Friday, February 22, 2013

GM Turns Steel Scrap Into Cash

Metal scraps ready for recycling
(Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for GM)
An excellent article by Forbes' Joann Muller highlights General Motors (GM) ability to turn their manufacturing "waste", such as steel scrap, into a $1 billion per year financial return to offset costs.
General Motors sees those leftover steel cutouts, roughly four feet square, as a marketable commodity. It sells them directly to a local steel fabricator, Blue Star Steel, which uses them to stamp out small brackets for heating and air conditioning equipment for other industries, skipping the foundry altogether. Everyone benefits: GM maximizes the value of that leftover material; Blue Star Steel saves money buying scrap steel, and the environment is spared additional greenhouse gas emissions from a foundry. 

Some of the additional highlights of GM's accomplishments include diverting 2.5 million metric tons of waste from landfills and highlighting their "landfill-free" facilities worldwide, totaling 104 which includes 84 manufacturing sites that reuse or recycle 97 percent of their waste and convert the remainder into energy.

John Bradburn, GM's manager of waste-reduction efforts also discusses why sustainability goes beyond just environmental aspects by allowing the financial aspects to be a return on investment to continue growing those efforts.

For more information on GM's recycling efforts, click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Penn State Harrisburg to commemorate building's LEED certification

Photo from Penn State Live

Penn State - Harrisburg will hold a dedication ceremony on February 6th for their new four-story, $10 million dollar LEED-certified residence hall.

Building 10,000, as it is called, is the only LEED-certified residence hall of all the 19 campuses to make up the Penn State Commonwealth Campus System.

Building 10,000 began housing students in 2010 but was just awarded a silver level certification for its use of recycled materials, such as steel, and other energy-efficient features.

The four story building can house 100 students and was designed by SMP Architects, which has created buildings on the Penn State Brandywine and Penn State Berks campuses as well.

“It's a building that Penn State can be proud of,” Penn State Harrisburg Director of Housing and Food Services Craig Cook said.

For more information on Building 10,000 and its other sustainable, green features, visit Penn State Live.