Xerox Cuts Water Use 7% in One Year

by | Nov 8, 2011

Xerox brought its water consumption down seven percent in 2010, compared to 2009 levels, according to its sixth Global Citizenship Report and 2011 Environmental, Health and Safety Report.

Xerox says it decreased water consumption and sewer volume discharges at some of its largest campuses globally by eliminating once-through cooling, cutting water consumption by over 40 million liters a year. It did not elaborate on how it managed the rest of its 159 million liter reduction.

The company reported that in 2010, energy consumption was down two percent from 2009 and 22 percent from 2002. Greenhouse gas emissions were down three percent from 2009 and 31 percent from 2002, which Xerox said was the result of improved energy efficiency, new technologies and improved energy management practices. Xerox has a target of reducing total GHGs 25 percent from 2002 to 2012, and met a previous goal of a 10 percent reduction from 2002 to 2012, six years ahead of schedule.

But the reports provided few details of how the latest reductions were achieved, beyond “reducing energy consumption in our facilities, manufacturing operations, and across our service and sales vehicle fleet.” They did say that recent Xerox acquisition ACS unveiled a new data center that uses a modular design, enabling it to run on free air cooling for 54 percent of the year, external conditions allowing. This cut emissions by about 4,200 metric tons a year.

In 2010, 100 percent of Xerox’s eligible new product launches met current Energy Star requirements, up eight percent from 2009. The company’s engineers designed a new induction heat fusing system that does not require preheating and does not consume any power when the machine is in standby mode. As a result, the Xerox WorkCentre 7535 multifunction color printer uses 40 percent less total energy than a previous comparable model, the company said.

Xerox said it recognizes that the biggest opportunity to make an environmental impact may lie outside of its “own four walls,” and it says it has a comprehensive set of product design standards that include energy efficiency; chemical management; packaging; parts reuse and recycling; electrical and mechanical safety; ergonomics; electromagnetic emissions; noise; fire resistance; and materials safety.

It estimates that 65 percent of its product categories have been included in full lifecycle assessments, with nearly all other hardware products and many services undergoing a more targeted evaluation.

In 2010 the company’s recycling rate was 92 percent, down one percent from 2009. Xerox has a goal for facilities to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills or incinerated by 50 percent by 2015, and 85 percent by 2020, against a 2009 baseline.

2010 waste projects included:

  • Webster Fuser Business Center developed recuperation processes for many components that are in fusers and fuser modules, resulting in a “significant” reduction in scrap.
  • Equipment supply chain enhanced equipment asset reuse processes to place over 2,000 used pieces of equipment in the U.S. marketplace, resulting in 550 metric tons of avoided scrap.
  • Its Dundalk, Ireland, plant developed processes to reuse or remanufacture parts and equipment, resulting in 120 metric tons of avoided scrap.
  • Its Webster Consumables Manufacturing Plant repacked consumables that were in damaged packaging, saving over 13,000 cartridges from unnecessary disposal.

The company said its  Webster Emulsion Aggregation toner plant has achieved zero waste-to-landfill status. It said this was achieved through process redesign and operational practices to significantly reduce the quantity of waste generated during manufacturing of toner, and re-design of an existing waste handling system to enable all waste streams to be collected.

The company’s waste prevention goals also include continued investment in “cartridge-free” solid ink technology that produces up to 90 percent less waste from supplies and packaging than conventional office color printers. The company aims to maintain greater than 90 percent reuse or recycling of recovered Xerox equipment and supplies offerings.

In 2010 releases reported under national toxic chemical release reporting regulations decreased 15 percent from 2009 levels, and Xerox says 97 percent of these releases were beneficially managed. Most Xerox sites globally have eliminated use of PBT containing materials from facility and equipment maintenance processes. The two remaining sites using PBTs minimally are working to replace the materials, the company says.

Xerox’s recent acquisition of ACS more than doubled its workforce and added several business lines, and most of the metrics reported in these reports primarily reflect “legacy” Xerox. The company says that full reporting integration will be a gradual process.

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