Eaton’s Hydraulics Operations in Gainesboro, Tennessee, Recognized for Reducing Waste, GHG Emissions through Zero Waste-to-Landfill Program
Eaton is encouraging its manufacturing sites to achieve zero waste-to-landfill as part of its waste management program and also as a means to reduce the release of greenhouse gases (GHG) associated with landfills, especially methane, a GHG 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In 2014, Eaton reduced its landfilled wastes by about 7 percent, or 1,500 metric tons, as part of a global zero waste-to-landfill program. This eliminated 2,500 metric tons of CO2 that otherwise would have been released during the transportation and storage of landfilled wastes in 2014. Together, more than 60 Eaton sites around the world have achieved the goal of sending zero waste to the landfill.
“Waste reduction is environmentally responsible and the right thing to do for the Gainesboro Operations and our community,” said Wes Thompson, plant manager. “Doing what’s right for the environment is part of our culture of doing business right.”
The 105 employees working at the facility produce steel and brass fittings used in hydraulic and fluid conveyance applications.
Eaton defines “zero waste-to-landfill” as consistently achieving a landfill waste diversion rate of 98 percent through either reuse, composting, recycling, or incineration – but only if the heat generated by incineration is collected and used in order to create more energy than was required for the incineration process. Eaton zero-waste sites undergo an intensive audit process that includes verifying that at least 98 percent of a site's waste is diverted consistently for three months.
Eaton Gainesboro’s waste reduction program began in 2013. A plan was developed that called for landfilled materials such as metal scrap, cardboard, pallets, plastic, general office trash and other wastes to be recycled, reused, converted to energy or eliminated from work processes. Employee training was another major plan component.
“With help from Eaton’s Corporate Environment, Health and Safety staff, the Gainesboro Operations were able to integrate new work processes and awareness training into existing Eaton business processes,” said Jim McCoy, facility EHS manager. “And with Eaton’s focus on doing business right, it didn’t take long for a culture of sustainability to develop among our employees.”
“Projects such as zero waste-to-landfill help deliver the environmental performance that reflect Eaton’s commitment to be a leader in sustainable business practices,” said Harold Jones, Eaton’s senior vice president for Environment, Health and Safety. “And, we are striving to get better. Eaton has pledged to reduce GHG emissions by 25 percent, indexed to sales, by the end of 2015. It all starts with our employees generating the ideas and enthusiasm to help Eaton do business right.”
Eaton is a power management company with 2014 sales of $22.6 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries.