SC Johnson announced this week that it achieved zero waste-to-landfill status at its eighth global manufacturing facility, demonstrating progress toward its ambitious goal of reducing its global manufacturing waste by 70 percent by 2016. From 2000-2012, the company says it has reduced its global manufacturing waste by 62 percent as a ratio to production.
The Manaus, Brazil site is the company’s eighth zero landfill facility, and over the last few years it implemented several initiatives that increased recycling rates, reduced packaging and expanded access to environmental education. SC Johnson’s other zero landfill facilities include two in China and one each in Pakistan, The Netherlands, the US, Poland and Canada. Through 2012, the company says 10 of its global manufacturing facilities achieved waste-diversion rates of at least 90 percent.
SC Johnson aspires to eliminate waste altogether at each of its manufacturing facilities worldwide. As the company makes continual progress toward reaching this goal, it aims to decrease the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. By fostering a culture of sustainable behavior change throughout its manufacturing facilities and offices worldwide, SC Johnson seeks the proficiency and participation of its employees to identify innovative and scalable solutions to decrease waste.
Examples of SC Johnson’s achievements to reduce waste include:
- In the Manaus, Brazil facility’s journey to achieving zero landfill, onsite leaders examined the site’s entire production chain to identify its primary sources of waste, developed a revised material separation process and an innovative packaging reduction system, and launched an internal campaign to increase awareness around the environmental impact of employees’ waste. Since 2012, the facility has prevented an average of 91 tons of waste per year from being sent to landfills and has increased its amount of recycled products by 16 percent.
- Europlant, SC Johnson’s manufacturing facility in Mijdrecht, The Netherlands, has been a zero landfill site for over a decade. Employees and an onsite robot ensure that waste and packaging materials are separated throughout the manufacturing process to be reused or recycled. The site recycled almost 800 tons of its waste last year.
- At the Brantford, Canada facility, employees formed teams to identify and remove process steps that create waste. The facility also eliminated garbage cans and introduced centrally located recycling stations, which makes it easy for employees to place all recycling in the appropriate container and reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.
- At the Shanghai, China facility, employees have identified several solutions to reducing waste after analyzing the makeup of containers and labels along with delivery alternatives.
- At the company’s largest manufacturing facility in Mt. Pleasant, Wis., employees recycled 8.6 million pounds of waste in 2012. This included used oil, light bulbs, batteries, and kitchen grease. Across the company’s Wisconsin facilities, employees have recycled 615,000 pounds of paper, equal to saving more than 3,600 trees. In addition, company cafeterias use plant-based cold beverage cups, corn-based disposable forks, knives and spoons, and compostable containers for to-go items.
- The Bay City, Mich. manufacturing facility recycled more than 6.3 million pounds of waste from 2012-2013 and has diverted 100 percent of its waste from landfills since November 2011.
In other SC Johnson news — in January, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), the nonprofit trade association representing over 120 companies in the US cleaning products industry including SC Johnson, launched a new voluntary initiative to promote and demonstrate continual improvement in the cleaning products industry’s sustainability profile.
And we're just over halfway through the company's "30 Green Days" challenge, designed to inspire families across the US to take simple steps each day with the goal of developing habits for more sustainable living, which launched on St. Patrick's Day.