In total 23 Opel/Vauxhall facilities in Europe are now landfill-free, meaning they recycle, reuse or convert to energy all waste from daily operations. With the additions of Luton Assembly and Ellesmere Port Assembly in Great Britain, Europe achieved as the first global GM region 100% landfill-free status for its manufacturing plants. General Motors’ industry-leading landfill-free count now totals 131 facilities.
“Our global progress in waste reduction is possible because of employee participation, creative ideas, and a strong supplier network,” said Jim DeLuca, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “Our teams understand the positive impact of this initiative and they drive it in their facilities every day.”
The new landfill-free sites in Europe used a variety of tools to educate and inspire, from recycling courses to training videos that help them understand the environmental benefits and business case. Some plants designate a champion in every unit of the plant to help ensure employee participation, and recognize team members driving significant progress. All landfill-free sites will continue to improve their efforts and reduce total waste whenever possible.
“We at Opel/Vauxhall see waste as a resource out of place and want to go beyond the classical waste reduction targets that you usually reach by optimization of existing processes. Only if you understand waste as raw material you start to rethink your current processes and develop new ways to run your business differently. Strategically we do not only want to be landfill-free, we want to improve the re-use of material,” says Dr. Renate Adam, Manager Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, Opel/Vauxhall Europe.
GM teams around the world are working toward achieving 150 landfill-free sites globally by 2020. The company received a Top Project of the Year Award from Environmental Leader for driving a global movement for zero waste and outlines its best practices in its blueprint, “The Business Case for Zero Waste”.