At its plant in Gaffney SC, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.(FCCC) had a real green letter day yesterday as it celebrated becoming the first vehicle chassis manufacturer and the first company within the trucking industry to achieve “Zero Waste to Landfill” status in the U.S.
Joining an elite group of solid waste-free manufacturing facilities in the United States, FCCC went from disposing 250,000 lbs of solid waste per month in January 2007 to disposing zero lbs today as a result of numerous environmental efforts implemented at its plant.
“Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation easily surpassed our corporate goal by realizing Zero Waste to Landfill status three months earlier than our original January 2010 target date,” said Roger Nielsen, COO of FCCC’s parent, Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA),“FCCC was able to achieve these results by the continued efforts and diligence of all employees within the company, and we continue to seek ways to reduce our environmental impact in our facility and through our products and alternative-fuel efforts.”
The Zero Waste to Landfill directive was initiated by DTNA’s parent, Germany’s Daimler AG, to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing facilities under its control. The FCCC’s plant was actually chosen as the program’s “pilot site” in September 2007.
The goal was for the FCCC facility to become 100% landfill waste-free by 2010. Nielsen said efforts undertaken by FCCC will be used as an “environmental blueprint to be implemented into other DTNA facilities striving toward Zero Waste to Landfill status.”
Recognized by numerous governmental agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the FCCC facility recycles materials such as plastic, paper, aluminum, cardboard, metals, wood and nylon. FCCC said it is committed to not only reducing its environmental footprint with clean manufacturing efforts, but also to developing products that are green.FCCC noted that its commitment to clean air technologies is aligned with Daimler’s global initiative called “Shaping Future Transportation.” Launched in November 2007 in Stuttgart, Germany, the initiative is focused on reducing category emissions pollutants, carbon dioxide and fuel consumption.
Three months after FCCC was selected to be the pilot facility for the Zero Waste to Landfill initiative, the company developed a “Green Team,” including employees who were committed to reducing the overall carbon footprint within the company and community. The FCCC Green Team was integral to the success of the program, keeping the corporate goal of waste-free status in mind while implementing and improving recycling programs and communicating these efforts and accomplishments other employees.
“I’d like to recognize the Green Team for its commitment to the Zero Waste to Landfill program,” said Bob Harbin, president of FCCC. “It’s the team’s tenaciousness and foresight that enabled our company as a whole to work toward a healthier environment and a cleaner community. We knew being selected as the pilot facility for DTNA was going to set the bar for other DTNA brands. We accepted the challenge, and achieved the desired results in an even shorter timeframe than we imagined. I’m greatly impressed by our Green Team, our other employees and the culture change that has taken place at FCCC.”
In March 2008, just six months after being selected as the pilot site, the FCCC plant was recognized by the EPA’s WasteWise Program for its 2007 waste reduction achievement and was accepted as a WasteWise partner. WasteWise engages government, businesses and nonprofit organizations to educate others about the benefits of reducing solid waste.
FCCC also was accepted into the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP) in February 2009. SCEEP is a voluntary initiative designed to recognize and reward South Carolina facilities that have demonstrated environmental performance. “FCCC is proud to be associated with the EPA and various local and regional organizations with whom we work with on our environmental efforts,” said Bill Harris, environmental health and safety supervisor for FCCC. “These valuable partnerships have helped us to achieve these outstanding results.”