Vauxhall goes landfill-free across all European facilities

Global car manufacturers General Motors has announced that all of its Vauxhall facilities across Europe are 100% landfill free, with the facilities either recycling, reusing or creating energy from daily waste operations.

Vauxhall facilities in Luton and Ellesmore Port were the latest assemblies to officially send zero waste to landfill making Europe the first global region for GM to reach 100% landfill free status for its manufacturing plants.

In total GM now runs 131 facilities across the globe that operate with a zero waste to landfill specification.

GM’s executive vice president of global manufacturing Jim DeLuca said: “Our global progress in waste reduction is possible because of employee participation, creative ideas, and a strong supplier network. Our teams understand the positive impact of this initiative and they drive it in their facilities every day.”

The landfill free sites were made possible through training courses and videos to help employees understand the environmental benefits associated with recycling and reuse. Some plants even designated ‘sustainable champions’ in units to generate healthy competition in employee participation.

GM is working across the globe to make 150 plants landfill free by 2020, championed by its ‘business case for zero waste’ blueprint.

“We at Vauxhall see waste as a resource out of place and want to go beyond the classical waste reduction targets that you usually reach by optimization of existing processes. Only if you understand waste as raw material you start to rethink your current processes and develop new ways to run your business differently,” said Dr Renate Adam manager of environmental compliance and sustainability for Vauxhall Europe.

“Strategically we do not only want to be landfill-free, we want to improve the re-use of material.”

Scrap that

The firm recently announced that its Arlington Assembly plant will soon be able to build up to 125,000 trucks a year using 115GWh of wind power. This effort doubles up with last week’s announcement that the company will use solar power to manufacture 850 Corvettes each year.

The landfill free sites across Great Britain will cut back on the amount of valuable resources that can still be found in landfills. According to recent studies from Cranfield University each UK landfill site could contain up to £90m of valuable metals.

EV-olving market

The announcement marks a good few days for the automotive industry after EV super producers Nissan and Renault confirmed their support for the UK Government’s decision to extend the plug-in car grant.

The grant provides a £400m boost to the UK’s growing electric vehicle market and contributes towards improving air quality.

Matt Mace

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