As a responsible element of the U.S. Army’s Organic Industrial Base, Crane Army Ammunition Activity strives to be a good steward of both the environment and taxpayer dollars even while accomplishing its mission as a key sustainer of munitions readiness. By focusing on modernization efforts, such as updating outmoded facilities to make them more efficient and sustainable, CAAA can support the warfighter while protecting the surrounding environment and communities in which its workforce lives.
In coordination with the U.S. Army and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, CAAA voluntarily participates in the Environmental Management System as an approach to reducing waste and conserving energy and water consumption. Crane Army scientists ensure that CAAA exceeds regulatory requirements by following the EMS framework of environmental goals and objectives used to measure an organization’s environmental impact.
“We can use the program as a tool to make ourselves better stewards of the environment and it can be applied to different areas depending on the availability of our resources,” said Sam Wright, an environmental scientist at CAAA. “This program can ensure we not only meet regulatory compliance, but are always improving above and beyond that.”
A prime example of the aging infrastructure that CAAA addressed in its modernization efforts is a plating facility that could not previously maximize water usage when applying corrosive resistant coating to metal components in munitions. Crane Army invested in a new plating facility, planned to be operational in February, which will utilize advanced technology to more accurately measure how much water is needed to support the chemical reaction that bonds the coating with the metal. This modernized process will reduce excess water waste and utilize water more efficiently.
“The amount of water we use comes directly off of the base’s supply,” said Energy Manager Dennis Sledd. “By consuming less, we can free up water to go to other areas and buildings on the base.”
Seemingly small energy conservation initiatives at Crane Army can have a large impact. For example, CAAA has reduced electricity consumption in some areas by an estimated 80 to 90 percent by using more technologically advanced LED lightbulbs in place of traditional bulbs in all production buildings. Crane Army also expects to conserve fuel usage and costs after completing a new shipping facility anticipated to reduce on-base traffic for trucks, thus reducing fuel costs and reducing air pollution.
“Things like installation of utility meters allows us to see where our biggest users are, and focus efforts on those high usage facilities,” Supervisory Facilities Operations Specialist Lauren Shipman said. “Reduction in energy usage not only helps us become more resilient, but also reduces spending.”
Environmental consciousness hits home for many at Crane Army who live in the area. Taking precautions at work can mean a healthier and safer environment for their families and communities.
“Crane Army is a big part of the local community, we want to set a standard and encourage everyone around us to be better as well,” Wright said. “We want to make sure no one around us is harmed by what we do. We just want to do our jobs and safely support the warfighter.”