IUE-CWA Local 123

White House Names President Clark ‘Champion of Change’

Washington, D.C. – The Obama Administration will name IUE-CWA President James D. Clark a “Champion of Change for Corporate Environmental Responsibility” April 12 for his union’s work in helping to train union members to identify energy efficiency opportunities that improve environmental performance and the competiveness of manufacturing.

To watch this event live, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/live at 1:30 pm ET on April 12.

The White House Champions of Change program highlights examples of citizens who represent President Obama’s vision of out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world through projects that move their communities forward.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality worked to select individuals for the award who are leading important efforts to increase the use of renewable energy, driving out energy waste, greening supply chains, and/or adopt other strategies to improve sustainability.

“Cutting waste, reducing energy use and operating more sustainably translates to less pollution and lower utility bills for businesses across the country,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The leaders we’ve selected as Champions of Change are proving that sustainable practices work for companies’ bottom lines, and work for the health of American communities.”

IUE-CWA’s work stems from an innovative partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) which worked with IUE-CWA on a pilot program to have front line workers conduct the energy efficiency “Treasure Hunts.” In a joint process they initiate with management, the union members analyze energy use in the building systems and the production process, identify waste and come up with solutions to maximize efficiency and minimize waste.

For an average one-time implementation investment of only $34,500, the union said, its Treasure Hunt program achieves annual utility savings of $97,500, on average, and saves an average of 779 metric tons of carbon annually.

Companies that have participated in the program include Cobasys in Ohio, CCL Container in Pennsylvania, Sheboygan Paper Box in Wisconsin and CG Power in Missouri. More information on the Treasure Hunts can be found at edf.org/labor.

“I believe manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and our country needs manufacturing to be strong,” Clark said. “That’s why as president of IUE-CWA I’ve made it my mission to bring innovative and progressive programs to our shop floors – programs that make our plants more competitive and more efficient.”

IUE-CWA’s focus is not only on green products but on greening the process. As part of that goal, the union entered into the groundbreaking partnership with EDF last year, the first time EDF has partnered with a trade union.

“Ultimately, IUE-CWA sees this project as a way to catalyze a wider energy-efficiency initiative among the entire labor movement,” Clark said, “which would bring immense environmental benefits and improve the competiveness of U.S. manufacturing.”

IUE-CWA has 45,000 members at over 300 manufacturing plants across the United States. Clark’s union, which is the Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), has not only emerged as a leading advocate for energy efficiency in manufacturing, but has led a program to involve unions for the first time in the direct identification and implementation of these opportunities.

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