A lot of companies strive to reduce waste, but that's not good enough for DuPont's Building Innovations division. Under its "Drive to Zero" landfill program, the chemical manufacturer's construction materials unit tries to completely eliminate landfill waste at its plants, offices, and DCs.
Earlier this year, the Drive to Zero program was honored with a 2011 DuPont Sustainable Growth Excellence Award for its contribution to the global giant's sustainable growth mission. Remarkably, the program achieved its goal of reducing Building Innovations' landfill waste to zero from 81 million pounds annually in just three years.
To achieve that objective, DuPont Building Innovations turned to some of its suppliers for help. One was Exel, the North American supply chain management subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL. A team at the Lockport, N.Y., distribution center that Exel operates for DuPont Building Innovations found that even after implementing a host of recycling processes, two waste streams remained: a small amount of unrecyclable garbage and fragments of DuPont's Corian solid material, which is used for countertops.
For Drive to Zero, Exel and DuPont collaborated to eliminate this remaining waste. Their solution included hiring a company to grind the Corian material into a saleable product used in road aggregate; composting food waste and utilizing the compost to fertilize trees on the property; and shipping the remaining waste to a nearby energy-from-waste facility, where it is incinerated and turned into energy to power the electrical grid.
In addition to participating in the Drive to Zero program, the Lockport facility was a pilot site for Deutsche Post DHL's "GoGreen" climate-protection program and is a partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise program. The DC has received several environmental awards in the last four years.