Tesla's Clayburn Lewis (left) and Cathy Steinmetz (right) with Anu Natarajan, City of Fremont Vice Mayor (middle) at the StopWaste award event. Tesla received the Award for Waste Reduction Excellence in Manufacturing.
Tesla Motors, Inc. excels not only at building cool, eco-friendly cars, but also at setting new industry standards behind the scenes. Earlier this month they won the StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Waste Reduction Excellence in Manufacturing. The award recognizes Tesla's innovative initiative to reduce waste from packaging materials at their Fremont plant, where the highly acclaimed Model S all-electric sedan is built.
Every week the plant receives thousands of parts, delivered in disposable packaging such as cardboard and plastic wrap. Cardboard waste alone makes up 317 tons per month. As a first step in a large-scale effort to replace expendable packaging with durable, reusable alternatives, Tesla switched from traditional packaging for the Model S windshields—including cardboard, wood frames and foam—to returnable racks, preventing 100 tons of cardboard waste per year from windshields alone.
Eliminating cardboard saves labor, space and significant greenhouse gas emissions, compared to recycling it.
Since the new racks hold numerous windshields and can be worked straight from the line, they also improve the efficiency of Tesla’s manufacturing process. Tesla is working to expand the practice to other parts. For a glimpse into Tesla's manufacturing process and for more details about the project watch the 5-minute video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwgAQ29jLWM
The StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards honor Alameda County businesses and institutions whose continuous efforts to improve environmental performance and business efficiency have achieved outstanding results. Since the inception of the awards program in 2000, well over 100 Alameda County businesses and institutions have been recognized. Fremont businesses honored with StopWaste Business Efficiency awards in recent years include Boston Scientific Corporation, Washington Hospital, Kaiser Permanente Fremont Medical Center and SYNNEX Corporation.
For more information about the 2013 StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards and to view a list of all the winners and their achievements visit www.stopwaste.org/2013Awards.