Decommissioning HQ & Manufacturing Operations: Celestica

Moving clean on a tight timeline, Celestica has been there, rather than bin there. Having sold their property, the company began preparing to move its corporate head office to a new location in Toronto and manufacturing operation to Newmarket, Ontario. Celestica was required to empty the buildings on site and in keeping with their corporate ethos, the company set out to create as little waste as possible in the process. By reusing, redeploying, selling and donating materials to the right local community organizations and finally by recycling, Celestica kept 5.4 million pounds from landfill, making a green break of it.

The blueprint for this sustainability project was ingrained in Celestica’s corporate ethic long before the work was actually begun. You could say that in emptying out the one million square feet of space that had been home to its headquarters and manufacturing operations since 1994, and diverting virtually all the contents from landfill, Celestica was recycling one of its old, but excellent behaviours.

Given Celestica’s deep commitment to sustainability, it already had a dedicated team focused on waste diversion and recycling of materials from its operations and consultants were already on board.

The timeline was tight, but the company prioritized the redeployment and reuse of as many materials as possible. Where that wasn’t possible they focused on sending material to landfill only when all other options had been exhausted.

To facilitate their clean move, Celestica employees were engaged to sort and clean up their own office and production spaces redeploying materials where they were needed. This action alone resulted in over 2,000 lbs. of binders being donated to local schools. Desk, chairs, communication monitors and production tooling were reused at other Celestica locations.

Multiple auctions were held for items no longer needed including a dedicated kitchen auction, redeploying over 202,000 lbs. of equipment.

Celestica reached out to local organizations including schools, libraries and Habitat for Humanity, and an additional 38,000 lbs. of furniture found new homes.

All in all, more than 1,000 items of manufacturing equipment and 184,000 lbs. of auction equipment were sold. Over 1,000,000 lbs. of wooden pallets were sent to farmers for reuse, 900,000 lbs. of metal were removed and recycled and 498,000 lbs. of wood was sent to become animal bedding.

Celestica saw that 94,000 lbs. of e-waste was sent for recycling and responsibly disposed of, 1200 items of furniture totaling 38,000 lbs. was donated or sold, and 18,000 lbs. of kitchen equipment was sold for reuse.

Through these efforts an incredible 5.4 million pounds of materials removed from the site resulting in a waste diversion rate of 93%.

Long committed to reducing its environmental footprint with an aspirational goal of achieving 100% waste diversion from its operations, Celestica is justifiably proud of its sustainability success. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this clean break.