From: ENN
Published September 19, 2005 12:00 AM

Ecolab Inc. Lauded for Improving Air Quality and Reducing Traffic Congestion

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Ecolab Inc. has been designated one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).


Best Workplaces for Commuters, a voluntary partnership program designed to cut traffic congestion and traffic-related air pollution, recognizes employers that provide environmentally friendly commuter benefits to employees. Offering these commuter benefits identifies Ecolab as an organization committed to reducing pollution, commuting costs, traffic congestion, and employee stress caused by single-occupant vehicle commuting.


Ecolab offers an array of benefits that help employees pursue environmentally friendly and cost-effective commuting strategies. As part of the company's comprehensive commuter benefits program, Ecolab recently negotiated with Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) to add three new morning routes and three afternoon routes to the new Ecolab Allan L. Schuman Campus located in Eagan starting in December. In an effort to support this strategy, Ecolab will contribute $30,000 toward the cost of the yearlong trial route.


"We are pleased that we were able to work with the MVTA to provide convenient commuter bus routes to our employees and have a positive impact on our environment. A healthy environment is so important to all our associates and to our company." said Diana Lewis, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Ecolab. "The Best Workplaces for Commuters program demonstrates that a healthy balance sheet and a clean environment are not mutually exclusive."


According to Margo Oge, EPA director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, the effects of incentive programs like Best Workplaces for Commuters can be dramatic. "If just half of all U.S. employees were covered under these commuter benefits, traffic and air pollution could be cut by the equivalent of taking 15 million cars off the road every year, saving American workers about $12 billion in fuel costs," said Oge "That's both cleaner air and real savings for families."


The results of Ecolab efforts will be reflected in the environment and in the bottom line. Ecolab programs reduce commuting costs not only for its employees, but also for all commuters by taking cars off the road and reducing traffic congestion. The production of ground-level ozone, the major component of smog, is reduced as well.


Best Workplaces for Commuters (www.bwc.gov) is a public-private partnership developed by the EPA and DOT. The EPA and DOT have established a voluntary National Standard of Excellence for employer-provided commuter benefits. The program challenges employers across the country to voluntarily meet the National Standard of Excellence.


With 2004 sales of $4.2 billion, Ecolab develops and markets premium cleaning, sanitizing, pest elimination, maintenance and repair products and services for the hospitality, foodservice, institutional and industrial markets. Ecolab shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECL.


Source: Business Wire, Ecolab


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