Campion Marine, Kelowna, BC, has taken another step to make its boat building process more environmentally friendly.
The company announced that it's now using Ecomate polyurethane flotation foam products made by Foam Supplies Inc, Saint Louis, MO, which are said to be significantly more environmentally friendly than the flotation foams it previously used. The announcement followed a testing period of the new foams that began in mid-January.
According to Brock Elliott, Campion's General Manager, the company's adjustments to its boat building process are part of its ongoing goal to become recognized as the most environmentally responsible boat builder. “We've been on a lean manufacturing process for four-and-a-half years,” explains Elliott. “Now we're taking the same practices from that and applying them to the methodology of how we build a boat, looking at it step by step to see if there's a way to do it greener. We analyze each step, i.e. is this wax for the job? Can we greener wax that will work just as well or better?”
One of Campion's boat building steps to already benefit from its greener outlook was its use of resins. In January the company announced its adoption of Ashland's Envirez bio-based resins. Elliott says the switch in flotation foams is just the next step in an ongoing process.
“Flotation foam must be applied to boats 20-feet and under to make them unsinkable. Foam is also used in sound deadening,” says Elliott. “The foams we were using before had unfriendly toxicity. Some of our workers needed to suit up for the application of the old foam, while others had to leave the building altogether. With the new foams we no longer need to do this since it doesn't give off any toxicity. The change is a time saver, more efficient and much more environmentally friendly.”
Those who will actually be working with the new foams are happy with the switch as well. “This product allows our operators to work in a healthy environment with no fear of any toxicity,” says Bill Cornelius, Campion's Lamination Manager.
Although Elliott admits that the foam is more expensive than the previous type it was using the company is willing to foot the bill as part of its ongoing effort to enhance its reputation as a green boat manufacturer. “Yes it costs more but it's the right thing to do. We want to be known as the green boat manufacturer.”