How did we do it?
To achieve this magnificent task, Haworth leaned heavily on the passion and inspiration of its team members the world over. Here’s a snapshot of how we accomplished Zero Waste to Landfill status, and the ongoing effort required to maintain it:
In our North American Plants:
Haworth’s volunteer Plant Champions helped drive a sustained change in behavior. They called upon time-honored Kaizan and 5S techniques to improve processes, identify new opportunities for recycling items that normally get thrown away, and to set new benchmarks in reducing, reusing, and recycling throughout the plants. These Plant Champions conduct training for team members, as well as regular audits. The audit results are distributed via highly visible process boards throughout the plants, and on-site teams continually work to identify and eliminate waste.
Showcase: Douglas, Michigan, USA
The plant in Douglas exemplifies the commitment that Haworth members feel toward environmental stewardship. In their effort to accomplish Zero Waste to Landfill, the Douglas team placed a lock on its compactor in early January 2009. By vowing to intentionally recycle, the plant members reduced the month’s waste (typically 5,000 to 10,000 lbs per month) to just 140 lbs. They reduced it further the next month, and, bolstered by the results, the team continues its practice and maintains the plant’s Zero Waste to Landfill status.
The first step for the Ecommitment team was to create the Sustainable Solutions volunteer team. That team envisioned a challenge that would raise awareness of intracompany recycling opportunities and waste reduction.
The Sustainable Solutions team members conducted regular audits of their area W2E (Waste to Energy) bins and recycling bins to ensure all areas were properly utilized and to identify trouble areas. Internal websites kept Haworth members apprised of success stories, common questions and answers, and results.
The effort at Corporate HQ garnered great results from the contest, and the implementation of some great ideas from members, including easy-to-understand signage pertaining to recycling opportunities, and increased recycling and waste to energy locations.
In our Asia Pacific facilities
Showcase: Shanghai, China
Haworth’s Shanghai factory is a steward of environmentally friendly lean manufacturing processes. The 19,000-square-meter steel and wood factory produces 11,000 parts per day, yet the facility maintains its Zero Waste to Landfill status by practicing industrial symbiosis with its suppliers, and recycling waste materials to manufacture new products.
During initial sustainability efforts from 2007 to 2008, the Shanghai factory reduced its waste to landfill by 1,910.5 cubic meters. By consistently improving its waste reduction practices over 2008 and 2009, Haworth Shanghai established methods that allowed it to reach and maintain 0% landfill status.
The most important factor in meeting the goal of Zero Waste to Landfill in Shanghai is member education. Team leaders make sure all team members are schooled in the benefits of sustainability, and they offer training courses, informational videos and presentations, and tours of the factory. The teams also perform regular audits of the facility to gauge progress.
What was the outcome?
Here are some of the key facts and figures:
Haworth Recycle Center West MI Statistics
• Constructed 1993
• 1995: (18) million pounds of recyclables processed
• 2006: (26) million pounds of recyclables processed
• 2008: (47) million pounds of recyclables processed
Haworth Landfill Reductions: US Factories & Distribution Center
• 2006: (19) million pounds to landfill
• 2007 & 2008: (5) million pounds to landfill each year; reduced through
diversion of wood waste to cogeneration
• 2009: (0.9) million pounds/year to Waste-to-Energy facility;
[Zero Landfill Achieved April, 2009]
• 2010 Target: Reduce another 35%, to less than (0.6) million
pounds/year to Waste-to-Energy facility
• 2010 W2E rate vs. 97% reduction
2006 Landfill rate: