For over a century, Pirelli has proven itself a global leader in making positive differences in the communities where its employees live, work and do business. Pirelli’s Corporate Social Responsibility program (or “CSR”) is an integral part of the company’s global business strategy. The CSR strategy includes goals and priorities focused on fair and ethical business processes and relationships, environmental stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and positively impacting society and local communities.

James Lipscomb (left) and Sam Samples (right) load discarded normal production tires that have anomalies. These discarded tires are then donated to the Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, Georgia.

The CSR Team at Pirelli Tire North America in Rome, Georgia has consistently efforted continued improvement of the company’s sustainability and efficiency efforts. In support of these activities PTNA has adopted a paradigm shift: “Zero Percent of Waste to Landfill” (or, “Zero Waste”) – the aptly named program describes “Zero Waste” to a ‘T’ – PTNA produces no waste that ends up in a landfill. While supporting Pirelli’s global sustainability initiative, PTNA strives towards Zero Percent of Waste to Landfill in all operations. Seen as a journey, not a destination, “Zero Waste” is not simply a goal achieved – but a company-wide journey to more sustainable processes moving forward.

“We are proud of our role as stewards of the environment and our progress in eliminating and reducing waste from our operations,” said Luca Frisiani, Vice President of Manufacturing Operations at the Rome, Georgia MIRS Plant. “Not surprisingly, getting to zero isn’t an easy task but we did it. We achieved zero percent of waste to landfill for 4 consecutive months through a rigorous process of reducing scrap, a whole lot of recycling and reusing and a bit of incineration, converting waste to energy at a nearby waste-to-energy facility.”

Clay Sargent packs spent florscent light bulbs for recycling by the supplier.

“Zero Waste” isn’t just a management initiative either. The program requires participation at all levels of PTNA”s line and management – and each associate makes a huge difference in the progress and success of the program.

James Lee, Maintenance Manager at the Rome, Georgia MIRS Plant added, “To do something about eliminating waste going to the landfill, we first had to know what we were dealing with. We got our hands dirty; we looked at our waste, scrap and rubbish. We sorted it out to better understand all the waste streams.”

“Once you figure out what kinds of waste streams you have, then you have to keep them separated,” said Toby Holsomback, MIRS Production Manager. “This has been an interesting journey for us. Recycling and reusing didn’t stagnate in the mindset of extra work; it quickly became the way things are done.”

Sharee Shaw drops used batteries into a battery recycling collection container for disposal by the supplier.

PTNA’s MIRS facility notwithstanding, there are also dozens of white collar employees in Rome as well supporting PTNA operations through logistics, HR, sales and marketing and accounting. PTNA’s Director of Human Resources, Michele Morris understands the company-wide comittment to make “Zero Waste” an ongoing reality.

“All our employees understand the importance of sustainability across our company and are working together to reach our reduction goals,” said Morris. “There is engagement from all levels. The key to our efforts are our employees and process.”

“Our strategy is simple,” said Cyndi Paul, Environmental Management System Representative for the Rome, Georgia MIRS Plant. “We know our waste streams, we track our waste streams and set goals. We look for new life so to speak for each waste stream but more importantly, we empower our employees; we put each employee in charge of achieving Zero Percent of Waste to Landfill. Our waste streams are another company’s raw materials. There are many companies’s that thrive on the waste streams from other companies for making new products or running their operations in some way.”