In The News

KEnvironmental Awardent Moore Cabinets, a Brazos Valley manufacturer of residential and commercial wooden cabinetry, invested more than $6 million to develop a new way of finishing the finely crafted creations they’ve produced for more than 30 years to better protect the environment.

By actively seeking innovative technology, the company has positioned itself as an industry leader in using low-volatile organic compounds in wooden-cabinet construction. This commitment has earned it the Texas Environmental Excellence Award, the state’s highest environmental honor. Kent Moore Cabinets is one of 12 winners statewide to be recognized with an award, presented by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on April 30 in Austin.

 

In 2002, company executives began exploring ways to increase production without increasing air emissions of volatile organic compounds, a constituent of ozone. The search led them to adopt a unique, water-based, ultra-low VOC finish for their cabinets, and in 2003 Kent Moore Cabinets broke ground on a new plant as part of the transformation. By early 2005, the new production line was fully functioning. It is the first flat-line process equipped for 100 percent water-based wood finishes of its type in the United States, and the payoff was dramatic. VOC emissions dropped from a high of 101 tons in 2003 to less than 13 tons in 2006. In addition, using the water-based finish generates approximately 80 percent less hazardous waste than using the old solvent-based finish.

The transformation also makes good business sense because it reduces regulatory costs by eliminating some fees associated with the federal rule compliance and annual toxic release inventory reports. After the company developed new finishes, it shut down and demolished the old, manual-spray booths and finish drying ovens.

Throughout the process, Kent Moore Cabinets executives coordinated the needs of finishing-equipment manufacturers, wood-finish suppliers, and its own production team, to ensure everyone’s goals were met. By working together, they’ve created a blueprint for cabinet construction in the 21st century that also considers the needs of the environment.

The TCEQ annually presents the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards to environmental projects across the state that demonstrate excellence in resource conservation, waste reduction and pollution prevention. The award-winning programs reflect the goals of the TCEQ: to protect Texas’ human and natural resources and ensure clean air, clean water and the safe management of waste. For more information, or to submit an application for next year’s awards, visit www.teea.org.