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NRAs 2014: Corporate Recycler of the Year

Winner: Cummins

Cummins designs, manufactures, distributes and services engines and related technologies, employing 46,000 staff. In the UK it has 5,000 employees, across 22 facilities.

Globally, the company has a goal of recycling 95% of its waste by 2020. To do this, it is increasing the number of sites that are recycling 100% of their waste and is working to reduce the total amount of waste it generates.

“The company was sharing best practice to drive up performance and embedded it throughout the UK - a big cultural shift with staff engagement.”

The Judges

Its corporate environmental team and individual business unit environmental leaders have developed a comprehensive waste toolkit. This allows all of its sites, irrespective of their size or function, to map waste and improve waste data collection, recycling and reuse. Any learnings are shared between sites.

Back in 2008, only seven of Cummins’ manufacturing sites were routinely reporting on waste data. Now, all 22 sites are doing so, using an Enablon data system to track waste, energy and water, together with certain process chemicals. This can be tracked as a company, a business unit and also as a country.

In the UK, by using a combination of enterprise data management procedures and training, Six Sigma process improvement techniques and 5S lean manufacturing techniques, Cummins’ sites have steadily increased their recycling rate to 97.87%.

Use of waste mapping has allowed it to see what waste is being generated and where, then find a solution.

A local green team works with each site to develop local recycling stations, using colour coded bins or bins with coloured stickers. People were often unsure which bin to use, so the green team monitors the areas, tackles concerns and highlights any problem wastes. Periodic audits of waste sent to landfill identify opportunities for improvement.

One example of reducing waste is at the company’s Wellingborough facility, which receives parts from operations across the UK. One of the main waste streams was cardboard and it had always repackaged parts in reused boxes. But after purchasing a cardboard shredder, it eliminated the need for polystyrene chips and reduced its cardboard waste by 61%.

UK projects completed during 2013 reduced the total amount of waste generated by 30%.

The Finalists:

  • Highly Commended: The NEC

The NEC in Birmingham hosts 2.1 million customers a year across its exhibitions. It used to send 95% of its waste to landfill. But in 2009 it set itself a five-year zero waste to landfill goal, achieved two years early. It opened an on-site waste pretreatment facility, separating materials for onward processing, and rolled out recycling stations across the site. Food waste recycling was introduced for catering outlets, materials were donated to local groups for reuse, and it has worked with event organisers to reduce waste generated, capping the amount they can leave behind.

  • Alstom Transport UK
  • Canary Wharf Group
  • East Midlands Airport
  • GE Healthcare
  • Land Securities
  • Magnox
  • Procter & Gamble

Corporate Recycler


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