At Tennant Company we strive to reduce—and aspire to eventually eliminate—all forms of waste, another pillar of our Sustainable Enterprise strategy. Our aspiration is that all purchased materials provide the highest and best use attainable to our customers and all other stakeholders. This aspiration feeds our broad view of waste to include operational inefficiency as well as material and resource waste. We define waste as materials that enter our boundary which do not become part of the products we sell.
Tennant is on a journey to become a zero waste enterprise by applying the principles of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, along with the proven principles of Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement. Through our stakeholder engagement process, we have determined that waste is a material issue since all forms of waste have cost implications.
In 2014, Tennant set an aspirational goal of zero waste to the landfill or disposal. The Solid Waste Management Hierarchy prioritizes our waste reduction and diversion tactics. In a waste inventory conducted in 2013 at our headquarters facility, Tennant found one third of our compactor trash was divertible-from landfill and energy recovery-using existing waste infrastructure. In 2016, a second waste inventory was conducted in the production area at our headquarters facility. We found that over half of the trash generated in the production area was divertible. Expanding the recycling program to the production area is planned for 2017.
We began collecting organics in 2014 in the food preparation area of our largest campus cafeteria at our headquarters facility. In 2015, we extended organics collection to the employee seating area of the Tennant Café. In 2016, we further extended organics collection to conference rooms and employee office areas. The collected organics are sent to be composted, the “reuse” tier of the waste hierarchy.
Read more in our Sustainability Report