The waste reduction, recycling and reuse program at AFL Telecommunications was recognised by the DHEC’s Smart Business Recycling
Program earlier this year. AFL is an international manufacturer of fibre optic
cables, connectivity and equipment. The company won the Smart Business Award
for their ‘Outstanding Waste Reduction and Recycling’ efforts.
One of five South Carolina companies recognised by DHEC’s Smart Business
Recycling Program this year, AFL is ISO 14001 certified and focuses on
environmental stewardship to achieve business goals by not only managing
environmental impacts but also by reducing or eliminating them wherever
“We are committed to improving our EHS performance year over year,”
commented Geoff VanderVeen, director of EHS for AFL’s Spartanburg facilities.
“Our associates are trained in recycling and sustainability practices and help
us achieve these great results.”
Key achievements that contributed to the award include reducing
electricity consumption by 35 percent, greenhouse gas emissions by 83,441
metric tons, and natural gas consumption by 28 percent. These energy reductions
came from a series of improvements at the AFL facility including replacing
factory lighting, air compressor upgrades, and heating and air-conditioning
replacement with higher efficiency units.
In terms of AFL’s waste recycling, reduction and reuse initiatives, more
than 2,300 tons of fluorescent bulbs, paper, batteries, scrap metal, aluminium,
process oil, plastic and electronics were recycled; pallets and shipping
containers reused; and reusable bottles and cups distributed to help reduce the
amount of waste going to the landfill. These waste reduction efforts helped AFL
achieve savings in waste disposal costs and earn revenue from the sale of
recyclables last year. More than 82 percent of all waste generated at AFL is
DHEC’s Smart Business Recycling Program is designed to help South
Carolina’s businesses reduce the environmental impact of their operations and
incorporate environmental stewardship and sustainability in their business
practices; promote and recognise businesses for their recycling and
sustainability efforts; and provide technical assistance to help facilities
begin or expand green practices. The state has a 40 percent recycling rate goal
to reach by 2020.