The Green Masters Program was set up by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council to monitor and measure companies based on their sustainability efforts in all areas of operation. This year, Mercury Marine has been handed their ninth designation by this organization, setting the company apart and helping to set the standard for the future of the boating industry and sustainability alike. As usual, Mercury was scored in the top 20% and had scores that were well beyond the minimum.
Founded in 1939, Mercury has been leading the industry since the days of its small machine shop and is now a global leader with touchpoints around the world. While the company was born from a failed attempt to make magnetic separators for the dairy industry, it was successful at repurposing and redesigning the 300 defective outboard motors that it picked up along the way, and Mercury Marine was born.
Mercury Keeps Raising the Bar for Itself
According to the company president, Chris Drees, “This is especially gratifying considering how the bar is raised every year”, but what he doesn’t mention is that at Mercury Marine, they’re consistently raising the bar for themselves, as well. Drees explains that the company is focused on a broad range of business goals that serve the diverse needs of today’s boaters, which includes delivering quality engines and technology, but also addressing the important environmental and sustainability issues that matter to the modern boater.
In fact, at the most recent awards ceremony where they earned the Green Masters designation, Mercury was also awarded the Sustainable Process Award for their efforts to maximize their use and production of aluminum in their engines and accessories. The brand claims that it has a solid mission for sustainability that is built on four major elements:
1. Energy Management: Improving energy efficiency with new projects and products that reduce energy usage and improve the management of energy, as well as the employment of new technology as it relates to energy management and usage.
2. Environmental Preservation: As a company focused on the outdoors, it makes sense that Mercury is committed to decreasing its use of natural resources, improving its recycling efforts, and helping preserve the planet wherever possible.
3. Product Impact: Minimizing the impacts of engines on air, water, and land so that the environment is available and unspoiled to be enjoyed by their customers.
4. Community and People: Helping everyone related to the company, including employees and customers alike, to enjoy a happy, healthy, fulfilled life through the enjoyment of their products and their other sustainability efforts.
Mercury release a comprehensive full report about their efforts toward sustainability to help their customers learn more about all the initiatives the company is taking.
The Green Masters Program: A Closer Look
The Green Masters Program is open to a variety of organizations and businesses across multiple industries. It measures companies on categories like water conservation, energy conservation, waste management, and other elements. Even things like education and community outreach are included since having a reputable brand authority includes sustainable efforts and contributions. The program also factors in elements like transportation, workforce, supply chain, and governance.
In order to earn this designation, a company is required to submit an application that clearly outlines their sustainability efforts, including their initiatives and business practices over the past year that show visible improvement from years past. Organizations are continually challenged to improve their efforts and report growing progress on a continual basis in order to continue earning the Green Masters Designation.
The Importance of Sustainability in Boating
Today, sustainability is a hot topic, and for a good reason. In the world of boating, this is a very important discussion that is changing the way that companies manufacture boats and even think about their day-to-day business operations and how they relate to or affect the environment. The water is home for many boaters, and it makes sense that we should want to protect it. Boaters are just starting to get into the world of sustainability, but boat manufacturers and industry leaders have been working on plans for many years now.
Sustainability means everything to boating. The water, the marine life, and the surrounding nature are all what makes boating so enjoyable. If we can’t sustain the planet and save the environment from the multitude of potential threats, there’s not going to be anywhere to go to enjoy boating. Although most companies have already gotten on board, programs like the Green Masters are designed to encourage eco-friendly efforts and help everyone realize the importance of sustainability in boating, along with many other industries.
Of course, sustainable boating isn’t just about keeping nature in good shape. It’s also about creating a better quality of product and a more environmentally-conscious option in day-to-day business efforts and manufacturing operations. Companies that are changing the industry are doing it from the inside out, and it’s getting noticed.
Mercury Marine: A Brief Overview
Mercury Marine is one of the leading manufacturers of marine propulsion systems in the world, with its headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The company is currently listed as a $3 billion division of the Brunswick Corporation and has over 10,000 service points around the world. The Mercury family includes two main engine options and a full line of products and accessories:
- Mercury outboard engines
- MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard motors
- SmartCraft electronics
- Mercury propellers
- Power Products Integrated Solutions
- Garelick and Whale marine parts
- MotorGuide trolling motors
Mercury is Here to Stay
In a volatile industry where you can never tell who’s on top from day to day, Mercury remains a constant. Through endless mergers, acquisitions, company closures, and other changes in the boating industry, this brand has remained strong and setting forward-thinking goals like sustainability efforts is what sets them apart from the rest. Taking responsibility for reducing our impact starts at home, and Mercury lives that in everything that they do. Will next year be lucky year number ten for Mercury Marine? The odds are good, but the bar is high, so it will be interesting to see.