As Earth Day approaches, we’re reminded of the environmental impact that vehicles have on the planet and what we as an industry can do to ensure its preservation.
Fortunately, we don’t need to look far for inspiration. The Haartz Corporation, the industry’s leading manufacturer of convertible softtop fabric, has been at the forefront of sustainable manufacturing for many years.
In fact, Haartz prides itself on being a green company that’s in constant search for new and innovative ways to lessen the environmental impact of its products and operations.
“Reducing our environmental impact is a huge part of our culture,” said Matt Williams, director of business development for Haartz. “We’re dedicated to continually adjusting our processes to ensure we’re reducing energy usage and improving efficiency year over year.”
This Earth-friendly approach to manufacturing has manifested in many ways. Below are four examples:
1. Haartz offers lighter weight variants of its most popular convertible top and truck tonneau cover fabrics, all while maintaining the highest levels of quality. The result is vehicles that weigh less and are more aerodynamic, which improves fuel efficiency.
2. Haartz has completely eliminated its use of chemical finishes containing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Haartz has also replaced many of its solvent-based coating systems with water-based coating systems, which has significantly reduced the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in its products. Haartz has even introduced bio-based ingredients into the manufacturing of its PVC materials.
3. Haartz has integrated energy reflective materials into some of its convertible top fabrics, which helps reduce the use of air conditioning. Internal testing shows that this technology can decrease cabin air temperature by 10° to 15°F compared to traditional tops, thus placing a lighter workload on the vehicle’s AC system.
4. Haartz has reduced electricity consumption per yard (kWh/yd) of material produced by 50% when compared to 2010. This was achieved through multiple equipment initiatives and facility improvements, ranging from interior and outdoor lighting systems, drying oven efficiencies, to advances in their emissions control systems.
Through these initiatives, Haartz is setting the standard for what it means to be a successful, eco-friendly manufacturer.
“Many of our products and operations are representative of reducing our environmental impact,” said Williams. “We enjoy sharing our best practices with other businesses in the industry, both large and small, so that we can have a collective, positive effect on the environment.”