With an understanding of the effects global manufacturing can have on communities, Valvoline continually seeks to mitigate our potential environmental impact. We are committed to monitoring progress, exploring new initiatives and updating our environmental goals to continue our strive for greatness. As with each aspect of Valvoline's three CSR areas of focus – People, Product and Planet – a collaborative effort is required to help us achieve our goals.
What happens when a group of like-minded, environmentally conscious people organize and work together? Valvoline's ever-evolving collaborative known as the Green Team provides the nimble and spontaneous firepower to plan and execute our sustainability efforts. Our Green Team organizes the necessary volunteers for initiatives such as Earth Day events, tree plantings, recycling, and even socially centered efforts around education and Habitat for Humanity.
“The culture at Valvoline is all about doing things the right way, and I’m proud to play a small role in that," said Green Team leader Vince Greene. "Regardless of the number of people we need to achieve our goals, or the difficulty of the task, our team members at Valvoline always come through."
Valvoline is committed to protecting the environment and using our resources more effectively. This is exemplified in our aspirational goal and performance toward achieving zero-landfill status globally by 2040. Valvoline’s Waste Minimization program is a mature program that has evolved over the past 25 years and our current challenge is to take a “good program” to the next level. To date, 50% of Valvoline’s blending and packaging facilities, 18% of our warehouse sites and 33% of our Valvoline Operations facilities have achieved zero-landfill status. Over the past five years, Valvoline sites have recycled 19.8 million pounds while reducing waste generation by 57%.
Our employees create central collection areas to collect and segregate miscellaneous waste for recycling to make the process convenient, easy and sustainable. Valvoline uses many of the elements of the Lean 5S program (sort, shine, straighten, standardize and sustain), and these practices are now a part of our culture. Our sites actively pursue source reduction, reuse, recycling and recovering materials. We have challenged the sites to move waste streams to recycling or to eliminate them through our source reduction program as even the smallest of waste streams can add up to significant volumes due to facility scale. And whenever possible, we engage creative recyclers to help find innovative solutions like turning oily bottle regrind into railroad ties and pallets.
As part of our effort to reduce our environmental footprint globally, Valvoline Australia installed a solar generation system to effectively reduce our reliance on the electrical grid. Australia is known for abundant sunlight, making this location the ideal Valvoline site to pioneer and test this innovative technology.
The solar panels generated approximately 39,500 kWh of electricity over their first 12 months, and all generated electricity was fed back into the plant’s main distribution boards for power use. Environmentally and financially, the endeavor has been successful: as Valvoline prevented about 581 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from being emitted into the atmosphere.