Thirty-nine Eaton manufacturing facilities around the globe have achieved zero waste, according to the power management company, which in 2013 reduced its landfilled wastes by about 18 percent, or 4,900 metric tons, as part of a global zero waste-to-landfill program.
Eaton defines zero waste-to-landfill as consistently achieving a landfill waste diversion rate of 98 percent through either reuse, composting, recycling, or incineration – but only if the heat generated by incineration is collected and used to create more energy than was required for the incineration process.
Eaton zero-waste sites undergo an audit process that includes verifying that at least 98 percent of a site’s waste is diverted consistently for three months.
Since 2010, the 39 facilities have eliminated a combined total of 2,750 metric tons of waste previously sent to landfills through efforts such as recycling, re-use, new work processes and other means. Together, the 39 sites eliminated 2,500 metric tons of CO2, which is released during the transportation and storage of landfilled wastes.
Eaton’s zero waste-to-landfill program began in 2010. Each facility developed plans that called for landfilled materials such as metal scrap, cardboard, pallets, plastic, general office trash and other wastes to be recycled, reused, converted to energy or eliminated from work processes.
The sites currently achieving zero waste-to-landfill include electrical, hydraulics, aerospace and vehicle operations and are located across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America.
The company has pledged to reduce GHG emissions by 25 percent, indexed to sales, by 2015. It’s also one of only seven companies in the S&P 500 — just 1.4 percent of the total — with fully integrated annual financial and sustainability reports, according to a study from the IRRC Institute and the Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2).