Mercury Marine receives environmental honor in Wisconsin

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Mercury Marine won a Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment Award on Wednesday.

The company said the Business Friend of the Environment Awards program highlights the actions Wisconsin companies are taking in pollution prevention, innovative technology and environmental stewardship.

"Our passion for sustainability continues to evolve, not just in our products, but in our people and our processes," Mercury Marine president John Pfeifer said in a statement. "We are honored to be given this award, especially as we celebrate our 75th anniversary this year."

In April, Mercury won the Most Eco-Friendly Marine Business Award at the China International Boat Show. The company has earned a "Green Master" designation from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council for the past three years, placing the Fond du Lac manufacturer among the top 20 percent of 170 participating companies.

"It's no secret that fossil fuels power the marine industry," Pfeifer said. "Instead of being part of the problem, Mercury invests a lot of time and capital on being part of the solution."

Mercury started its 75th anniversary in 2014 by winning the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award, which is presented annually by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Some of Mercury's sustainable headlines in 2013 include:

• Employees recycled 24,558 pounds of electronics, an increase of 25 percent from the 2012 total.

• Mercury won the Gold Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals & Events Association in the "Best Green Program" category during the 2013 Walleye Weekend Festival in Fond du Lac. The award honored the Mercury Marine Recycling Challenge. With the help of 12 participating schools, 1.2 tons of recyclable material were collected.

• Mercury introduced its one-of-a-kind Mercury Enertia ECO propeller, which was designed specifically for high-horsepower, outboard-powered boats. The patent-pending design provides boaters a 10 percent increase in fuel economy at cruising speeds. At today's gas prices, this propeller alone will save boaters more than $550 a year, or $5,500 over 10 years.