JCB Promotes Sustainability by Reducing Waste Stream

Tue June 04, 2013 - National Edition
CEG



JCB is known as a leader in sustainability initiatives worldwide. When the company opened its North American headquarters in Savannah, Ga., in 2000, the expectation was that JCB carry the sustainability flag across the Atlantic and plant it firmly on the ground in Savannah — and it’s done just that.

Since 2008, JCB has partnered with Nexeo Solutions LLC, a global leader in the distribution of chemicals, plastics, composites and environmental services to create and carry out a sustainability program working towards zero percent landfill waste. As a manufacturer of heavy equipment, JCB divides the waste it creates into six categories: metals, cardboard, plastic, wood, food and landfill trash. Prior to launching the sustainability program, 100 percent of the waste JCB’s Savannah location generated ended up in local landfills. As of March 2013, only 10 percent of the waste that JCB generates ends up in landfills — a 90 percent decrease in a short time period.

To create that kind of success, JCB implemented a three-step process to reduce its waste stream:

• Create a new recycling method that allowed JCB to continue the manufacturing process while improving recycling efficiencies

• Set up a vendor supply plan to manage the new recycling streams

• Implement the new process and ensure that the intended recycling efficiencies work with the current production flow

Roger Myerly, JCB’s maintenance and site services manager worked closely with Nexeo Solutions representatives to institute the recycling process.

“The process of eliminating our waste stream has been eye-opening,” said Myerly. “The fact that we’ve been able to realize a 90 percent reduction in waste in only four years by using these new processes is a point of pride for JCB. I look forward to exploring new ways to continue reducing the waste stream.”

Myerly is taking what he’s learned from JCB’s success and partnering with other like-minded organizations and individuals to spread the sustainability message throughout Georgia. As a founding partner of Vertical Integration of Research, Technical, Undergraduate and Graduate Education for Sustainability (VIRTUES) project, a community group dedicated to developing a workforce capable of creating, competing for, and succeeding in a green tech / clean tech economy, Myerly and other maintenance and sustainability experts applied for and received a $43,700 grant to host a series of sustainability workshops across Georgia during 2013. These workshops will produce an educational “roadmap” to create workforce that’s better able to integrate sustainable plans and processes in the future.

“With these workshops, the VIRTUES team will be able to help both private and public sector employers determine their present and future workplace needs when it comes to sustainable skills,” Myerly said. “We’re hoping to build a bridge between the sustainability principles currently taught in Georgia colleges and universities and the realities of day-to-day operations in workplaces statewide. In this way, the VIRTUES program will better prepare our state for the next industrial revolution.”

Where some may see sustainability initiatives as an expensive endeavor, JCB and Nexeo Solutions have found ways to turn the sustainability program into a revenue stream by partnering with recycling and repurposing companies around the Low Country. Today, not only has JCB reduced its waste stream by 90 percent, but the sustainability program also pays for itself and still returns a sizable monthly rebate check, according to the company.

“As a manufacturer, we have a duty to both the environment and to the communities around us to take care of our waste in a responsible manner,” said John Patterson, CEO/chairman of JCB Inc. “We see the investment in the sustainability program as money spent to ensure the footprint JCB leaves on the environment is as non-invasive as possible.”

For more information, call 912/447-2000 or visit http://www.jcbna.com.