Volvo Group North America, Greensboro, North Carolina, announced on June 26 that it recently received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants Better Practice Award for preventing and reducing waste at several North American facilities. The Volvo Group was chosen among a record number of applicants to receive the honor.
The Better Practice Award is presented to partners for innovative and industry-leading accomplishments in implementing and promoting practices, principles and procedures of energy management. The Volvo Group was recognized for implementing several initiatives at its facilities to help the company work toward landfill-free status. Currently, four U.S. manufacturing facilities are certified landfill-free, including the New River Valley facility in Dublin, Virginia, where all Volvo truck models for North America are assembled; Lehigh Valley Operations in Macungie, Pennsylvania, where all Mack heavy-duty models for North America and export are assembled; Middletown Remanufacturing, Middletown, Pennsylvania; and the Volvo Construction Equipment facility in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
“Reducing and eliminating landfill waste is imperative to helping protect our greatest resource—the environment,” says Rick Robinson, Volvo Group North America director of Health, Safety and Environment. “We are pleased that our efforts were recognized by the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program, and we hope to continue moving toward landfill-free at all of the Volvo Group’s North American facilities.”
In addition to the facilities already certified, the Volvo Group has three other sites that are in the 12-month certification process for landfill-free status. They include the Central Distribution Center, Memphis, Tennessee; Volvo Group Powertrain Operations, Hagerstown, Maryland; and the Charlotte Remanufacturing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Volvo Group began working toward landfill-free status at its North American sites by conducting multiple studies to identify reduction opportunities and develop plant-level initiatives to facilitate waste reduction, reuse and recycling.
The Volvo Group also benchmarked itself against peer companies in the manufacturing industry to determine best practices and created the Landfill-Free Facilities Operational Waste Directive to establish a definition for landfill-free (less than 1 percent of operational waste sent to landfill) and create a process for facilities to achieve Volvo Group landfill-free certification.
The certification process includes the documentation and mapping of all waste types; implementation of waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs; and sustaining landfill-free status for a minimum of 12 months. Certified sites must apply to the Volvo Group Environmental Committee for recertification every three years.
“Better Plants partners are implementing innovative energy efficiency solutions in the industrial space that are cutting costs and energy use, and the Better Practice and Better Project awards honor their leadership,” Valri Lightner, deputy director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office at DOE, says.
The DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge asks companies to commit to reducing energy consumption by 25 percent in 10 years. Since re-pledging the challenge in 2015, the Volvo Group says it has improved energy performance at 14 of its U.S. facilities by 23.4 percent versus a 2014 baseline. The Volvo Group also says it has improved its performance by more than 50 percent since joining the challenge in 2012.