Target 2030: Zero waste from our own operations will be disposed of in landfills, wherever this is compatible with local conditions and regulations
For more than a decade, ABB has been launching intensive waste-reduction and recycling programs at its sites around the world. In addition to reducing ABB’s impact on the environment, these programs deliver cost savings to our business areas.
Globally, we now have 159 sites that send zero waste to landfill, while around 170 are making progress toward this goal. In the course of 2022, we reduced the amount of waste that ABB generates by 4.8 kilotons. Altogether, we implemented nearly 60 recycling and waste reduction projects in 2022. These projects reduced the waste we generate annually by an estimated 700 tons. Of these projects, 55 percent have an expected payback period of less than two years. In total, 86 percent of our waste in 2022 was recycled, and 6.7 percent was sent to landfill, down from 7 percent in 2021.
In late 2022, our Xiamen and Xinhui, China, facilities were the first ABB sites to be certified as “Gold” waste-to-landfill operations under the UL2799 and UL2799A standards from UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a third-party company that tests products and validates and certifies claims for manufacturers. Xinhui achieved 95 percent diversion and 1 percent thermal processing with energy recovery, while Xiamen earned a diversion rate of 99 percent and 5 percent of thermal processing with energy recovery.
ABB Electrification’s Santa Palomba and Dalmine factories in Italy achieved zero production-waste-to-landfill in 2022, saving 1,190 metric tons of waste annually combined.
Both facilities are well ahead of ABB’s commitment to produce zero waste to landfill at all of its sites by 2030.
Santa Palomba, a factory that produces 15 million residual current devices per year, partnered with waste and environment specialist Ecosystem to implement new waste management processes. By mapping and analyzing data on waste generated according to production processes and life cycles, ecosystem technicians identified the best ways to recover waste. The factory’s 350 employees were also trained in new waste handling procedures, which was crucial to the project’s success, as it empowered colleagues to make waste separation decisions and engaged them fully in the initiative.
Dalmine, which manufactures medium-voltage circuit breakers and switchgear, deployed a sorting program for all waste generated by its production. The entire workforce is trained and involved, while a dedicated team identifies potential improvements and waste reduction activities. The reduced waste volume is then processed by an external waste treatment specialist (certified as a secondary raw material producer) for further treatment, separation and reuse.
Both facilities have demonstrated that progress in preserving resources is well within reach and that these measures can reduce costs and improve processes. Next on their path to circularity, Santa Palomba and Dalmine plan to reduce their use of non-reusable materials and employ reusable materials for their own packaging. As an example, Dalmine now uses reusable packaging made from recycled plastic to ship components between factories.