Conservation, reuse and environmental sustainability were major themes at Cincy Magazine’s eighth MANNY Awards honoring 15 of the Tristate’s outstanding manufacturers.

The annual event, which drew 250 for the dinner and reception at the Sharonville Convention Center, celebrated manufacturing excellence in five categories: best place to work, biggest breakthrough, job creation, new product innovation and top growth.

Keynote speaker Denise Quinn, plant manager and vice president of the MillerCoors brewery in Trenton, underscored the environmental theme, discussing the massive plant’s commitment to water and waste conservation.

The U.S. joint venture of SAB Miller and Molson Coors Brewing released its annual sustainability report entitled Great Beer, Great Responsibility in June.

“It’s more than a slogan at MillerCoors, it’s a way of life,” says Quinn.

One of the first women to run a major brewing operation, she outlined the Trenton brewery’s efforts to reduce water use in its beer production, saving 55 million gallons of water annually.

A year ago, it was the first MillerCoors facility to use less than three barrels of water to brew one barrel of beer and achieved that benchmark again this year. “That’s world class,” she says. Many breweries consume six barrels of water per barrel of beer. A barrel consists of 31 gallons.

In 2009, the Trenton brewery, MillerCoors’ largest and most productive brewery, producing up to 10 million barrels of beer annually, was the joint venture’s first to achieve zero-landfill status, meaning more than 99 percent of its waste is reused or recycled.

That was music to the ears of Jeff Rumpke of Rumpke Waste & Recycling.

The Colerain Township-based company, one of the nation’s largest recycling companies, turned a devastating 2012 fire into a triumph at its St. Bernard recycling center, earning a MANNY for biggest breakthrough.
The company maintained service to customers without interruption and built a state-of-the-art $32 million recycling center on the site in record time, increasing capacity and adding jobs.

“We need to recycle more,” Rumpke told the audience. “We’re running one and half shifts a day and we want to run two shifts. We’re ready.”

Recycling was at the heart of another MANNY success story. Huhtamaki Inc., a leading supplier of disposable paper cups and plates, has rebuilt and reused more than half of the 1.8-million-square-foot former Ford transmission plant in Batavia that closed in 2008. It now employs 180, making and distributing cups for food service customers.

Richard Mills, director of operations, accepting Huhtamaki’s MANNY for new job creation, says the company expects to increase employment to 225 by year-end and to 300 in 18 months.

Saving energy was also behind Enerfab Inc.’s development of a combined heat and power system for the industrial market. The 113-year-old company received a MANNY for new product innovation. Mike Burke, Enerfab’s director of process engineering, says the system, marketed under the name GridFox, can produce energy efficiency of up to 85 percent. “We’re proud of that,” he says.

Chris Cole, CEO of Mason-based Intelligrated Inc., was presented the MANNY Hall of Fame Leadership Award.

With partner Jim McCarthy, Cole started Intelligrated, a three-time MANNY winner, in 2001 with just a handful of employees. Today, Intelligrated is one of the world’s largest single-source material handling equipment suppliers with revenues last year of $583 million and more than 2,350 employees.

Major sponsors for this year’s MANNYs were Wood Herron & Evans, TechSolve, Stock Yards Bank & Trust, Battelle Rippe Kingston and Prestige Audio Visuals & Creative Services. Community sponsors were the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky’s Tri-County Economic Development Corp., the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.