Green Business Awards 2009: Environmental management - Waste reduction


Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Denso Manufacturing UK is an automotive components manufacturer and subsidiary of the global Denso Corporation. In the UK, it employs nearly 900 staff at its base in Telford, Shropshire, and had a turnover of £196m in 2008.

Denso Corporation has a global goal of zero waste to landfill at all manufacturing sites by 2015. In the UK, this target was achieved in 2006. The company has now shifted its focus from waste management to efficient resource management.

Smarter manufacturing techniques are a central aim. Processes have been made more efficient by implementing lean manufacturing, 5S's (a Japanese term for good housekeeping) and total production maintenance (TPM) programmes. Some rejected parts that would previously have been discarded are now reworked, resulting in a significant reduction in production scrap. Waste is strictly monitored and segregated.

As a result of measures taken, aluminium scrap has been reduced by some 60% in the past three years. The generation of hazardous waste has been cut by 38% over the same time-span, and 75% over the past five years.

In 2007, Denso worked with the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme to send waste flux powder to an aluminium smelting company instead of incinerating it. More recently, it has invested in process improvements that have cut generation of the waste by 67%. Paper tissues used for wiping oil from parts and machinery have been replaced with washable cotton wipes. This has eliminated the need to dispose of 3.7 tonnes of tissue per year as hazardous waste.

The company is targeting further improvements: its 2009 waste-minimisation target is a 10% reduction in both total waste and hazardous waste relative to sales, and a 5% reduction in general waste. A project is under way to dry the filter cake generated by the firm's effluent treatment plant, with aim of reducing its volume by 75% and the cost of recycling by 80%. Food waste should be diverted to an anaerobic digester. Single-use gloves are being phased out.


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