From proper household chemical disposal and “pallet projects” to documentaries, environmental challenges, raffles and coloring contests for kids, Bendix (Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC) is all-in with activities celebrating Earth Day 2018.
The landmark Earth Day event, a global celebration of our planet and a call to sustain its resources, was founded in 1970 and is celebrated annually on April 22. Bendix commemorates Earth Day and Earth Week – immediately following Earth Day – with employee activities at all its locations. The activities grow out of Bendix’s deep commitment to environmental stewardship, which the company demonstrates daily through its efforts to divert waste, reduce energy consumption and emissions, and serve as an industry leader in remanufacturing.
“Earth Day is an important opportunity for people around the world to come together for the good of our shared planet,” says Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability. “At Bendix, we welcome Earth Day and Earth Week as another reminder of our enormous responsibility to be an environmentally conscious corporate citizen – on April 22 and every other day of the year. We never slow in pursuit of our goals for waste diversion, energy usage reduction, carbon footprint shrinking and remanufacturing.”
During Earth Week, employees at Bendix’s North American facilities will participate in a multitude of activities. Company headquarters in Elyria, for instance, is holding the Zero Waste Fair, in which personnel can learn about Bendix’s environmental efforts, as well as test drive an all-electric Chevy Bolt. And in an activity that is back by popular demand, employees can bring in household chemicals for proper disposal.
Employees at the Huntington, Ind., operation can turn wood pallets into wine racks and furniture, for donation to United Way. The Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB) plant in Bowling Green, Ky., will promote local city household hazardous waste collection. And, among the other Bendix locations, the Plant 3 employee cafeteria at the Acuña, Mexico, facility will replace foam cups with reusable ones. Many sites will solicit environmentally focused “Quick Kaizen” – ideas for improvement – from employees, with some team members earning gift cards for their ideas.
BSFB is a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC.
Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety and braking solutions for commercial vehicles, is on a mission to become 100 percent landfill-free by 2020; and to reduce 10 percent of its energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions each by 2019, from a 2014 baseline.
Both goals are coming into reach. In 2017, Bendix diverted 96 percent (over 26 million pounds) of material waste from landfill disposal. And over the last three years, Bendix has saved more than 7 million kilowatt hours – translating to a savings of over $450,000 – through implementation of energy-efficiency projects.
Bendix’s two-step plan to increase its waste diversion efforts year-over-year starts by targeting only industrial waste. Nine Bendix facilities are industrial waste landfill-free, with five achieving this milestone in 2017. The second step targets diversion from landfills of all remaining waste, including general trash and cafeteria waste. The company remains well on track to reach this overall goal of being landfill-free by 2020.
A composting program begun in the Elyria headquarter’s cafeteria proved successful and is being expanded to office areas. Approximately 1,300 pounds of organic food waste and compostable serving items are diverted per month – a result of the program’s expansion. Researching cafeteria organics as a recycling alternative for other Bendix locations remains a company priority.
Key requirements of a successful zero-waste program include employee awareness and participation. To help highlight the continuing efforts, the Bendix Green Team – a group of employee volunteers – focuses on making all employee events “Zero Waste Events.” A Zero Waste Event involves advance planning to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much of an event’s waste as possible, thereby minimizing the amount of material ending up at a landfill.
Low energy usage, high energy output
Along with waste diversion, Bendix also continues to target energy consumption.
The Bowling Green facility has already reached its 2019 goal for 10 percent reduction in energy consumption. In December, the plant was recognized by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce as a recipient of the “Green to Gold” award for its energy-efficiency efforts. The award honors green leadership as it pertains to the region’s goals of becoming a leader in this field.
These energy savings are due in large part to the company’s ongoing improvement of lighting efficiency, and a focus on the primary energy consumers – HVAC and compressed air. Bendix raised the percentage of efficient lighting at its locations from 58 percent to 87 percent in 2017.
“Our achievements in waste diversion and energy conservation are the result of the company’s dedicated employees, who treat every day like it’s Earth Day,” Gutierrez says. “They follow the direction – and receive the total support – of Bendix’s senior leadership, for whom reducing the environmental impact of our company is among our deepest principles. Together, we are proud to help take responsibility for the world around us.”
Remanufacturing is a another key part of the company’s dedication to environmental stewardship – through conservation of energy, raw materials, and landfill space, as well as climate protection.
In 2017, Bendix produced over 2 million remanufactured components across its product lines. By helping avoid the equivalent purchase of more than 8,000 tons of new parts, the company’s remanufacturing operations reduced Bendix’s carbon footprint by 28,000 equivalent tons of CO2.
Bendix’s industry leadership in remanufacturing is reflected, among other things, as one of the founding board members of MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing – and as one of the inaugural ambassadors of the association’s Manufactured Again Certification program. In its ambassador role, Bendix continues its efforts to educate buyers about remanufacturing, suppliers, and performance expectations.
The Manufactured Again Certification program helps purchasers easily identify remanufactured goods with like-new quality and warranty coverage. The program also promotes environmental stewardship and remanufacturing as a leading example in the circular economy. When it was named to the program last September, Bendix joined 14 leading remanufacturers initially approved for participation. These ambassador companies, now numbering 24, are licensed to use the Manufactured Again Certification Mark to showcase that their certified remanufacturing facilities meet the same quality standards as new manufacturing facilities.
The Manufactured Again Certification program, launched in November 2016, is based on the internationally recognized quality management standards ISO 9001 and IATF 16949. Where ISO 9001 can be used by any organization, large or small, in any industry, the supplemental IATF 16949 is one of the automotive industry’s most widely used international quality standards. To receive Manufactured Again Certification, remanufacturers are required to submit third-party evidence of conformance to the accepted quality standards. The Manufactured Again Verification Committee oversees the program and reviews all applications.
For over 40 years, Bendix has been a remanufacturing leader, according to an announcement. Remanufactured components from Bendix include brake shoes, air disc brakes, valves, air dryers, compressors and electronics. In 2011, Bendix formed a dedicated business unit focused on its remanufactured products. The company continues to grow its remanufacturing business and further develop its operations and offerings.