One man’s trash really can be another man’s profit: General Motors made $1 billion in revenue from recycling.
While the average individual produces four pounds of trash each day, GM recycled more than 2 million metric tons of waste materials last year. In addition to recycling such a massive amount, the company also converted around 9% of its waste into energy, saving 8.9 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
According to GM’s sustainability report, the company’s byproduct recycling and reuse initiatives did more than just save the automotive giant money, but it also generated a profit as a result.
John Bradburn, G
M global manager of waste reduction, had much to say about the company’s recycling efforts.
“A lot of companies look at these various materials as a scrap or a waste or trash or sludge — you name it,” Bradburn explained. “We called it all ‘byproducts’ and that program has really helped tie the sustainability factors to the business factors.”
GM is not the only organization recently recognized for its efforts in sustainability. Diakonia, a Maryland organization dedicated to addressing the root cause of homelessness in the community, was recently awarded the Community Leader award by Worcester County Tourism.
The Dispatch cites that the organization was recognized for “reducing waste and promoting the reuse of resources by instituting a processing system that helps eliminate food waste and diverted 125,000 pounds of fresh, donated leftovers from being wasted in 2015.” Diakonia also processed used clothing, household items, and furniture in good condition for use both at the facility and to be used within the community.
GM converts employees’ recycled water bottles into noise-reducing fabric insulation which is used in its Chevy Equinox.
“We focus on collecting as much as possible, selling it and making pretty good revenue,” Bradburn says. “We also said, ‘let’s make a car part out of it, too,’ and we did that.”