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Stellantis cuts waste by reusing packaging materials in manufacturing

This hierarchy prioritizes waste elimination from the outset, followed by reuse possibilities.

While the automotive industry has often focused on reducing tailpipe emissions, Stellantis is making significant strides in minimizing the environmental impact of its manufacturing processes. Kevin Dunbar, the director of facilities for Stellantis in North America, spearheads efforts to reduce waste and enhance sustainability in the production side of operations, particularly concerning the materials used to ship parts.

At the Toledo Assembly Plant, where the Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler are built, Stellantis identified substantial waste in the packaging used for vehicle control parts, specifically cardboard partitions. By reusing these partitions up to ten times, Stellantis not only reduced waste but also demonstrated its financial prudence, saving nearly $250,000. A similar initiative at the Warren Truck Assembly, where the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are produced, led to the reuse of cardboard boxes up to four times, resulting in additional savings of $127,000.

Dunbar emphasized that while material reuse has limitations in maintaining quality, extending the life of packaging materials through reuse and recycling significantly reduces landfill waste. These efforts align with Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 business plan, which aims for net zero carbon emissions by 2038, demonstrating our long-term commitment to environmental sustainability.

“In terms of waste and recycling, we like to look at it from the waste hierarchy,” Dunbar explained. This hierarchy prioritizes waste elimination from the outset, followed by reuse possibilities, and finally, recycling. The company’s initiatives began with foam packaging and have since expanded to include plastics and cardboard.

Stellantis’ commitment to sustainability is evident in the data provided about its Reuse Program. The company has avoided sending more than 1,360 cubic meters of packing materials to landfills, equivalent to filling 82 parking spots. These efforts have saved Stellantis over $375,000 and 35 tons of cardboard from landfills in 2023 alone, preserving nearly 600 trees.

Furthermore, Stellantis is exploring additional waste reduction measures, such as reusing pallets at Mopar sites. During the pandemic, the company paused initiatives such as eliminating bottled water sales at the CTC complex in Auburn Hills but continues to assess and implement strategies to minimize its environmental footprint.

Dunbar’s efforts at Stellantis demonstrate a proactive and innovative approach to sustainability. They focus on finding new and effective ways to reduce waste and enhance the company’s environmental responsibility. This commitment to innovation should inspire confidence in our stakeholders about our ability to adapt and thrive in a changing world.

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