Good Corporate Citizens Sustain Companies

Good Corporate Citizens Sustain Companies

Winnebago manages its company in the interest of its employees, environment and community.

Sustainable manufacturing as it incorporates environmental and social criteria is part of Winnebago Industries' legacy. As the annual report for the company states, "The company must pursue conduct in a manner that is socially responsible and that commands respect for its integrity and for its positive contributions to society."

Winnebago Industries was created in response to a social need within the local community. In the mid-1950s, Forest City, Iowa, was looking at a bleak future. The farm economy was down, and young people were leaving this rural area for employment elsewhere. In 1958, businessman John K. Hanson and others convinced a California company to open a travel trailer factory in Forest City. Forty-eight years later, Winnebago Industries is thriving and a proud citizen of four Iowa communities.

Bruce Hertzke, chairman and CEO, Winnebago Industries Inc.
Conducting ourselves as a good employer and a good corporate citizen does not just happen. We work hard to manage the company in the best interests of our employees, our environment and the community.

Maintaining a healthy, safe workplace environment is of utmost importance. Winnebago Industries has a strong safety agenda with a corporate safety committee overseeing policies and practices on a daily basis. The implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies has assisted us in this process. Automated equipment, such as computer numerically controlled routers, has helped to improve the quality of our motor homes and dramatically reduce the chance for injury and accidents in the workplace. A corporate-wide ergonomics program helps to ensure that employees have the right equipment to optimize workplace efficiency. This includes adjustable workstations to bring work closer and at a better angle for the employee, as well as automation in material handling to remove much of the manual labor involved in moving large components. We also have implemented a hearing conservation program that has all but eliminated hearing loss in the workplace.

Conserving our nation's resources is a key component of being a good corporate citizen. Recycling programs not only save us money, but they also save our valuable resources for future generations. Winnebago Industries has actively pursued and maintained a recycling program for over 15 years and consistently diverts a major portion of its waste stream for recycling if it cannot be eliminated. An example includes Winnebago Industries' textile recycling program that annually diverts 40,000 pounds of textile scrap from the landfill. A larger and larger portion of the commodities used to build our motor homes now also comes from recycled materials such as aluminum, plastics and plywood. This follows our lean manufacturing philosophies -- that by minimizing both motion and materials, we are actually able to do more with less.

Winnebago Industries Inc.
At A Glance
From a social aspect, Winnebago Industries also believes that it has a responsibility to communities in which our employees reside. Founded in 1972, the Winnebago Industries Foundation provides donations to non-profit organizations that contribute to the well-being of these communities. Forest City, Iowa, which is home to the company's headquarters, is one of the smallest towns in the nation to have a full-featured YMCA thanks to seed money provided by Winnebago Industries and the Winnebago Industries Foundation. A local child-care center also was established in the same manner. Now manufacturing in four communities within Iowa, Winnebago Industries provides funding to organizations within these communities to continue to improve their quality of life.
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