Freightliner’s environmental efforts earn award

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 22, 2013

CLEVELAND — The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has recognized the Daimler Trucks North America plant in Cleveland as an Environmental Steward.
The award recognizes DTNA’s superior environmental performance, commitment to continued reduction of its environmental impact, and demonstrated commitment to exceed compliance. The facility joins 16 other commercial facilities in the state to have achieved this recognition.
“Daimler Trucks North America demonstrates what it means to be a successful business with a strong environmental ethic,” said John Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “By achieving significant reductions in waste generation and energy usage, the North Carolina facility has shown that the demands of a growing business can go hand-in-hand with environmental protection.”
Using the company’s continuous improvement program, DTNA employee teams who are located at the plant identified the best options for reducing waste and recycling each material, whether reusing cartons for shipping, reclaiming solvent, working with supplier partners to reduce packaging, or turning waste into energy.
“This achievement required a commitment by each and every one of the employees here,” said Freightliner Environmental Engineer Heather Callahan. “Everything received or produced by the company is used, reused, recycled, or sold, and nothing is sent to a landfill. Today, the facility joins an elite group of landfill-free manufacturing facilities in the United States and is one of five DTNA facilities to do so.”
The state’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative 10-member advisory board recommended the Daimler plant for the award. The advisory board consists of individuals from industry, trade groups, environmental and citizen nongovernmental organizations, government, academia and small business.
Daimler’s award was based on:
• Compliance history and commitment to continual improvement including a mature ISO 14001 environmental management system that has been certified by a third party since 2004
• Commitment to continue to reduce waste by setting, and achieving a zero waste-to-landfill goal
• Elimination of hazardous wastewater sludge due to material substitution; and
• Commitment to energy conservation, with a 43 percent reduction over 2008 numbers. These gains are due to lighting changes, window replacements, and installing occupancy sensors, as well as the solar array on site.
”Daimler Trucks North America has an ongoing commitment to a holistic approach to achieving a sustainable future,” said Sandra Carter, environmental engineering manager, Daimler Trucks North America. “As a pioneer in environmental technologies and manufacturing processes, we reach beyond standard requirements whenever possible to lead the way for the industry.”
The Zero-Waste-to-Landfill goal was initiated to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing facilities under the DTNA umbrella. The Cleveland plant is one of five DTNA facilities to be recognized for achieving the Zero-Waste-to-Landfill status. Daimler’s parts plant in Gastonia and the truck plant in Mt. Holly also accomplished the achievement this year.
Daimler has named sustainability as one of the company’s business priorities, with a mission is to conserve resources, reduce all types of emissions and promote economic growth while ensuring safe, efficient transportation options.
“We’re well on our way to making our ongoing commitment to sustainability come to life, not only in our product line, but also across our manufacturing facilities,” said Carter.
DTNA environmental engineering representatives are scheduled to participate in the Zero Waste to Landfill conference, an off-shoot of the Carolina Recycling Association Conference this spring.
The Cleveland facility is Daimler’s largest manufacturing plant in North America. The plant produces Class 8 Freightliner trucks, including the Freightliner Cascadia. The facility was established in 1989.