Hino SA making good progress in reaching environmental goals

Hino South Africa is making substantial progress in addressing environmental challenges at its manufacturing plant in Prospecton, near Durban, with special focus on greening its electricity supply and decreasing the amount of waste going to landfills.

“Hino South Africa, like all the other Hino factories and distributors around the world, is committed to assist Hino Motors Limited in its Environmental Challenge 2050, where the target is carbon neutrality,” commented Anton Falck, Vice President of Hino SA. “We have already taken substantial steps on our pathway to lower the carbon footprint of our products and our manufacturing facility in Prospecton”.  

“This year will see us double the energy output from our solar roof panel project, as well as targeting to divert 81% of factory waste from landfills,” explained Falck.

“Currently the roof panels provide 600 kWp. A further 800 kWp will be added by the middle of the year as a further 6 600 m 2 of roofing is covered with solar panels. This will bring the total energy output to 1 400 kWp. Roof repairs and strengthening of the support structure is already in progress with the installation of panels, inverters, and cables due to commence in April. Construction will take place at night to prevent any impact on manufacturing operations during the day,” he added.

Hino SA is aiming to become a zero waste to landfill manufacturing facility. Hino SA’s factory waste in 2021 amounted to 31.67 tons and 72% was diverted from going to landfills. In 2022 77% of the 28.84 tons of waste was diverted and last year the amount of waste decreased to 20.88 tons, with 71% diverted from landfills. As mentioned earlier, this year the target is to divert 81% of waste from going to landfills.

Waste segregation takes place at source and then there are various methods of disposing of it, so it does not go to landfills. Dry, hazardous waste is disposed of through incineration, while food waste from the canteen is recycled using a biological method – the Bugology Treatment – which involves feeding waste food to maggots, more specifically the amazing Black Soldier, which converts it to compost in a nine-hour cycle.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that 32 million tons of food waste is sent to landfills in South Africa each year. The negative effects on the environment and the country are massive. Harmful methane emissions as well as soil/water/air contamination and the spread of disease are all linked to food waste being dumped. Hino SA’s use of the Bugology Treatment is one of the most effective ways of countering these occurrences.

“We are putting a great deal of focus on reducing our waste to landfills, with the aim of the Hino plant becoming Toyota SA’s Durban’s based operations first Zero Waste to Landfill facility,” added Falck.

“Packaging materials used by the automotive industry have changed dramatically over the years and there is no longer much use of wooden packing cases, which was used for imported components in the old days. Less wood is now used and there is growing use of returnable containers, which are both cost-saving and environmentally beneficial,” explained the Hino Vice-President.

Plastic part protectors and strapping are separated for re-use or recycling. One of the avenues used is USE-IT, which has constructed a waste beneficiation centre in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, where cardboard boxes are collected, compacted, and recycled by Mondi.

“I am satisfied with our rate of progress towards Hino’s environmental goals and pleased by the commitment shown by our team members to meet our ever stiffer targets.”