IAC Group reduces landfill by 36 million pounds in first year

As part of a company-wide environmental responsibility initiative at its 26 United States manufacturing facilities, International Automotive Components (IAC) Group has diverted 36 million lbs. of material from landfills in just 1 year after the initiative was launched in 2010.

Last year, IAC Group began an internal project to reduce landfilled material to zero at its production facilities in the States. Leveraging its engineering experience, the team developed a recycling database that was used company-wide to track material re-use and landfill waste. Based on the data gathered, IAC Group initially challenged six of its manufacturing facilities to reduce their waste significantly.

Through several Kaizen-focused events at IAC Group plants, landfill levels were identified, logged into the database and teams worked to divert or eliminate landfilling. Through these efforts, some facilities also were able to turn previous landfill content into income streams for the business through innovative recycling efforts.

By the first quarter of 2011, IAC Group had reduced the amount of landfill by 36 million lbs. on an annual basis. Three plants, in Greenville, South Carolina, Albemarle, North Carolina and Old Fort, North Carolina have achieved zero landfill from manufacturing, and the others have reduced their waste by 50 to 80 percent. Additional IAC facilities in the following locations provided significant contributions to this effort: Fremont, Ohio, Montgomery, North Carolina, Sidney, Ohio, Springfield, Tennessee and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

As a result, IAC Group was recognized recently by the Society of Plastics Engineers Plastics Environmental Division for its overall corporate environmental citizenship, and was presented with the organization’s Daniel Eberhardt Environmental Stewardship Award. The award is presented annually to a company that is committed to the spirit of environmental sustainability in all of its actions, including environmental leadership, verifiable contribution, creativity, originality and significant impact, among others.

Another example of IAC’s ongoing commitment to environmentally conscious materials is its Ecoblend family of products, in which IAC uses post-industrial recycle content to manufacture components from package trays to flooring applications. In addition, IAC Group is currently working on a component solution using kenaf, a natural bio-based material, to reduce use of oil-based resin and reduce weight, which will eliminate millions of pounds of oil-based resin over the life of a vehicle program.