Sustainability Spotlight: Employees Thinking Green Saves Xerox $10.2M

December 2, 2010

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Xerox’s Earth Awards program honors employee teams that come up with new ideas that both help protect the environment and improve the performance of the company’s operations. This year more than 30 nominations came from Xerox facilities around the world – including Ireland, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Judges considered innovation, direct benefits to Xerox, duration of the project and the documented, measurable results of each entry. 


Among the thirteen 2010 winners:  

● A research team in Wilsonville, Oregon, developed the smallest package possible for the ColorQube solid ink. The packaging is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled material for the tray and lid, and a 43 percent recycled shipping box used for protection.  

● Another team in Wilsonville saved a total of 855,000 kWh of energy in the facility and operations equipment by limiting the energy used by office equipment and powering off lights. Cost savings were more than $140,000.  

● A team in the Webster, New York, EA Toner plant developed a more efficient process to handle wastewater. The changes resulted in reducing the amount of wastewater sent offsite for disposal and the building’s overall waste generation as well as reducing both the amount water required for mixing raw toner materials and the amount of preparation time. Total cost savings was about $80,000 per year.  

● Another team from Webster achieved zero waste to landfill by redesigning the EA Toner plant sludge waste handling system to be used to convert waste to energy. The redesign eliminated 50,000 pounds of waste that previously went to landfills, and saved $2,000 in operating cost. The system also helped improve safety conditions and boosted overall productivity.  

● The team in Grovepoint, Ohio, used Lean Six Sigma tools to significantly reduce the amount of packaging material sent to the landfill each day. They installed equipment to compact Styrofoam and cardboard, eliminating 1.5 trailers of waste per day; developed a return process for wooden pallets, saving more than $738,000 per year; and created a reuse process for the overpack boxes, which saved $3,000 per month.  

● The Dundalk, Ireland team developed a process to reconstruct the DocuTech® DPI kits, which control the rate the ink is released on paper, rather than purchase new ones. The project eliminated 32,000 kg of material previously sent to landfills, and saved more than $132,000.  

The success of this program demonstrates that thinking green has measurable benefits, for the environment, for the bottom line, and for the company’s greatest resources – their human ones.  

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