“Zero waste” achieved at FlexiForce Abbotsford

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FlexiForce Abbotsford became a "Zero Waste" facility by diverting 97% of waste from landfills through an expanded recycling program.


All around the world, governments and businesses are setting goals for producing zero waste. It sounds difficult to achieve, until you discover that a 90% diversion rate from landfills is the threshold for being considered a “zero waste” facility, according to the Zero Waste International Alliance.


“Recycling is a big part of the local culture,” says recently retired FlexiForce Sourcing Manager John O’Neal. John had put together a Green Team of like-minded people. The team recognized that making improvements was not enough – they also needed a way to measure the effect of those improvements. The first step was to pull all the data together to identify what to focus on and address those areas.


By expanding existing recycling programs and adding new ones, the team has now boosted the diversion rate to nearly 97%, well over the threshold for claiming “zero waste” status.

FlexiForce Abbotsford is also sharing what is has learned with other companies within ASSA ABLOY. Following a visit to Entrematic’s Calgary plant last year, its diversion rate has increased from 35% to 72%. This year, the focus is on the Entrematic distribution facility located directly adjacent to FlexiForce Abbotsford, which is currently diverting 85% of its waste. The team estimates that a diversion rate of 97% should be possible there as well, based on an audit conducted in early April.

“Like lean, sustainability is a journey rather than a destination,” adds John O’Neal, “but we need to be leading that journey ahead of others in our industry to stay competitive.”