Ford’s Oakville Assembly plant in Canada is achieving a manufacturing milestone: zero waste-to-landfill status. Back in 2011, the Ford Motor Company set a goal to reduce global waste-to-landfill in their manufacturing facilities by 40 percent through 2016. As laid out in their sustainability and electric car strategies, Ford has come a long way and their efforts to build global-leading manufacturing operations are paying off. But what does it mean to achieve zero waste-to-landfill status and how is this accomplished? Let’s find out.
The Oakville Assembly plant sends zero operational waste to landfills, which means everything used in manufacturing gets either turned into a product or reused and recycled. This is no easy feat. Oakville manufactures the Lincoln MKX, Ford Flex, and Ford Edge, and is also Ford of Canada’s biggest manufacturing facility.
So Where Do We Start?
The first step, says Plant Manager Will Cowell, was to reduce the amount of materials used every day at the Ford facility. This includes less water consumption, less shipping packaging, less energy usage, etc. In other words, by finding a smarter way to use resources, the plant produces less waste, which is easier to manage.
Reusing and Recycling
In addition, the Ford facility reuses thousands of plastic bins and containers every day and recycle cardboard, wooden pallets and paper. Last year alone Oakville recycled almost 2,000 tons of materials, saving more than 8 million gallons of water. Also, the Ford plant filters the water used at the facility and sends the sludge collected to a power generating company.
The Future of Sustainability
As mentioned before, Ford has committed time and resources to ensure its facilities operate at a higher standard than others. Can you imagine if all manufacturing plants were zero waste-to-landfill? One single factory is already having a great beneficial impact on resources conservation and energy saving. Ford’s way to move forward is to plan ahead and work with communities to make this possible.
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