We’re innovating new products and re-engineering existing ones to reduce waste and increase the efficient use of materials. We also continually identify ways to reduce waste in our global operations. Our waste management initiatives help reduce costs, keep materials out of landfills, and reduce the consumption of natural resources.
Our internal waste management standard, overseen by our corporate Environment Health and Safety team, guides waste reduction, reuse, and recycling at each of our sites. We’ve established a waste minimization plan based on this standard to advance our waste reduction and diversion goal.
By 2030, we announced a goal to have our operations be 95% landfill-free, with a minimum of 80% of our waste recycled and the remainder reused, composted, or sent to energy recovery. This builds on our 2025 goal of having 75% of our waste reused, repurposed, or recycled. Because the waste streams at our facilities differ, each site sets waste reduction goals based on its waste generation, which in turn support corporate or divisional goals.
We are also working toward our 2025 goal of eliminating 70% of the matrix and liner waste from our value chain. To that end, we co-founded the Circular Economy for Labels consortium (CELAB) with other leading members of the pressure-sensitive label industry. And in 2021, we launched AD Circular, a program enabling users of our label products to easily and affordably recycle used liners and matrix.
Progress towards our goals is reviewed by the Avery Dennison Sustainability Council, which consists of members of our Company Leadership Team and leaders from our business units. The Sustainability Council reports to the Board of Directors and/or its Governance Committee at least annually.
Making Progress Toward Zero Waste
We continue to increase the number of facilities that meets our criterion for “Zero Waste” designation—sending less than 2% of their waste to a landfill for six consecutive months. We have successfully diverted 94% of our waste in 2020. Often the biggest challenge in reaching Zero Waste is finding partners and financially viable solutions for recycling or reusing waste. In addition, the market for recycled materials remains dynamic and challenging.
We also reduce waste by continually stressing efficient use of materials throughout our product development process to minimize scrap waste. We are also collaborating with a range of partners to advance our Zero Waste objective.
Handling Hazardous Waste
Our global waste management standard establishes procedures for handling chemical waste and contaminated materials. When handling and disposing hazardous waste, we aim to follow applicable legal requirements and standards. Regulations often require that our hazardous waste be gathered and incinerated for safe disposal. When able and feasible, we reclaim our hazardous waste for reuse within our operations or to be distributed for reuse by other companies.
We’re working with various partners to re-use wastewater from our facilities. For example, our wastewater goes to waste management companies that use the wastewater as a coolant for their boilers. At our Ft. Wayne, Indiana, plant, solids in wastewater from our manufacturing operations are being treated in an anaerobic “digester,” which breaks down waste to produce biogas for energy generation and generate energy and biofertilizer that can replace traditional forms of fertilizer.
|Total waste generated
|Percent of waste diverted from landfill
Percent of waste recycled
|Percent of Hazardous waste recycled
|Percent of waste landfilled
Designing Solutions that Reduce Waste
Eliminating Waste in Logistics Labels
Our ADTP®2 EcoCutTM Solution produces variable-length labels for labeling pallets, cartons, and other logistics units. It uses a continuous label roll combined with an innovative, proprietary cutting mechanism in the printer. This allows the user to choose the exact length and quantity of labels needed, on demand. By eliminating waste, EcoCut delivers significant cost savings, increased productivity, and improved sustainability.
Label and Packaging Materials
Leaving Out the Liner
There’s no liner waste with our Direct Thermal linerless solution because it doesn’t require the use of label materials with liners. As a result, customers can get up to 60% more labels per roll, resulting in fewer roll changes, faster operations, and better use of warehouse space. Our Direct Thermal solution also reduces matrix waste by eliminating the need for die-cutting.
Turning Manufacturing Waste into New Products
We’re exploring ways to use our manufacturing waste to create new products. We started with our textile processing, posing two questions: Which of our manufacturing materials is most suitable for regeneration? And which is common to all our woven production? The answer was selvages—the edges of fabric trimmed off during production, which we now turn into Albert YarnTM, a 100% recycled polyester product, with a natural touch and feel.
Reducing U.S. Food Waste
Food waste is a complex global issue that adds to greenhouse gas emissions, sends more garbage to landfills, and wastes millions of dollars along with the food. Based on pilot studies, tagging food items with our RFID solutions can help grocers reduce food waste by as much as 20%. ReFED, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending food loss and waste in the U.S. food system, has listed our RFID solutions as a food waste prevention tool in its report, Roadmap to 2030: Reducing U.S. Food Waste by 50%.