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Reading Notes:Sustainable Ops at Xerox

Xerox’s Approach to Sustainability” by Maslennikova & Foley

After I do reading for school I generally try to jot down notes. I’m going to start posting notes to this blog, just so anyone following can see what I’m learning. The kind folks at the Xerox corporation are taking a five-pronged approach to implementing sustainability in their offices:

Product Takeback– When copiers go bad, most of the parts in them are still good. Xerox has started taking back old products and employs about 400 people (green jobs, what!) to dissassemble these copiers, test the components and reinsert them into the assembly process along with virgin parts. This has caused a few issues, many gov’t contracts require “brand new” equiptment, rather than equiptment which meets certain quality standards, though Xerox is working to change this. 

Payback: Over $80 Million

Designing for the Environment– Xerox has started to design their products with the above disassembly process in mind- more snaps and screws, less glue and welding. The result is easier maintenance and happier customers. They are also cutting down on the number of toxic materials in products and designing products to be upgraded and expanded rather than tossed and replaced. 

Waste-Free Packaging– Xerox is phasing out disposable boxes and replacing them with reusable totes. The original plan was for these totes to last for 10 cycles, but it looks like they can last for closer to 25. 

Payback: Customer savigns of $15/unit, Xerox savings of $3.5 million

Waste-Free Plants and Green Offices– Using a variant of it’s Total Quality Management system, Xerox reduced landfill waste from factories by 80% and achieved utility savings of $1.2 million.

Supply Chain Criteria– Xerox puts pressure on their supply chain, largely around hazardous waste issues. The article didn’t go into much detail on this.


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