News: Australia - Fuji Xerox innovation makes business and environmental sense
Eco-manufacturing efforts result in recycling and reuse of over 99% of resources from end-of-life products gathered across the Asia-Pacific region.
Wednesday, 20th February 2008
Dan Godamunne, the General Manager for Fuji Xerox's Eco-manufacturing operation in Australia is in a pensive mood. He's standing in the distribution centre for remanufactured print and copier parts in Sydney, surrounded by countless boxes and crates containing parts that may have been landfill not so long ago. Last year 220,000 parts were remanufactured at this state-of-the-art facility, saving Fuji Xerox in the order of A$13m in new part costs and creating revenue of A$5.4m in exports. This innovation at Fuji Xerox Australia has made good business sense and the benefits for the environment are clear. At a group level similar things are happening. In its manufacturing in China last year the Fuji Xerox Group manufactured 14,000 products with reused parts, avoided 15,500 tons of carbon dioxide and reduced the requirement for new raw materials by some 2,000 tons. These achievements are evidence of a longstanding commitment to environmental responsibility. Fuji Xerox adopted a design for the environment philosophy in the 1990s, enabling over 99% resource recovery from end of life equipment and parts. "Fuji Xerox environmental responsibility starts at the early design stages of product development, where we apply a series of policies that later support re-manufacturing and recycling," says Dan. "This includes the standardisation of parts, the use of high-rigidity materials, incorporation of long-life parts, adoption of designs that will facilitate later separation and disassembly of parts, and the use of materials in our products that can be easily recycled or remanufactured." "All of these elements are essential since they create the right conditions for efficient management throughout the life of the product, as well as effective end-of-life product recycling or remanufacturing," says Dan. The Zetland-based Eco Manufacturing Centre is a state-of-the-art engineering facility for the remanufacture of parts and sub-assemblies removed from equipment during service. When it opened in 2000 Fuji Xerox was awarded membership of the UN Roll of Honour for Environmental Achievement. More recently the Zetland operation has become a complete waste management centre, accepting old equipment, parts and packaging from all Australian customers for remanufacturing and recycling. While parts are remanufactured at this centre, end-of-life equipment and cartridges are sent to Fuji Xerox Company Limited's Asia Pacific Integrated Recycling Centre based in Chonburi, Thailand. Now in its third year of operation, the Thailand centre has recovered approximately 9,000 tons of resources, and has recycled about 55,000 units of used products. These have been dismantled, typically into 60-70 components for recycling, to recover iron, aluminium, glass, copper and various plastics. More complex components like printed circuit boards and Ni Cad batteries are exported to specialist re-processors overseas. "The Thailand centre has the capacity to process up to 30,000 units of equipment and 500,000 toner cartridges per year," says Dan. 99.2% Resource Recovery The facility is currently achieving a 99.2% resource recovery rate, and is targeted to achieve 99.6%. It has received full ISO certification under the International Environmental Standard, and procedures are in place to ensure the local environment is not impacted by the resource recovery facility. It also publishes an annual report that provides a full insight into the operation of the centre. Construction of a similar Fuji Xerox Eco Manufacturing Centre in Suzhou, China is also underway, with operations set to commence in January 2008. This facility will recycle or remanufacture equipment and cartridges from the domestic market in China. Its disassembly and recycling capacity will cover up to 15,000 machines and 500,000 cartridges per year, and will aim to achieve a 95% resource recovery rate for products including copying machines and printers, and a 99.9% percent recovery rate for cartridges at the site. In an industry-first effort, Fuji Xerox has a goal to achieve 'zero landfill,' 'no pollution,' and 'no illegal disposal' at the Suzhou centre, contributing to environment and resources conservation in China. "All our Asia Pacific Eco-Manufacturing operations share a strong belief in the principles of quality, environmental responsibility and continuous improvement," says Dan. "We strive to improve upon our past achievements." About the Fuji Xerox Eco Manufacturing Centre The Eco Manufacturing Centre in Zetland is a world leader in the development of ecologically sustainable remanufacturing solutions for Fuji Xerox Australia and is the global benchmark of the Xerox Group's remanufacturing operations. The Eco Manufacturing Centre was opened in Sydney in 2000 and now has the capacity to service the entire Fuji Xerox Asia-Pacific region. A state-of-the-art facility employing 100 people, the Centre is purely dedicated to remanufacturing used parts and components both for Australia and for the Asia Pacific Region. The Eco Manufacturing Centre now accounts for 70% by value of Fuji Xerox Australia's spare parts requirements - these parts would have otherwise been scrapped. All remanufactured items are given the same customer satisfaction guarantee as new products. Many of the remanufacturing developments have proven so successful that they are communicated worldwide and the improvements are implemented into the design of new technology. The Eco Manufacturing Centre has been recognised frequently for its environmental practices and engineering technology. In 2000, the Eco Manufacturing Centre was successful in achieving a place in the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honour for environmental achievement. In 2002, the Centre received the prestigious Eureka National Science Award for Industry and the Australian Institute of Engineers Award for the Environment.