What makes a company green?
According to a survey conducted by Direct365 – a commercial waste recycling services provider – there is a generational gap when it comes to attitudes towards recycling in the workplace.
Perhaps surprisingly, younger people are up to 16 percent less likely to recycle at work, and just 64 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 adhere to their company’s recycling policies.
This survey was part of the company’s ongoing Green365 campaign, but the big question is: besides recycling, what makes a company green? At Manufacturing Global, we believe a truly sustainable company must achieve – or be working towards achieving – the following elements:
1. Responsible sourcing
Sourcing renewable materials is easier than ever and make an enormous difference to the green rating of your company. They also make it easier to ensure your own products are recyclable.
2. Efficient material use
Using the space and products as efficiently as possible will add you your green credibility.
3. Energy and water conservation
Controlling the use of energy and water can lessen wastage and is therefore better for the environment.
4. Use of renewable energy equipment
Renewable energy equipment is a great investment to the future sustainability of your business.
5. Low emissions
Working towards lessening your emissions is an important element of being green. Decreasing the volume of materials used and investing more in recycled materials will assist in this.
Phil Turner, Head of Digital at Direct365, commented on the Direct365 survey: “While it is worrying to see such a high percentage of youngsters not taking their employers’ recycling policies seriously, we shouldn’t place the blame squarely at their feet. Things have improved dramatically in the past decade, but there are still many organisations across the UK that fail to make it easy for their staff to dispose of waste in an eco-friendly way.
“You could argue that greater awareness needs to be raised across the board, rather than solely targeting those under the age of 24.
“Many of the people who took part in our survey will recycle at home – in fact it’s become second nature for them. It’s imperative, therefore, that their employers make it as easy as possible for them to follow the same green practices when they’re at work.”
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.