Manufacturing Savvy

In the Air in the Water and on the Ground

Those are the venues that Cascade Engineering is tapping into to create products that contribute to the careful stewardship of the environment.

The company, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., views its sustainability model as interconnected gears in motion. Their three aspects of sustainability are economic, social and environmental. "Each category is an interdependent, innovation-enabling mechanism. This is not a balancing act; the three gears cannot exist independently. Rather, each in turn provides momentum and innovative thought and processes to the next. To drive one forward is to drive all three forward; the result is a sustainable system where innovation begets innovation," the company says.

Recent initiatives include:

The Cascade Renewable Energy Solutions unit which manufactures an environmentally sustainable, building-mountable wind turbine that provides a quiet, cost-effective renewable energy source for domestic, community and industrial use. Its SWIFT Wind Turbine generates less than 35decibels of noise at all wind speeds. And the turbine is designed to become carbon and energy positive within four years.

The company has partnered with a global health care agency International Aid and is commercializing the HydrAid BioSand Water Filter, a new device that promises to make a significant impact on the global safe water crisis.

Cascade has a hand in environmental pallets through a joint venture with Israel-based Dolay Plastics Products. The joint company, Decade Products, recently was awarded the Silver Certification by McDonough Braungary Design Chemistry for its Cradle-to-Cradle design of the RACX pallet product line. The certification recognizes the various ways the product is sustainable including closed-loop lifecycle, use of safe materials for humans and the environment, product and system design for material reutilization, use of renewable energy in the manufacturing process and efficient use of water.

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