Xerox employees have shown that what is good for the environment is also good for business at the company’s 16th annual Earth Awards. The ceremony honoured projects from around the globe that collectively totalled $7,3-million in cost savings, almost 600 tons in waste elimination, and 500 000 KWH in energy reduction.

“The Earth Awards programme is a solid example of living our values. Every day Xerox people do their part to protect the environment while driving business results. Each of the innovative Earth Award projects delivers a clear benefit to the environment, the business and our people,” says Tanya Moodley, divisional manager, group marketing at Bytes Document Solutions, distributor of Xerox products and solutions to 24 African countries.
The company’s Earth Awards began in 1993 to reward Xerox employees across the globe for their dedication to improving the performance of the company’s operations while helping to protect the environment. This year more than 50 award submissions came from 16 global Xerox facilities including Ireland, Canada, Brazil, India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.
Each entry was judged on innovation, direct benefits to Xerox, duration of the project and documented, measurable results. For 2009 there were a total of 20 award winners.  Some examples of winning projects include:
* Webster, New York: a team at the Webster Consumables Manufacturing Plant addressed the overwhelming amount of packaging associated with incoming parts. They researched and found a reuse/recycle stream for the material and as a result, 800 000 foam sheets, 200 000 pieces of tag board, 60 000 plastic bags, 57 000 corrugated cartons, and 6 900 plastic skids have been reused or recycled;
* Wilsonville, Oregon: used an alternative material in an equipment cleaning process. The new process – using dry ice instead of glass beads – proved faster and more environmentally responsible, and it saved 182kg of material a year from heading to a landfill and eliminated $37 000 in labour costs;
* Yukon, Oklahoma: turned binder tape from waste to energy. Trimmings from the binder tape process were diverted from landfills and redirected to a cement kiln where they would be used as a fuel source. The project took nine months to complete, and almost 330kg of trimmings have been converted to energy to date;
* Rio de Janeiro: this team established a goal of 20% reduction in waste generated and in doing so eliminated more than 10 tons of toner waste from landfills with the help of lean Six Sigma. One-time use cloths were replaced with washable cloths. Metal barrels were replaced with reusable bags and toner was used as product for roadways. Even cafeteria waste was diverted from the landfill and was used to produce organic matter for use on-site;
* Mississauga, Canada: reinvented a process to manufacture EA toner, or emulsion aggregation technology, a Xerox patented nanotechnology- based process that yields sharper image quality, higher reliability, and reduced toner usage in an energy efficient manufacturing process. The new process reduced the time it took to create the product, drastically reduced the amount of water used and increased product yield. The new process saves Xerox more than $140 000 a year.
*  Another Canadian team from Mississauga helped generate $12,5-million in equipment sales. Xerox Canada earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody Certification for on-site print services sites across Canada.  As a result, several accounts cited FSC certification as a differentiator in their decision-making process. The value of these contracts totalled $12,5-million;
* Venray, Netherlands: by replacing an old chilled water system with one that uses a natural refrigerant (NH3) this team reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 130 000kg in only six months. Xerox will benefit from an estimated yearly energy reduction of 300 000KWH and cost savings of $15 000;
* Dundalk, Ireland: used lean Six Sigma to identify processes that yielded energy reductions of 6%. By enabling the use of off-peak electricity for some processes, they realised cost savings of $100 000 in 2008 and $175 000 in the first quarter of 2009.