A commitment to sustainable business practices by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) can be found virtually anywhere in the world. That commitment extends to Racine County (Sturtevant), where the 500,000-square-foot manufacturing and office complex is located. Here, the primary operational focus is on Evinrude outboard motors, one of six recreational watercraft and off-road brands in the BRP vehicle lineup.
Evinrude is a leader in clean products, built in the most environmentally responsible plants. Evinrude is the only outboard engine manufacturer to receive the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence Award.
When EPA engineers came to the Sturtevant plant to certify the results of Evinrude’s emission testing, they learned the company had developed the first device to measure exhaust emissions while an outboard motor is outdoors, on the water.
The device is known as the Marine Portable Bag Sampling System. For its development, Evinrude received the Business Friend of the Environment Award from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).
WMC recognized Evinrude with a second such award for energy recovery systems used at the test center in Sturtevant, where outboard engines run around the clock to test performance and emissions. Energy, retained in a 600,000-gallon tank, is captured in heat exchangers and used to heat the building.
“We were already making the energy,” Wasil said. “Why not use it?”
Marco Gauthier, BRP facility engineer, noted that in 2009, the company expanded its recycling program from focusing mainly on paper/cardboard and bottles/cans, to include shrink wrap, industrial plastic packaging, and to separating wood from the trash.
Gauthier also said the factory lighting was upgraded in 2010 and 2018, and they made HVAC direct-control ventilation upgrades for higher efficiency of both heating and cooling of the building. For the past two years, Evinrude has received a Green Masters Program Certification from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, demonstrating that the manufacturer is among businesses statewide most committed to sustainable practices.
In 2018, Evinrude hired Ann Forner an Environmental Specialist to further enhance the company’s commitment to sustainability. Forner holds a degree in environmental science with a minor in sustainability from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Forner and her group recognized that oil leftover from filling finished engines could serve a better purpose than sent to recycling. The excess oil is now filtered and used for new engine lubrication.
Evinrude additionally partners with Gateway Technical College to advance training in small engines. In February, the company donated $2 million worth of engines to the nonprofit American Boat & Yacht Council for educational purposes.
Evinrude furthermore is an active participant in the Racine Sustainable Business Network. RSBN, an eco-social justice coalition, promotes healthy people, planet and profit for Racine County.