Getting to zero
DuPont’s Building Innovations business unit, maker of Corian and Tyvek, has successfully cut its annual landfill waste stream from 81 million pounds to zero.
Dave Walter, America Business Manager and a Six Sigma black belt, led the team that created this result. Walter explains, "DuPont’s Building Innovations moving to zero landfill waste was accomplished through committed people working together effectively enabled by Six Sigma process methodologies."
The following outlines six best practices cited by Walter that enabled DuPont's success in achieving zero landfill waste stream results:
1. Customer Alignment.
There was a strong customer focus to DuPont's efforts. Their customers were going green and looking for green suppliers.
Our customers are increasingly adopting LEED or similar standards. Our motivation to pursue zero landfill was to gain leadership alignment with our customers to maintain their loyalty for our product solutions.
Roger McFadden, Staples Chief Scientist has made a similar observation,
It is no longer enough in today’s supply chain to sell based upon only offering lowest price or fastest delivery. Today’s supply chain is demanding validation and disclosure on a product’s and company’s toxins and environmental footprint.
This greening of the supply chain has emerged as a powerful economic engine in today’s $1 trillion global sustainable economy.
2. Senior Management Support.
Walters explains, “The scale of this project could not have been attempted without the support of DuPont’s senior management. This project asked a significant portion of the Building Innovations business to undertake substantive changes. Senior management’s support was foundational to gaining support for this scale of change.”
Time and time again I have seen the degree of support by senior management, most especially the CEO, determine the scale of success with business initiatives. Without this support the scale of change is limited to the project level. With it the scale of change holds the potential to move stock valuations higher.