In an effort to remind regional stakeholders in the business community about the importance of water to San Diego’s regional economy, the San Diego County Water Authority presented its inaugural ‘Water Innovation & Efficiency Award’ to Kyocera International during the Industrial Environmental Association’s 34th annual conference at the San Diego Convention Center on September 28.
Kyocera was honored for its strong commitment to reusing water multiple in its production processes, thereby decreasing its water use by nearly 20 percent since 2014. This conserves more than 6 million gallons per year.
“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, whose term as chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors starts Oct. 1. “Corporate leadership like this, coupled with investments in water supply reliability, will help sustain our thriving economy and unparalleled quality of life.”
Madaffer presented the award to Kyocera in front of about 250 people at the conference. “There are a lot of folks in the industrial community here in San Diego,” he said. “By Kyocera’s example, we’re hoping that other companies follow their lead, being able to do what they can to save water for all of our region as well.”
Kyocera’s Meridith Marquis, Roger Blankenship and Mark Brodie accepted the award on behalf of the company.“Kyocera’s corporate motto is ‘Respect the Divine and Love People,’ which compels us to manufacture in resource-saving, eco-friendly ways,” said Marquis, 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.”
View the award presentation video here.
Kyocera’s innovative efforts pay off
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 co-generation 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 installing a basic, off-the-shelf $30 valve allowing the company to repurpose reverse osmosis water that didn’t meet purity standards, and instead use it as cooling water. This single creative adjustment 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.
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 the Brought To You By Water website.