Konica Minolta: zero waste level 2 at all manufacturing sites

The Konica Minolta Group has achieved Zero Waste Level 2 at five additional manufacturing sites in China, France, the USA, and Malaysia, thereby meeting the standard at all of its worldwide manufactur…

The Konica Minolta Group has achieved Zero Waste Level 2 at five additional manufacturing sites in China, France, the USA, and Malaysia, thereby meeting the standard at all of its worldwide manufacturing sites. The five manufacturing sites that have met Level 2 criteria include two which carry out glass processing: Konica Minolta Opto (Dalian) Co., Ltd., and Konica Minolta Glass Tech Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. Konica Minolta conducts its zero waste activities taking into consideration both the economy and risk management. All of its domestic manufacturing sites already met Zero Waste Level 2 criteria during fiscal year 2007. Konica Minolta Opto (Dalian) Co., Ltd., which is mainly involved in the production of optical lenses and the assembly of optical units, has succeeded in reducing waste by promoting various measures, such as introducing reusable cardboard boxes for the procurement of parts, reducing glass abrasive sludge from the polishing process, and encouraging employees to take personal waste back home. Konica Minolta Glass Tech Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. manufactures glass substrates for HDDs, and most of its waste takes the form of sludge discharged during the glass polishing process. Though sludge is generally disposed of by landfill in Malaysia, the company has succeeded in recycling sludge as cement-making material through negotiations with relevant governmental agencies and cement manufacturers, and has drastically improved its recycling rate. In addition, the company introduced a state-of-the-art filter press machine as part of its plant reinforcement, which has resulted in a reduction in the water content of sludge and in the amount of external discharge. Through these efforts, the company achieved both Level 1 and Level 2 at the same time, in only its second year after beginning the operation. To achieve Zero Waste Level 2, very strict conditions have to be met: the three Level 1 conditions must continue to be satisfied, and simultaneously, the volume of all materials generated during the production process, excluding products, has to be reduced, regardless of whether they are recycled or not, by 30% or more per unit of sales from the fiscal year 2001 level.