The San Diego County Water Authority this morning presented its 2018 Water Innovation & Efficiency Award to Kyocera for reducing its annual water use by more than 6 million gallons at its San Diego facility, a decrease of nearly 20 percent since 2014.
The award marks the Water Authority’s inaugural effort to recognize water-efficiency investments among the region’s top manufacturing companies in conjunction with the Industrial Environmental Association. The 2018 Water Innovation & Efficiency Award was announced at the IEA’s 34th Annual Environmental Conference at the San Diego Convention Center.
“Water is our most precious natural resource, and it’s so rewarding to see major employers like Kyocera redouble their efforts to use – and re-use – water efficiently,” said Jim Madaffer, vice chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “Corporate leadership like this, coupled with investments in water supply reliability, will help sustain our thriving economy and unparalleled quality of life.”
Headquartered in San Diego, Kyocera’s North American operations were established in 1971. Today, the company employs about 625 people locally and manufactures high-tech products such as ceramic semiconductor packages and microelectronic devices at its San Diego plant.
Kyocera has been investing in water-use efficiency at its local plant since 2000, with a marked increase in savings since 2014. Recent water savings result from:
- Converting to a closed-loop cooling system that uses water multiple times instead of once
- Re-using water from plating operations to cool its onsite cogeneration plant
- Installing water meters for production groups and making them accountable for water use
- Adding flow regulators to fine-tune the amount of water delivered for manufacturing processes
- Replenishing plating tanks only when necessary instead of continuously
Kyocera achieved significant water savings by simply installing a $30 valve that allowed the company to repurpose reverse osmosis water that didn’t meet purity standards and use it as cooling water. That move alone saved about 373,000 gallons per month.
In all, Kyocera is saving about $62,500 a year in water costs compared to 2014 while upholding its corporate mission to embrace sustainability.
“Kyocera’s corporate motto is ‘Respect the Divine and Love People,’ which compels us to manufacture in resource-saving, eco-friendly ways,” said Meridith Marquis, Kyocera’s divisional vice president for general affairs. “It takes a lot of water to manufacture the technology that surrounds us, and we must act in good conscience to recycle as much of that water as possible. The fact that we can save money while doing this makes it a win-win all around.”
The Water Innovation & Efficiency Award is part of the Water Authority’s Brought to You by Water outreach and education program, designed to enhance the regional appreciation for the value of the safe and reliable water supplies. That effort includes enhanced partnerships to highlight the importance of water reliability to the region’s economy for tourism, agriculture, brewing, manufacturing and other key sectors.
This fall, the Water Authority is focusing on manufacturing companies with “products that put San Diego on the map.” For more information, go to https://b2ubyh2o.org/.