Caterpillar Logistics in United Kingdom Managing Waste as a Resource
Caterpillar takes sustainable development seriously and recognizes that providing sustainable solutions starts with having sustainable operations. To demonstrate their commitment, Caterpillar established corporate long-term aspirational goals focused on sustainability for all of their operations worldwide. One of those operational goals is to eliminate waste by reducing waste generation and reusing or recycling all that remains.
The 800+ employees at Caterpillar Logistics Services' 1.8 million square foot Desford facility have made this goal a priority. In the UK, the Desford site consists of several buildings housing both warehouse operations and administrative offices and provides a wide range of logistics services to many different customers and distributes materials worldwide.
A global operation of this magnitude generates tons of waste each year. The Desford facility has had a long-standing recycling program in place. In 2008, 76% of the 1,000 tons of waste generated by our operations annually were recycled -- a commendable figure but which still left approximately 240 tons of waste going to a landfill every year.
In line with the Caterpillar Corporate 2020 vision of zero waste, Desford Management Team recognised that more could be done and set to work unifying processes, eliminating landfill and ensuring all waste generated was recycled. In 2008, a project team of personnel from the various departments was set up with the goal of zero landfill and 100% of waste recycled.
The new processes defined by the team quickly improved the recycling percentages to such an extent that on since November 2009, there is only one month where all waste was not either recycled or used to generate energy. That represents zero materials sent to a landfill in 18 of the last 19 months.