Southwire maintains our commitment to diverting waste streams from the landfill, a commitment that started by listening to the values of our customers. West coast utilities, in particular, actively manage waste and recognize suppliers who do as well; Southwire won a customer green supplier recognition award shortly after announcing our goal to send zero waste to landfills. In the case of scrap items such as PVC, steel, copper and aluminum cable, recycling provides a win-win scenario: we retain valuable raw materials and pay less to send waste to the landfill.
Our Growing Green strategy to reduce our environmental footprint, even as we grow, remains as important to the collective fabric of our company as it was when we began our journey toward a more sustainable future. We are integrating our newly acquired Coleman plants into our waste management plan and practices, and we have already seen improvements at our new locations, though we are unable to quantify the full impact of this improvement as baseline data are unavailable.
Southwire manages waste through:
- Goal setting
Southwire’s environmental practices include proactively managing operational waste. In 2007, we set an aggressive goal to send zero waste to landfill by the end of 2017. To achieve this goal, we actively identify our different waste streams, segregating valuable recyclable materials and making simple changes where possible. We continue to improve our practices and processes as we make progress on our overall goal.
Beyond managing operational waste, we also set a goal to offer key customers recycling and/or like-kind exchange programs for processing end-of-life Southwire products by the end of 2016. Achieving this goal will help to eliminate waste downstream in our value chain.
Our environmental group manages all data related to our waste streams, while our plants and division leaders are responsible for developing new strategies to minimize waste. Plants use teams, such as the Problem Plastics team, a Zero Landfill team or an OPS team, to actively look for opportunities to reduce waste in their facilities. Southwire also kicked off a Growing Green team in 2015 whose first initiative focused on waste minimization efforts in our office buildings.
Within our extended value chain, we evaluated packaging entering our facilities and worked with suppliers to minimize those materials. Among our own products, we reduced packaging and other waste material as well. For example, our SIMpull Solutions® require zero spools, rags or buckets of added lubricant, eliminating waste at customer job sites. Additionally, we have instituted take-back programs that give credit for returned material.
In 2014, Southwire contracted with a national waste management partner to help us to better assess risks associated with waste management and suggest alternate routes for waste streams. This arrangement helps us operate more efficiently: rather than each plant managing the cost of waste, we now run our costs through a central data system. Finally, our partner helps us more accurately track monthly waste generation at our Southwire operating facilities. They provide data and progress updates for all of our sites, as well as weekly feedback on any specific issues that arise.
PROGRESS TOWARD ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL
|% Reduction from Baseline||94%||90%|
|Facilities Achieving Zero Waste to Landfill||11||22|
Total Waste Generated (tons)*
*Prior to 2015, waste data represent pre-integration Southwire. 2015 data cover the combined company.
2015 Waste by Type (tons)
|Recyclable Reels Returned*||49,710||40,711||40,481|
*Includes units recycled through our reel supply partner