3 R’s for a sustainable society

Our customer is Japan’s largest manufacturer of bearings and currently export their products to all corners of the globe.

The company are setting new standards for reliability, energy efficiency and durability. They produce industrial machinery bearings, precision machinery and parts, and automotive bearings and components. Our customer’s story began in 1916 and their technology can be found in virtually every industry.

Whether it be improved performance coupled with lower energy consumption, or intelligent electronics for greater security the challenges they face are as varied as their solutions.

The partnership between our customer and UKWSL began back in 2009. During this time we have gained a comprehensive understanding of their needs and waste streams and have subsequently provided flexible, innovative services solutions tailored to suit their requirements. Our total waste management solution covers a wide range of waste materials. These not only include the traditional general waste and small volume recyclables, but also more complex hazardous waste materials and commodity trading of high value materials

The driving force for change

Concern is mounting over global environmental problems caused by human activity conducted in pursuit of affluence. The depletion of resources, the advance of global warming and climate change, pollution of air and water by chemical contamination, and declining biodiversity are all very serious issues. All of humanity shares the challenge of building sustainable societies that can be prosperous without harming the environment. Today, people expect companies to be proactive about meeting this challenge, for instance by providing eco-friendly products and services and reducing the environmental impact of their operations. Our customer’s corporate philosophy centres around their commitment to environmental management and “forms the basis of our existence and our pursuits. We are determined to take independent and assertive actions, aiming to establish recycling-orientated societies.” The company’s CSR policy therefore hinges on the 3 R’s for a Sustainable Society: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

This philosophy matches UKWSL’s commitment to delivering long term sustainable solutions recognising the need to focus on the upper tiers of the waste hierarchy.

UKWSL were asked to support our customer to deliver improvements to both Recycling and Recovery rates designed to meet and exceed global targets being set in Japan. A Recycling rate for non-hazardous waste of 92% was set. Whilst this may appear incredibly high, this was based on a greater understanding of what materials are actually being generated throughout the manufacturing process and by the site in general. Whilst Japan has achieved “’Zero landfill disposal”, the target being set for all other global plants was a Recovery rate of 97.5%.

Delivering Change

UKWSL formulated a plan for our customer with the 3 R’s at the forefront of their minds: they focused on reducing, re-using and recycling within the waste hierarchy.

Our customer’s recycling rates were already incredibly high. For UKWSL, the focus was ensuring that the right containers were in the right locations and that staff could maximise segregation each material type. UKWSL also supported our customer through Engagement and Awareness programmes designed to raise awareness to staff about both the financial and environmental impact their actions have on the environment. By operating in a culture where the environment was placed at the forefront our customer have been able to achieve a recycling rate of nearly 95%.

UKWSL operates an outsource business model as opposed to the traditional self-delivery model. What makes us proud is our ability to add value to the services received by our customers. Not owning bins, trucks and facilities provides us with the flexibility to source the highest quality and best-fit service providers for our customers. Our supply chain team worked closely with several regional contractors to source solutions whereby the waste material could be sent for usage through a technologies such as Energy From Waste and Refuse Derived Fuel.

The combination of both Recycling and Recovery means that our customer now sends less than 0.08% of its non-hazardous waste to landfill. Achieving a landfill diversion rate in excess of 99% is generally classified as “Zero Waste”. Using this classification, our customer’s partnership with UKWSL means that they have not only exceeded their UK targets, but they have also matched the performance of their counterparts in Japan.

The Benefits of Change

UKWSL believes that ‘Value for Money’ is defined as the most advantageous combination of cost, quality and sustainability to meet our customer’s requirements.

Cost means consideration of the whole life cost

Quality means meeting a specification which is fit for purpose and sufficient to meet the customer’s requirements at each working site

Sustainability means economic, social and environmental benefits

UKWSL has continuously delivered ‘Value for Money’ for our customer over many years. We have not only met, but exceeded both Recycling and Recovery targets in support of the 3 R’s philosophy. The relationship with our customer has continued to go from strength to strength, something which will only serve to benefit both parties in the longer term.