According to Tom Hecht, operations manager for The Andersons, Litchfield, MI, respecting the environment is just one of the ways the outlet shows its employees, customers and neighbors that it is a good member of the community. “Operating with respect for the environment demonstrates to customers our goal to do the right thing,” says Hecht. “When they see our risk management approach in action, they know we can service their needs accordingly. It gives them confidence to choose us to be the partner for their operation.”
Looking around the facility grounds at this state Environmental Respect Award winner, it’s easy to see what Hecht is talking about. The outlet’s dry fertilizer building and bulk chemical storage are both under roof to protect them from the elements. The Andersons also has separate packaged crop protection products and seed storage warehouses and its liquid fertilizer area is diked.
“In the bulk chemical mixing area, the pumps, meters, switches and valves are labeled and color-coded by product to eliminate cross-contamination,” says Hecht. “Check valves are in place to prevent backflow.”
The Andersons also has an annual Risk Survey Inspection conducted through a third party to look for any problem areas around the facility. “Findings and recommendations from this are held in a database and are expected to be fixed, repaired or completed in a timely manner,” he says.
To make certain all of its employees are operating from a strong knowledge base, The Andersons regularly holds hazardous materials training. “Tier I reporting is shared with the local fire and police departments,” says Hecht. “One of our employees is a member of the local fire department and he does anhydrous ammonia training for them.”
Speaking of the community, The Andersons is an active member of the Hillsdale County Ag Council and conducts annual tours with the local Future Farmers of America chapter. Representatives have also presented talks at the local rotary and exchange clubs as well as the chamber of commerce.
“Community enhancement is gained by maintaining our facilities, managing risk and eliminating exposures,” says Hecht. “This risk management approach to doing business keeps environmental respect at the forefront of our day-to-day activities.”
Note: The Andersons, Litchfield, MI, is a 2012 state Environmental Respect Award winner. For more information on this program, which is sponsored by DuPont, click here.