A co-ordinated programme for managing and recycling waste has seen Suzuki GB PLC reach its target of eliminating waste to landfill within two years of the strategy being launched. And what Suzuki is throwing away is now helping generate energy for the local community.
In 2008 the company's Milton Keynes headquarters shipped more than 470 tonnes to landfill, prompting it to adopt a radical approach to improving its environmental performance and reducing its carbon footprint. A waste management company was engaged and new processes put in place in all areas of the business to ensure everyone played their part.
Although this led to a 91 per cent reduction in 2009, with little more than 23 tonnes heading for landfill, further improvement was sought, as Hayley McCann, Facilities Manager, explains: "We wanted to continue to improve our performance and we identified a grey area - general office waste from the bins under our desks. This is now being sent to a facility where it is mechanically sorted and all the recyclable materials are removed. What is left is sent to a waste-to-energy site where it is processed and used to help generate power for the local community; we now have zero waste to landfill."
The green initiative does not stop at this milestone achievement, however, and Suzuki is now concentrating on reducing the amount of waste it produces and investigating how it can re-use some waste products. This has already reaped rewards in the warehouse, where waste card is shredded for use in packaging.
The Milton Keynes base is home to Suzuki GB's administration and parts distribution warehouse operations for the UK and Ireland, covering its car, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and marine engine businesses. The warehouse opened in 2005 with office, service workshop and training operations moving on site from the previous premises in Sussex the following year. The workforce of more than 140 is drawn largely from the Milton Keynes area.
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