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LOWELL -The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has awarded a $15,000 Environmental Management System Matching Grant to Solutia, Inc. of Springfield, a provider of materials for industry and consumer applications.
Solutia plans to use the grant to build upon its existing environmental management system and become ISO 14001 certified - an international environmental standard - by the end of 2005. One of Solutia's products, used in automobiles worldwide, is a material that prevents windshields from shattering. Increasingly, the automobile industry is seeking to buy products from companies that are ISO 14001 certified.
"This grant will allow us to dedicate the resources required to become ISO 14001 certified, a move that will enhance the appeal of our products in the extremely competitive automobile marketplace," said Jack Mayausky, plant manager at Solutia.
With an industrial presence in Massachusetts for over 100 years, Solutia employs more than 500 people in its Springfield facility and purchases more than $26 million annually from Massachusetts vendors.
'Solutia has an active program of environmental health and safety, continuous improvement and open communication," said Janet Clark, TURI associate director. 'We support their desire to become ISO 14001 certified to further address their environmental and business needs, and are grateful for their willingness to be a leader."
TURI introduced the EMS Matching Grant Program in 2000 to help Massachusetts companies promote sustained environmental performance in their facilities and enhance their competitiveness. Solutia is the ninth Massachusetts company to receive the grant.
To be eligible, companies must dedicate a matching-dollar amount, or more, in resources to develop an EMS and enlist other businesses into the work group to promote mentoring and learning among peers. Over 50 Massachusetts companies have participated in past work groups. TURI and Solutia are currently seeking participants for the 2004/2005 EMS Work Group that will begin meeting in January. Millipore, headquartered in Billerica, was the 2003/2004 TURI EMS Matching Grant recipient.
About the Toxics Use Reduction Institute
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell provides the resources and tools to help Massachusetts companies and communities make the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work. Established by the State's Toxics Use Reduction Act of 1989, TURI provides research, training, technical support, laboratory services and grant programs to reduce the use of toxic chemicals while enhancing the economic competitiveness of local businesses. For more information about the Institute, visit www.turi.org. For information about joining the EMS Work Group, contact Janet Clark at 978-934-3142.
More about the Solutia, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts Plant
The Solutia plant located in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield occupies 250 acres and is the largest chemical manufacturing facility in New England. About 560 employees keep the Indian Orchard facility in continuous operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The site includes a number of manufacturing units, as well as a large Technical Center, complete with research laboratories and pilot plant facilities. As reported by the EPA, from 1986 to 2004, the Springfield plant has reduced toxics release inventory emissions to air, water and land by over 75 percent. For more information, contact Jack Mayausky at 413-730-3000.