Indiana Subaru Plant at Zero Landfill Status
2/19/2007 10:34:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
I was fortunate enough to be invited to Indiana to tour the Subaru Assembly plant which for the past 3 years has been at zero landfill status. It was amazing to see the sprawling facility, and it's rows and rows of machinery and workers, and realize that not one bit of waste had to be taken from the facility to a land fill. Achieving over 95% reuse and recycling rate, the remaining 5% is incinerated in a energy producing plant in nearby Indianapolis.

I drive a Subaru, and have been pleased with the safety that it has provided my wife and I in the bad winter weather in upstate, and it's reliability has been great. It makes me even more proud to drive a Subaru after realizing the companies commitment to reducing their environmental impact.

We co-wrote a piece for Groovy Green Magazine:

Several members of the Groovy Green team recently visited Subaru’s automotive manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana. For nearly three years now this plant has produce zero landfill waste. That’s right, 100% of the by products produced from fabricating Subaru vehicles in Lafayette are reclaimed. How has Subaru been able to achieve such a dramatic accomplishment while other car manufactures are still taking trips to the landfill? At its core their strategy is simple and straightforward; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. With those words as a mantra and with a willingness to challenge the notion that building cars is inevitably a wasteful process, Subaru has become a great example of what a company can realize if it believes in doing the right thing.

Located on a beautiful tract of land just NW of Indianapolis the 832 acres of the Subaru campus was designated in 2002 as a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat that’s home to deer, coyotes, bald eagles, beavers, and Canada geese. Tom Easterday, Senior Vice President, Subaru of Indiana (SIA) proudly talks about the company’s commitment to building cars in a more environmentally friendly way. Subaru’s mantra is: “Eliminate environmental risks of our operations.” What’s striking though is that when he talks about the accomplishments of Subaru from being the first ISO 14001 certified auto assembly plant in 1998 to the first assembly plant to reach Zero Landfill in 2004 is that he gives most of the credit to the floor level employees, or associates, as they’re called. It appears much of the greening of Subaru has been because of this “bottom-up” initiative – where the drive to reduce environmental impacts permeates all levels of the corporation.
Click here for the full article.
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On 12:02 AM , Big_Lebowski said...

What ever, this is a bunch of hog wash. I'm not saying that this plant doesn't do an excellent job of recycling.... however you can not run a plant with nothing for the land fill. All plants use batteries, flourecent lighting, asbestos (which can be buried with out harm, but not incinerated. It came from the ground in the first place.) not to mention lead (which could be recycled, but no where near cost effiecient) or mercury out of mercury switches or relays. I also work for an enviromentaly respectful company that has recieved many awards as an electrician/mechanic and we try hard but bottom line is you can not produce "0" landfill waste. Say it like it is don't lie.

On 6:00 PM , jkh2 said...

this is possible, there are far too many sources on this factory for it to be a lie, just read about how they reuse old lightbulbs or incinerate leftover waste, this didnt happen ovenight. This plant has been a work in progress since the early 90's

On 2:30 AM , Frank D. said...

keep in mind, when the Subaru claims it's "Zero Landfill," they are talking about the manufacturing waste. It's not like they are composting the cafeteria trash or recycling the pencil stubs from the office spaces.

I'm not saying that it's a bad thing or a cheat - a manufacturing plant that recycles 95% of it's own waste and sends off the rest to incinerate for electricity? That's not bad at all, and I'm sure most of industry could learn from this. Just remember that there's some technicalities in play to make it work.

On 1:03 AM , Anonymous said...

Actually the Subaru plant does hold the title "Zero Waste to Landfill" all the way down to food waste! CHECK IT OUT