Waste Zero waste
Target: Zero waste from our own operations will be disposed of in landfills, wherever this is compatible with local conditions and regulations
We are committed to eliminating the impact of ABB’s waste on the environment. We are working towards this target by means of a wide range of waste reduction and recycling programs at our sites around the world.
Total waste to landfill
Globally, we now have 185 sites that send zero waste to landfill, with around 255 making progress towards this goal. Over the past year, through in-house recycling and reuse, mainly of packaging materials and thermoplastics, we reduced the amount of waste that ABB generates by 2,300 tons.
We implemented more than 40 recycling and waste reduction projects in 2021. These projects reduced the waste we generate annually by 140 tons, while delivering annual savings of some $100,000. More than 40 percent of these projects have a payback period of less than two years.
Initiatives such as switching from polyurethane-based packaging to paper, as was done at our Ossuccio site in 2021, are helping us become a zero-waste enterprise. This one initiative alone eliminated 35 tons annually of non-recyclable waste produced from hazardous chemicals. In the United States, several ABB sites have opted to pay a premium to send their waste to an energy-recovery facility instead of the local landfill. Such initiatives demonstrate that we are willing to pay more to uphold our commitment to operating in an environmentally responsible manner.
In 2020, ABB Smart Power’s low-voltage circuit breaker factory in Frosinone, Italy, achieved its goal of disposing zero production waste to landfill. In operation since 1969, the 150,000-square-meter facility with more than 800 employees implemented a whole- factory program to do its part in meeting ABB’s commitment to zero waste to landfill at all of its sites by 2030.
The site is recognized as a lighthouse plant by the Italian government, together with two other Electrification sites in Italy (Dalmine and Santa Palomba), and serves as a model for innovative digital transformation and Industry 4.0. In both its operations and its products, the Frosinone facility promotes smart, digital, connected operations that increase efficiency across the full value chain. To make the facility’s production even more sustainable, the team established thorough waste-sorting and identification procedures at the key points where waste originated. The site now features roughly 150 differently-labeled production waste containers, and there are separate containers for paper and plastic waste at each workstation. Staff training was critical to making the project a success, as it empowered colleagues to make waste separation decisions and engaged them fully in the initiative.
In achieving zero production waste to landfill well ahead of ABB’s commitment, as well as going beyond the European Union’s Circular Economy Package target of no more than 10 percent to landfill by 2035, the facility demonstrated that fast and effective progress in preserving resources is well within reach.