We had the opportunity to visit the Ohio Airstream plant recently. We were invited by their VP of Marketing, Mollie Hansen. We stayed at the facility for a week as we had some much needed repair work to be done (hole in the underbelly, broken water pump, hole in the roof). We had an opportunity to meet with the CEO, Bob Wheeler, as well as Mollie and the VP of Engineering and Sales. We showed them our green retrofits and they spoke about their sustainability efforts at the production plant.
Above photo (from left to right) – with Bruce Bannister (VP of Engineering & Development), Cece, Justin Humphreys (VP of Sales), Bruce Wheeler (President) and Mollie Hansen (VP of Marketing). While the standard construction industry (houses, commercial buildings, apartments, etc) has Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification as a way to quantify healthy, sustainable buildings, the RV industry does not. LEED consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. Without a governing body to push the RV industry towards sustainable production, RV manufacturers seem content to continue to build unhealthy vehicles. Bob spoke about Airstream’s commitment to being green BUT that they have a long way to go. As we walked through their facility it was obvious they are making strides (as you will see in the list below). We walked away with some ideas for future event collaborations. Thanks to Mollie for sending us their “green” list.
In the Plant:
Recycle water used in our Water Check Booth.
Use ultra high efficiency fluorescent lighting in main production plant.
Recycle all office paper/magazines etc.
Recycle Plastic soda bottles and aluminum soda cans.
Use computer routers and saws for metal and wood parts that minimize scrap.
Their shape leads to better MPG and less wind resistance. Trailers use aluminum with recycled aluminum content.*
Trailer frames have recycled steel content.*
California Air Resources Board certified low formaldehyde woods used.
Low amperage, energy saving LED lighting – exterior and interior.
1.5 gal/min. faucets used.
Low VOC paint, primer, solvents and metal cleaners used.
Green Guard certified R7 Eco Batt insulation used in sidewalls and ceilings.
Bubble insulation used between chassis and floor.*
Optional solar panels for battery charging available.
All windows are tinted.
White roof metal used to reflect solar radiation.
* – I plan to follow up with Mollie to get clarity on these items – how much recycled aluminum and steel is used and what is bubble insulation and how is it green. As soon as I get more info I will update this blog post.
The airstream factory is a cool place to visit. Check out some of the vintage goodness we found on the property.