GM BeyondNow: The Business Case for Zero Waste

SOURCE: General Motors


Today, GM released a downloadable blueprint that summarizes its process for making its plants and facilities landfill-free. It is intended to help companies of all sizes and industries reduce waste and create efficiencies.

There’s a compelling reason to do so. Consider this: industrial facilities in the United States generate and manage 7.6 billion tons of industrial waste in land disposal units annually, according the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Like many other companies, we strive to continually reduce our environmental impact. We recycle 90 percent of our worldwide manufacturing waste and have 102 landfill-free facilities with a goal of 125 globally by 2020.

Not only is it better for the environment, there’s a solid business case, as well.

GM strives to recover all resources to their highest value by managing byproducts in one electronic tracking system. All byproducts are regarded as useful and marketable, and suppliers play integral roles in making this vision a reality. We approximate our annual byproduct recycling and reuse revenue at about $1 billion a year.

“A landfill-free program requires investment,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs. “It’s important to be patient as those upfront costs decrease in time, and recycling revenues will help offset them. This program allows GM to reduce its waste footprint, while creating greater environmental awareness among employees and communities where we make and sell cars and trucks.”

When we started our landfill-free program in the United States, we invested about $10 for every ton of waste reduced. Over time, we’ve reduced program costs 92 percent and total waste by 62 percent.

Keep in mind: a landfill-free journey involves a long-term view, bottom-line focus, innovative thinking and ongoing collaboration. You can take it from us…the results are worth it.

On Monday, we will share nine tips that your company can implement to get on the path toward landfill-free.

Tweet me: .@GM BeyondNow blog: The Business Case for Zero Waste

KEYWORDS: Sustainable Living, Environment, Conservation, GM, GM BeyondNow, zero waste, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, landfill-free, reduce waste

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