Guest Blog Submitted By: Superior Essex
In 2006, Superior Essex launched its global sustainability initiatives, setting forth a longsighted strategy to reduce its environmental footprint across all levels of the organization. An integral part of this strategy was its waste diversion program, which sought to reduce the amount of waste that its manufacturing plants contributed to landfills. The ultimate goal: to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill status.
It took nine years for Superior Essex to achieve its 100% landfill waste diversion rate and receive its Zero Waste to Landfill certification. Not only did it require innovations in sustainable manufacturing practices, such as developing and implementing robust resource and materials recycling processes, but it also demanded that a high level of control be exercised over its supply chain, accounting for the potential waste created throughout its entire downstream process, including that of third-parties who are involved in the recycling and reuse of waste materials.
The results of these efforts have been tremendously positive for the company. As one of just a handful of American manufacturers to attain Zero Waste certification, it has opened up new opportunities in the marketplace for sustainable commodities. It has also reduced operational costs by eliminating inefficiencies in its waste management procedures. Most importantly, it has drastically minimized the company’s environmental footprint. In 2015 alone, Superior Essex was able to prevent a staggering 8 million pounds of waste from reaching landfills. In 2016, the company is on track to prevent nearly 400,000 pounds of waste from reaching landfills each month. Of the 1.2 million pounds of waste the company has generated so far this year, only 19,000 pounds have been delivered to waste management companies, and of that 19,000 pounds, only 6,500 have been deposited into landfills. In other words, just 0.54% of the company’s total generated waste in 2016 has not been reused or recycled.
For Superior Essex, these endeavors will continue to guide the organization, its product development and its business initiatives well into the future. The company remains committed to expanding its portfolio of sustainable products, improving its manufacturing practices, and reducing its overall environmental impact.