DOE Recognizes Volvo for Waste Prevention Efforts

Volvo Group North America 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 award is presented to partners for accomplishments in implementing and promoting practices, principles and procedures of energy management.

The Volvo Group implemented 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, VA, where all Volvo truck models for North America are assembled; a facility in Macungie, PA, where all Mack heavy-duty models for North America and export are assembled; a remanufacturing facility in Middletown, PA; and the Volvo Construction Equipment facility in Shippensburg, PA.

“Reducing and eliminating landfill waste is imperative to helping protect our greatest resource — the environment,” Rick Robinson, director of health, safety and environment for Volvo Group North America, said. “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 a distribution center in Memphis, TN; a powertrain operations facility in Hagerstown, MD; and a remanufacturing facility in Charlotte, NC.

The Volvo Group began working toward landfill-free status at its North American sites by conducting multiple studies to identify reduction opportunities and developed 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% 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 program 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 the DOE, said.

The Volvo Group participates in the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, which asks companies to commit to reducing energy consumption by 25% in 10 years. Since re-pledging the challenge in 2015, the Volvo Group has improved energy performance at 14 of its U.S. facilities by 23.4% versus a 2014 baseline. The Volvo Group has improved its performance by more than 50% since joining the challenge in 2012.

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