Operations Sustainability Award: Reuse of solvents
We are pleased to announce the winners of the Beckers Sustainability Award 2021. Every year, we are impressed by the standard of nominations.
Reducing and reusing waste
The award for Operations with Impact went to Garry Stacey and Paula Jones of Beckers US in Fontana for their multi-tiered approach to improving sustainability by reducing and reusing waste. They came up with an initiative to collaborate with a local hazardous waste recycling company to distill waste solvents. The project is in line with our goal of repurposing 75 percent of Beckers’ waste. It also supports our target to have 50 percent net-sustainable products by 2030.
From left to right: Frank Villaescusa (responsible for checking cleanliness of recycled solvent), Cato Blackwell (arranges for residual solids to be sent for use in backing coats), Garry Stacey, Jorge Estrada (tests and consolidates residual solids for use in backing coats), Paula Jones (carried out the research on how to use residual sludge in backer coatings)
The Beckers site in Fontana, California, uses acetone to clean mixers and mobile pots. This solvent used to be incinerated until Beckers employees teamed up with a local hazardous waste recycling company to recycle it directly on site. The recycling company brings its equipment and personnel to Fontana to distill the used acetone – the Beckers US team even made a small modification to the facility to give it access to utilities. After the distillation process, Beckers uses the recycled acetone again.
To avoid waste, the residues produced by the distillation process are shipped to Beckers’ Chicago plant to be used as a raw material for backing coats. Since the beginning of the project, 17,000 liters of waste acetone have been repurposed instead of being incinerated. The jury applauded the approach, which has had a real impact on the business. It lauded the two innovators’ creativity in finding a circular solution for a waste problem, and their commitment to working with a local partner constructively.
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“It is our personal and professional goal to make a positive environmental impact for future generations. The project is a great example of how we are becoming more circular and working towards a more sustainable business. The award highlights and recognizes our efforts.”
Garry Stacey | Site Manager, Beckers US, Fontana
About the Beckers Sustainability Award
Every year, Beckers awards sustainable behavior with its Beckers Sustainability Award. The categories are aligned with our 2030 Sustainability Strategy, with awards going to projects that feature people, products and operations that are making an impact. The Beckers Sustainability Council decides on a shortlist and judges them according to their effectiveness in advancing the goals of our 2030 Sustainability Strategy. It also takes into account their impact on our business, their level of innovation, their passion and commitment, and the transferability of the projects and ideas.
We would like to praise the engagement and creativity of all the employees who took part. Overall, we had 49 nominations from 11 Beckers sites in 2021 – the highest number of participants ever.