GM Steps up Recycling with Mexico Shoe Sole Project

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GM Steps up Recycling with Mexico Shoe Sole Project

Company has 131 facilities that send no waste to landfill
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General Motors’ Toluca, Mexico facilities work closely with resource management suppliers to find higher uses for their byproducts, such as turning polystyrene foam packaging into shoe soles.

General Motors now counts 131 landfill-free operations around the world that recycle, reuse or convert to energy all waste from daily operations.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 3:15pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Waste Reduction

CONTENT: Blog

At our Toluca, Mexico facilities, our team works closely with resource management suppliers to find higher uses for their byproducts, such as turning polystyrene foam packaging into footwear.

We take the material to a warehouse where it is baled and sent to be crushed and densified into pellets. Those pellets are combined with other polymers to create shoe soles.

Thanks to this project and many others, these facilities recently achieved landfill-free status. We now have 131 sites around the globe sending none of their daily waste to landfill.

Reuse is also practiced throughout our operations. Another new landfill-free site, Ellesmere Port Assembly, is in a trial project to wash rags used to wipe up solvent instead of using disposable ones, potentially cutting this waste stream to zero.

These are all part of our efforts to drive zero-waste progress around the world. All of our manufacturing operations in Europe and our assembly, engine and transmission plants in Mexico now are landfill-free.

This progress makes business sense, reduces environmental impact and encourages some creative recycling projects. As our executive vice president of global manufacturing Jim DeLuca said, “Our teams understand the positive impact of this initiative and they drive it in their facilities every day.”

The money we generate from recycling—up to $1 billion in recent years — goes right back into clean-energy technologies and product innovation. There’s also a tie to climate change. Recycling an annual volume of about 2.5 million metric tons avoids more than 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions, more than offsetting our worldwide manufacturing emissions.

We lead in the industry in number of landfill-free sites and aspire to be a zero-waste manufacturer. By 2020, we’re working toward achieving 150 landfill-free sites globally.

Waste reduction isn’t just a one-off project at GM. For us, it’s at the heart and sole of our overall sustainability progress.

Keywords: Environment | GM | GM Mexico | General Motors | Jim DeLuca | Responsible Production & Consumption | The Business Case for Zero Waste | Toluca | reuse

CAMPAIGN: GM Waste Reduction

CONTENT: Blog

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