The Zero-Waste Factory

In just two years, Subaru transformed its automotive assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana into the first zero-landfill factory in the US. Inside one of the great success stories in sustainability.
Oct 22, 2018 11:45 AM ET
Article

By Sharon Guynup

Inside a huge Indiana warehouse, three people clad in white Tyvek jumpsuits, tall fireman boots, rubber gloves and safety glasses sifted through trash strewn across the floor. It was about 10,000 pounds of refuse, the contents of a compactor from Subaru of Indiana Automotive, the automaker’s U.S. assembly plant in Lafayette.

This wasn’t the scene of an accident or a crime. It was a dumpster dive by experts at Covanta Environmental Solutions, a sustainable–waste management company, hired to inventory exactly what Subaru threw away — and to keep every bit out of landfill.

This followed a 2002 zero-waste edict from the president of Subaru’s Japanese parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries.

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About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $120 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

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