implementation of sustainability practices in local communities.

Among its reasons for being selected is Whirlpool’s requirement that its contracted carriers be SmartWay certified.

Currently, 99.79 percent of the company’s North American shipments are moved with SmartWay carriers.

Whirlpool also reduced fuel consumption in 2015 by more than 250,000 gallons by increasing rail transportation. The company said this reduced more than 2,700 metric tons of CO2 emissions for the year.

"SmartWay shipper partners understand that by improving supply chain efficiency, they not only reduce freight transport costs, but also reduce emissions of the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change," said Christopher Grundler, director, EPA Office of Transportation & Air Quality.

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