Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling



In the world of sustainability, less is usually better. In the world of waste, zero is the best. Raytheon set an aggressive goal in 2016 to obtain Zero Waste certification at 20 of our sites by 2020.

The certification program is now run by Green Business Certification Inc. This organization manages many different environmental certification programs, including the well-known Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building certification program.


Certification Requirements

The Total Resource Use and Efficiency Zero Waste certification requires sites to divert at least 90 percent of their waste from landfills and incinerators, and to score at least 31 out of the 81 zero waste points in 15 different categories that include redesign of processes, zero waste purchasing, upstream management and leadership involvement.

Auditors from the certifying body visit each facility to verify the information contained in the application. TRUE zero waste certified spaces are environmentally responsible, resource efficient and have low ecological and carbon footprints.

In 2015, Raytheon was the first aerospace and defense company to obtain zero waste certification. We did so at two locations at the same time: our Integrated Defense Systems headquarters in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and our Global Headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. Since that time, we’ve obtained certification at five additional sites. Raytheon’s Precision Manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas, is the most recent facility to obtain Zero Waste certification, earning it in 2017.

These sites have implemented many innovative practices to reduce waste, reuse materials, recycle waste, implement environmentally preferred purchasing practices and partner with suppliers to reduce waste.

Gold on Lemmon Avenue

Raytheon Precision Manufacturing on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas, Texas, became Raytheon’s seventh Zero Waste Certified facility in 2017, earning a gold rating. Since 2010, the site has diverted more than 90 percent of its wastes from landfill or incineration. In 2017, that diversion rate hit 96 percent.

The site is a fast-paced metal machining facility with customers and suppliers across North America. Hoppers collect all metal turnings from cutting machines for recycling. We extend the lifespan of machining coolants through a coolant recovery system that filters the coolant for reuse. Robust program and performance management, combined with employee engagement, effectively minimizes waste and develops a workforce focused on sustainability, safety and innovation.



“We scrutinize everything we throw away,” said Tyler Beauchamp, the site’s Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability specialist and the lead champion of the Zero Waste program. “Before 2008, the site was recycling common items like paper, wood, bottles and cans. Since then the site has found innovative ways to recycle nontraditional items like cut-resistant gloves and smocks, and to reuse materials where possible.”

Beauchamp said the support by site leadership, contractors, suppliers and employees (both past and present) made this certification possible. “There’s always more that we can do,” Beauchamp said.


Diverting Waste from Landfills and Incinerators

In 2017, Raytheon achieved our highest solid waste diversion rate ever, recycling or reusing 79 percent of the wastes we generated rather than disposing of them in landfills or incinerators. We recycled or reused close to 15,000 tons of solid waste, up 27 percent from 2016.

The best way to manage waste is to avoid generating it to begin with. A strong waste management program increases business efficiency, reduces cost and is good for the environment. We continually seek ways to minimize waste throughout our facilities by evaluating waste-generating processes like shipping and receiving, manufacturing, offices, cafeteria, warehousing and grounds keeping.

Waste Diversion

Recycled Materials

Recycled Materials

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We follow EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy, seeking to reduce, reuse, or recycle materials before we consider energy recovery (incineration), treatment or landfill disposal.

We try to pursue the highest and best use of materials where possible and look for ways to extend the life cycles of materials and equipment. For example, some sites have switched from wooden pallets to durable plastic ones with longer life spans for selected uses.

Many of our sites use reusable containers for inter/intra-plant shipping of certain equipment or parts where possible, and reusable textiles (e.g., rags, absorbent mats) that get periodically laundered and reused. At a couple of our sites, our shipping and receiving personnel reuse packing materials/foam from incoming shipments in outgoing shipments.

In addition, we donate materials and equipment to schools and other nonprofit organizations on a regular basis, which is a form of “reuse.”

Making Sustainability a Competitive Advantage

Demitri ShaninDimitri Shanin

Sustainability leader Dimitri Shanin is always looking for the next big innovation project that will help make sustainability a business differentiator at Raytheon. In 2012 he introduced electric vehicle charging stations in El Segundo, California, an initiative that has grown to eight Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems sites with more than 130 registered users.

Today, he continues to reach across business and functional teams to drive sustainability into everything Raytheon does. He has a personal passion for sustainability and works tirelessly to develop and roll out new sustainability initiatives, and share lessons learned.

Most recently, his team initiated a Keurig® K-Cup® recycling program that has collected more than three tons of coffee grounds and K-Cup waste from nine sites. Working with an outside vendor, the team also launched the “RightCycle” program for certain hard-to-recycle items like nitrile gloves used in labs and manufacturing areas. The program takes the wastes and transforms it into material that is used in new durable goods such as patio furniture, flower post and plastic shelving.

The team also partnered with the dining center supplier to introduce a reusable food container (“clamshell”) for take-away service in place of the existing throw-away container. Clamshells are now being expanded to many dining centers across Raytheon. “Engagement is key to sustainability excellence,” says Shanin. He established a network of over 50 Recycling Champions at two locations to drive recycling efforts and encourage employee engagement. These and other programs are conserving natural resources and helping Raytheon reduce and avoid costs.


Composting of waste is an aerobic method of slowly decomposing certain types of solid waste to produce a valuable and nutrient rich soil. As new outlets for composting open, including organic food composting, we’ve increased the amount of waste we compost.

We compost food waste from many of our dining centers and from employees’ offices. Many of our sites also compost or mulch grass clippings and yard waste generated from landscaping activities. In 2017, 25 of our facilities composted some of their wastes, and we are looking to expand the volume and the number of sites.

Reducing Food Waste

Unused food accounts for much of the trash in the United States — some 73 billion pounds annually. Wasting food also costs families and communities money, depletes natural resources needed to produce and deliver more food, and significantly increases greenhouse gases from landfills.

In 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Raytheon and our food services provider for our innovative contributions to the Food Recovery Challenge program, which two our sites in Massachusetts joined. The program asks participants to adopt sustainable food management programs to reduce food waste, donate food where feasible before it becomes a waste and compost food waste rather than disposing of it to landfills.

The “Love Food Not Waste” awareness campaign urges employees not to overbuy and waste food. Our food service provider re-engineered cafeteria menus to minimize waste. The “Waste Not” program teaches cooks to cut vegetables and other produce with a minimum amount of waste.

Cafeteria employees track peelings and other foodstuffs daily and report them by weight in three categories: overproduction, production and out-of-date items. Our food service provider estimates that these programs resulted in a five percent reduction of food waste, which also saves them money and helps control the cost of food items to the customer.
Close to 2,000 pounds of edible food was donated to local organizations from these two Raytheon sites.

Love Food, Not Waste

Food Waste


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