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P1.4: Eliminate Waste

CERES ROADMAP EXPECTATION

Companies will design (or redesign, as appropriate) manufacturing and business processes as closed-loop systems, reducing toxic air emissions and hazardous and non-hazardous waste to zero.

Roadmap in Action arrow 3 (transparent)

Recycling Made Easy

For years companies, like Timberland and Patagonia have been inviting customers to bring back their shoes or jackets for repair, and if beyond repair, recycling.  Recently other apparel and footwear companies, such as H&M and Puma, are getting into the recycling game and are seeking out new ways to educate and engage the consumer. Read more...

Check out Roadmap in Action for more examples of how companies are implementing the Ceres Roadmap.

New manufacturing techniques can enable companies to adopt zero-waste, closed-loop manufacturing processes. By doing so, companies can dramatically reduce inputs and costs for the production of good and services. Undertaking life-cycle assessments (“LCAs”) can help companies move to less impact and zero waste products and manufacturing processes. LCA is a process for evaluating current or new materials, inputs and processes to continuously improve the efficiency of resource use. Whenever LCAs show that key resources are at risk, or are particularly scarce or harmful to the environment or human health, a company can work to find suitable substitutes. Companies usually start this process with one facility or one product and then build from this learning to apply these concepts to the full business.

Businesses should identify new ways to use what has traditionally been considered waste as an input into new products. Where there are opportunities to match wastes and inputs between companies and sectors, companies should look at ways to coordinate manufacturing processes to derive cost savings and greater operational efficiencies. Think in terms of industrial ecology – the outputs of one industry are the inputs of another, thus reducing use of raw materials and pollution, as well as saving on waste treatment.

HOW ARE COMPANIES PERFORMING?

In The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on The Ceres Roadmap For Sustainability, we evaluated 600 of the largest U.S. companies on their progress towards meeting the expectations laid forth in the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.

For this first report it was not possible to capture all of the data required to fully assess all of The Ceres Roadmap expectations.  For some Ceres Roadmap expectations, companies are not yet disclosing the information needed to assess their progress and in other cases, we did not have access to the type of data needed to adequately assess corporate progress.

We will be looking at additional indicators in the future to capture the meaning of the expectations more completely and will develop new indicators to capture data as it is more readily disclosed by companies.