Corporate Jun 5, 2019 1:00 PM
Recyclable materials from thyssenkrupp Elevators get worthy destination
A study by the Brazilian Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies’ Association (Abrelpe) shows that more than 78 million of urban solid waste are generated in Brazil every year, and only 3% of that volume is recycled. However, at the thyssenkrupp Elevator plant in Guaíba (Rio Grande do Sul State), it is quite a different reality: 93% of all waste generated in the plant are recycled, from office supplies to steel sheets. Thanks to this selective collection program, 3,000 tonnes of waste are no longer disposed of in landfills, preserving nature and creating opportunities for reusing waste in different ways.
Some materials that are not used in the manufacturing process end up taking a different path from that of a recycling centre. This is the case of wooden frames used for transporting components and parts in the factory, the well-known pallets. Lisandra Lopes da Silva, 41, an employee at the Guaíba plant for ten years, saw those materials as an opportunity to make something very creative, and at the same time sustainable. With the help of her skilled woodworking husband, she turned those pallets into new furniture for her kitchen. “Reusing the pallets made all the difference, because in addition to having a planned kitchen in the new house, we still managed to prevent the disposal of those materials in nature”, Lisandra says.
In addition to the pallets, used uniforms also had a worthy destination this year. They would also be disposed of, but as they were still in good condition, thyssenkrupp Elevator had the idea to make necessaires with the parts of the fabric with the company logo on it and gave them as presents to employees on Mother's Day. The 58 bags were made by the people at Projari (Craft, Recreation and Computing Project), a charitable organization in Guaíba, which thyssenkrupp has been a partner of for 30 years. The remaining fabric is being used in the sewing workshops maintained by the community association.
United employees generate great results for the environment
In 2018, the 63 subsidiaries of thyssenkrupp Elevator Brazil participated in an Environment Campaign for reducing water and energy consumption. In terms of energy, the winner was the Campo Grande unit in Mato Grosso do Sul State, which reduced its annual consumption by 28% by replacing fluorescent lamps with LED ones. The Caxias do Sul subsidiary in Rio Grande do Sul State was the winner in terms of water saving, with a 46% reduction in total consumption, thanks to the installation of devices that reduce the flow of the taps in the restrooms and replacing water meters.
Overall, the engagement of the 3.000 employees from all Brazilian states in the campaign gave thyssenkrupp Elevator a reduction of more than 100,000 kWh in power consumption and more than 800.000 litres of water in one year. To illustrate this, the average residential energy consumption in Brazil is 158 kWh/month, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy. According to the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute (IBGE), each Brazilian uses 108 litres of water per day on average.
This year, there will also be a 2019 Environment Campaign. This time, however, employees will be engaged in finding solutions for reducing fuel consumption in company vehicle fleets.