Our waste reduction strategy involves not only improving processes, equipment and materials to reduce waste generation, but also explores the beneficial use of waste and other residuals. Our ultimate goal is zero waste to landfill.
In 2014, we established our voluntary sustainability goal for solid waste. We also approved a global “Waste Management Performance Standard” that defines acceptable global waste-handling practices. We already beneficially reuse about half of our manufacturing residual waste. The new standard uses Manufacturing Excellence principles to maximize efficiency and minimize waste, and is aligned with our newly adopted solid waste sustainability goal.
A 30 percent reduction by 2020 is seen as a “stretch” goal because the resources needed to achieve the goal are limited, and because sometimes, in many instances, the cost of beneficial use exceeds that of economical onsite landfill disposal.
Leadership is a key element in achieving our zero waste management goal. Near-zero manufacturing waste to landfills has been approached by some of our major converting sites, which stress efficiency and recycling wherever possible to minimize waste. As new technologies for separating waste components becomes more cost-effective, zero manufacturing waste to landfills is expected to become feasible at pulp and paper mills as well.