When Philip Crosby proclaimed “quality is free” in a book with that title in 1979, there were more than a few people who thought that he didn’t know what he was talking about. After all, quality was expensive, they said. Quality required all manner of people and systems and controls and whatnot. But as Crosby was to show, not only was quality free, but could actually make companies money. Defects are expensive; quality is free.
Similarly, there seems to be a sense that doing things that are environmentally sound is an expensive proposition. Which is similarly untrue.
Case in point: General Motors. With the sales of cars and trucks hitting historically low levels, you’d think that GM would be watching its spending on any and everything. And you would be right. But consider this announcement made on September 5, 2008: by the end of 2010, half of GM’s major manufacturing facilities will be landfill-free. That’s more than 80 operations. Presently, it has 43 that are landfill-free (see below).
“Through innovation and commitment, GM is accelerating our efforts to be a leader in finding solutions to the environmental issues facing our world. As we develop new solutions in vehicle propulsion, GM is also making significant progress in reducing the impact our worldwide facilities have on the environment,” said Gary Cowger, GM group vice president of global manufacturing and labor.
Not only does this mean good citizenship, but cost savings, as well. The company estimates that recycled metal scrap sales on a global basis will net it about $1-billion annually. In North America, the sale of recycled cardboard, metal, wood, oil, plastic, and other materials will produce on the order of $16 million.
Like quality, green is valuable.
Bupyeong #1, Korea—Assembly
Bupyeong #2, Korea—Assembly
St. Catharines, Can., Ontario St. Szentgotthard,
Ramos Arizpe #1, Mexico—Assembly
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico—Engine
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico—Stamping
Flint, Mich.,—Engine South
|Tonawanda #1, N.Y.,—Engine|
Tonawanda #5, N.Y.,—Engine
Flint, Mich.,—Tool & Die
Bupyeong Korea—Tool & Die
Bupyeong, Korea -Stamping
Gliwicw, Poland —Assembly
St. Catharines, Can., Glendale—Powertain
Ramos Arizpe #2, Mexico—Assembly
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico—Transmisión