Saturday, September 27, 2008

An environmental train of thought

OK, let's start with 4 hilarious Dilbert cartoons this week, where Scott Adams introduces the infamous "Director of Green." Perfect segue into my topic.

I'm doing a session at SAP TechEd Community Day in Berlin called "What's your supply chain environmental impact?" See the SDN BPX wiki page for context and conceptual continuity.

Here is where I plan to coordinate my thoughts, rather than the usual slides:

I started looking online for local water quality data.

DPW August 2008 Newsletter.pdf

043008 2007 Water Report.pdf

Then I started thinking about an example company for a supply chain with environmental impact, and decided to research one where I one a single share of stock, Federal Mogul Corporation (that's my disclosure statement). It's come back from bankruptcy caused by lawsuits over asbestos in brake linings.

I googled the company name, with "water quality" and found a few interesting hits, such as:

  • The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the lead agency .... Federal-Mogul constructed potable water lines to deliver city drinking water
  • Federal-Mogul Corporation Company Details from the Paper Industry A fire at a Federal-Mogul Corp. distribution center idled employees Friday and dropped water pressure in DeKalb County, prompting school closings that gave
  • Federal-Mogul - Investors - Press Release "Our goal was to utilize a water-based adhesive yet maintain the high quality levels our customers have come to expect from Federal-Mogul," said Mark Bauer, ...
  • Federal-Mogul Deva GmbH RENEWABLE ENERGY 2002 - Federal-Mogul Deva GmbH. ... construction · fans · foundry machinery · waste water cleaning plants · water · steam and gas turbines ...
The last entry stuck out, as it included "GmbH," a German corporate abbreviation, and the term "waste water cleaning plants." Looking further, I found links to this corporate subsidiary:

I thought this might be a good case study; the corporate site described the business as:

Federal-Mogul Deva GmbH is a part of the Federal-Mogul Corporation. Federal Mogul Deva GmbH is a global manufacturer of world class self-lubricating, maintenance-free bearings in the Renewable Energy- and Industrial market. Available is a wide range of materials, our bearings has been specially developed for use in a variety of applications.

I decided to try to find the manufacturing site location, and see if I could find online data for water inputs and outputs.

This was an interesting white paper on the company's manufacturing prowess:

And the site included this address:

Schulstraße 20
D-35260 Stadtallendorf

I then used to zoom around the area. Here's an example of what I found:


View Larger Map

During one pass, I viewed the terrain and determined that wastewater discharges were likely to flow to the Rhine River. Natives of the area would probably know this already, but I'm also getting up to speed on German geography.

I noticed a large number of industrial buildings in the vicinity of the above address. It's easy to see the discolored roofs of many buildings, and without too much difficulty I spotted what looks like wastewater treatment tanks.

I suspected that the entire area was not just one company, so I looked at:

This wiki page lists salient facts about the town, including "... The 6 square kilometre [sic] premises where the wartime arms works were built were said to be one of Germany's biggest contaminated former industrial sites, in parts with high concentrations of chemical contaminants on residential properties. Since 1991, the premises have undergone a far-reaching cleanup; in March 2006, the job was officially declared done. ..." as well as facts related to World War 2.

The firm that I guessed was related to the "brownfields" was:

... Fritz Winter GmbH & Co. KG (engine foundry) ...

The town itself has a web site (who doesn't?)

And a few links therein:|231.2381.1&ModID=9&FID=231.678.1|231.2014.1&FID=231.2014.1

The Fritz Winter foundry also has a site, and is located here:

Fritz Winter GmbH & Co KG
Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 15
35260 Stadtallendorf

View Larger Map

Their environmental statements are forthright, such as:

(babelfish informs me umwelt is environment in German, verified by

"The Environmental Policy of company Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG is based on the above described Policy Statement and is resumed in the following operation principles. It is fixed by the General Management and disclosed to all the employees."
"The strict compliance with all relevant environmental prescriptions is a main target of our environmental policy. Provisions are made which guarantee that the contracting parties working within our factory premises apply the same environmental principles as we do."

Ah, very good candidate for an example of supply chain environmental impact. They kindly list an email address of oi at, which I decipher to be "Office and Information Systems." I will drop them a couple questions.

But in the meantime, the EU has environmental reports, which google quickly revealed:

EEA - EPER Facility details
Emission to water(direct), Direct release, M/C/E, Indirect discharges (transfer to an off-site ... Parent company: Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG ...

Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG

Eisengießerei F.Winter GmbH & Co KG - LC 1

The EU site has a Geo-Information system, but it is too slow on my home link for much work:

The report shows water and air emissions. In my next installment, I will drill (so to speak) into the water quality values, such as nickel, zinc and cyanides.

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