Make new goals – but keep the old – one is silver and the other gold.
Many good companies were fortunate to survive this past year’s difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges that ensued, but rare great ones – like DMI Companies thrived!
Not only did DMI go from being the first TRUE Silver certified zero waste to landfill manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania to TRUE Gold, but as an essential business, they remained open during the entire pandemic supplying critical HVAC products to vital infrastructures like hospitals and temporary hospitals created for just such times. On top of that, they pivoted even more by joining in a nationwide effort to provide free aluminum nose strips for face masks when the pandemic started in the spring of 2020.
“DMI has always been focused on the development of innovative products to improve the indoor air quality and energy efficiency of commercial HVAC systems,” states Mark Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing at DMI. “But what makes DMI so unique and successful,” he continues, “is that we focus just as equally on the growth and development of our people, our region, and our corporate sustainability.”
Since its founding in 1978, DMI has been manufacturing products focused on resource conservation and efficiency. But in 2005, when gasoline prices rose to over $3 per gallon for the first time in the U.S., DMI decided they wanted to better understand energy cost savings and the benefits of sustainable manufacturing practices to create a culture change throughout the company. DMI began working with Green Building Alliance (GBA) by participating in trainings, education, projects, and programs and engaging with others in the industry and market. As they achieved cost savings through process improvements, DMI used these savings to invest in additional cost savings initiatives within their buildings.
In 2011, DMI participated in Green Building Alliance’s InterfaceRAISE Program to learn the endless possibilities of a sustainable business and how to thrive integrating a sustainable culture. It was during the InterfaceRAISE program that DMI identified its goal of achieving zero waste to landfill. Over the course of the next seven years, the organization worked towards its zero waste goal and achieved TRUE Zero certification in 2019.
DMI became the first TRUE Silver manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania. The TRUE certification program, sponsored through GBCI (Green Business Certification, Inc.), measures, improves and recognizes zero waste performance by encouraging the adoption of sustainable resource management and waste reduction practices that contribute to positive environmental, health and economic outcomes. A TRUE-certified project’s goal is to divert all solid waste from the landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment. GBA honored DMI at their 2019 Annual Emerald Evening Gala with the GBA Enterprise Award to celebrate their commitment to the transformation of manufacturing practices in Western Pennsylvania.
Since then, DMI has continued to reduce waste within operations through a combination of constant improvement, moving to EPA preferred purchasing strategies, refined packaging strategies, and increased diversion rate, which has resulted in the achievement of TRUE Gold certification.
DMI is also implementing strategies and projects based upon Industry 4.0. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is focused on the use of technology to automate common manufacturing practices while using sensors and the internet of things to collect and analyze production data. Industry 4.0 is based on nine digital technological pillars that make up a foundation that supports and provides unrivaled opportunities for manufacturers.
It’s no wonder DMI Companies has been the recipient of several Manufacturer of the Year awards and named Green Workplace Challenge winner! Per Smith, whose inspiration does not surprisingly come from Jim Collins’ Good to Great and Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Solution, “Our facilities are DMI’s greatest accomplishments. Our dedicated and visionary staff have been able to repurpose, renovate and modernize aging offices and manufacturing facilities into energy efficient and technology-focused structures.”
The ongoing development of innovative new products and services and sustainable manufacturing processes will continue to be DMI’s greatest opportunity. GBA is proud of the work DMI is doing and honored to partner with them in creating a greener, healthier, more sustainable region and world for all of us to work, live, play, and thrive in.
DMI Awards and Accolades:
- TRUE Gold – 2021
- GBA Enterprise Award – 2019
- TRUE Silver – 2019
- Green Workplace Challenge Winner, Medium Category – Sustainable Pittsburgh, 2014
- Manufacturer of the Year, Medium Size – Pittsburgh Business Times, 2009
- Manufacturer of the Year, Sustainable Business Category – Pittsburgh Business Times, 2008
- S. Historic Landmark Status on Charleroi Headquarters
- NPR: Local ‘Clean’ Manufacturers Hint at Tactics Biden Might Use to Move Sector into Sustainable Future