The business approach
Electrolux Professional has globally set out to be part of the journey towards a sustainable future, setting global goals for the company’s general approach.
“One conclusion was to change the general viewpoint from just handling waste into the prevention of waste, reusing and sustainable recycling of the residuals”, says Anna Bråhammar, Site Environmental Manager at Electrolux Professional in Ljungby.
To achieve the goals Electrolux Professional AB in Ljungby put together a team from different parts of the organization (productions, purchasing and environment), to work together with specialists from Stena Recycling. Since then, the team have worked to raise awareness and understanding in the area of sustainability. Training staff, scrutinizing production lines and looking into material handling are just a few of the projects underhand.
”Since waste management is not our core business collaboration with Stena Recycling has been crucial to succeed with the projects. Thanks to these new insights we have improved waste sorting in our factory as well as increased the awareness of waste management amongst our employees. Improving waste management has a positive effect both financially and environmentally which makes it a win win for the company and planet”, says Anna Bråhammar.
Anna Bråhammar - Site Environmental Manager at Electrolux Professional in Ljungby
Helping Electrolux Professional succeed
A holistic point of view of things is crucial for professional optimization within the industry. Avoid one project at a time. See the whole picture and try to have a whole set of solutions. This can help you achieve much better optimization results, than each project by their own.
So, the main key to the Electrolux Professional AB’s success so far is that there are many different projects, covering most of the internal value chain of materials. Below you can read a bit more on some of them.
Laser cutting is a big part in the production of industrial washing machines. The team did a study on how to reduce the leftovers of metal plating after cutting, accomplishing a decrease with about 45 tons annually of highly expensive metals. This also means a lower material cost as there is a lesser need of raw material.
Stena Recycling worked with the Electrolux Professional´s staff to reduce their time transporting bins and containers through the factory. As many other companies, Electrolux Professional had one central point for waste disposal. This can easily be done in a more efficient way. Analyzing the work flow of ten of the staff, we saw that an employee in general would save about 20 minutes per shift/day. Having three shifts in every department, with about 35-40 people in every production shift, this would significantly increase production rates. It also improves the work place staff health, as it means less heavy lifting and more ergonomic solutions for transporting the waste.
Refining recycling materials
With a possibility to analyze every waste flow, Stena Recycling refined and sorted out recyclable materials from the mixed waste bins. After that Electrolux received a recommendation of which materials to sort out and how to do so. Now different kinds of paper and metals are not put in mixed material containers.
“We have increased the waste sorting with new fractions, one example is sorting of stainless steel into ferritic and austenitic, which improves the quality of the steel in the recycling process. Another example is plastic, where we have increased the recycling rate, and more plastics can be material recycled instead of being incinerated. That´s an important step upwards in the waste hierarchy. And it contributes to more circular raw material that can be used in manufacturing of new products”, says Anna Bråhammar.
Stena Recycling analyzed the total weight of material transported in each container and came up with an improved transportation plan. This optimizes the overall amount of transports. At the same time the size of containers for some materials are reduced.
Apart from the above, Electrolux Professional also holds a company Environmental Day, last year with support in the Ljungby plant from Stena Recycling with the theme of waste management. Electrolux Professional also continuously train staff, reuse certain materials, work with design for recycling and much more.