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Four Raytheon sites received TRUE Zero Waste certification in

In the world of sustainability, less is usually better. In the world of waste, zero is best. Raytheon is pursuing Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) zero waste certification at many of its facilities. This certification program is managed by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which operates many different environmental certification programs— including the well-known Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program.

TRUE certification is a whole-systems approach to solid waste management that changes how materials are used and how they flow through their life cycle. It makes companies more resource efficient, cuts their carbon footprint to reduce their environmental impact and turns waste into savings. It goes beyond the traditional focus on recycling to embrace reduction, reuse, re-earth/composting, redesign and more. To qualify, sites must divert at least 90 percent of their waste from landfills and incinerators. Sites must score at least 31 out of 81 zero waste points in 15 different categories that include redesign of processes, zero waste purchasing, upstream management and leadership involvement. In 2015, Raytheon became the first aerospace and defense company to earn zero waste certification.

In 2018, four Raytheon facilities obtained zero waste certification: El Segundo, California; Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Camden, Arkansas. Three of these sites achieved the highest certification level of Platinum, while the fourth site scored the second highest level, Gold. To date, Raytheon has obtained TRUE zero waste certification at 11 sites.



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EHSS manager Rod Thornton (second from left), other EHSS staff, waste contractor and the TRUE assessor during certification
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Trash cans replaced in cafeteria with composting and recycling bins

More than 12 years ago, Raytheon’s Portsmouth site partnered with a waste contractor to implement a comprehensive resource management program. The contract was structured to incentivize the contractor to help the site reduce and recycle materials. Almost 10 years ago, the site’s “Serving Up Sustainability” program eliminated all polystyrene by switching to compostable and reusable dining ware in the cafeteria. Shortly thereafter, it removed trash dumpsters, leaving behind only recycling and compost containers. The site also reuses shipping containers wherever possible, including custom-sized wooden and metal crates developed for defense articles. To facilitate reuse and re-fastening, crates and durable packaging are secured with screws instead of staples or nails. The site also replaced cardboard boxes with durable, reusable totes for internal office moves and purchased reusable electrostatic discharge (ESD) cloths to replace disposable ESD foil covers. Four water bottle refill stations were also installed at the site to reduce disposable plastic beverage containers.

Five years ago, our Cambridge facility contracted with the same resource management company that has successfully supported many of Raytheon’s other New England sites. The site also established a “Green Team” of employees to help guide the program complemented by an employee suggestion program. Over that time frame, the site has taken the following actions:


  • Fully implemented composting in the cafeteria and office areas
  • Converted all the trash dumpsters and compactors on site to recycle and compost containers and significantly increased its waste diversion rate
  • Set the default printer settings to duplex printing and began using Forest Stewardship Certified paper with 30 percent recycled content (the company standard) in all printers
  • Set up informal office supplies reuse areas to minimize waste
  • Substituted janitorial paper products that have 20 percent recycled content
  • Worked with a company that repairs damaged office chairs for reuse by employees
  • Donated yard trimmings to a local nursery for use as mulch


Raytheon recognizes that by pursuing zero waste they are helping us build a sustainable future for all. Waste impacts all facets of business, and changing the way we use resources will deliver public health benefits, reduce our environmental impact and advance a greener economy.

Mahesh RamanujamPresident and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council and GBCI



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One of the Recycling Centers at Raytheon’s Camden, Arkansas site

Raytheon’s largest certified site is our 2.5-million-square-foot facility in El Segundo, which diverts more than 1,000 tons of waste per year. The site has a network of Recycling Champions that helps sustain its wide-ranging program. The site spearheaded a program to replace all foam-based products in breakrooms, such as cups and plates, with an environmentally superior compostable alternative. It donates furniture, office supplies and other equipment to charities. It launders and reuses shop and lab coats. The site implemented Kimberly-Clark’s RightCycle program for hard-to- recycle nitrile gloves, which are converted into nitrile pellets and made into new products such as park benches, planters and playground equipment. The site also works with its cafeteria contractor to offer coffee grounds to employees for use in their gardens, and has set up Keurig’s Grounds to Grow OnTM recycling program for used K-Cup® pods.

The company’s Camden, Arkansas, site recently enhanced its recycling program by arranging for a new recycler hauler. It installed additional recycling bins and modified both container size and service frequency. The site recycles metal, wood, cardboard, paper and other commodities. It conducts internal waste and recycling audits, examining the contents of each bin on-site to ensure maximum recycling and to identify any cross-contamination of waste streams. The site also leaves grass clippings in place across its several hundred-acre campus. This practice, called “grasscycling,” is the preferred method to manage grass waste since it returns natural nutrients to the soil and keeps it out of landfills. For packaging, the site uses reusable containers extensively to ship many of its sensitive military products, reuses hard-to-recycle foam and other packaging materials, and reuses wooden pallets. The site also donates surplus furniture, equipment and office supplies to local charities such as the Ouachita Enrichment Center.



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The best way to manage waste is to avoid generating it in the first place. 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 groundskeeping.

In 2018, Raytheon achieved our highest solid waste diversion rate ever, recycling or reusing 83 percent of the wastes we generated rather than disposing of them in landfills or incinerators. We recycled or reused more than 16,500 tons of solid waste, up 18 percent from 2017.

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Reused Materials Chart
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Although located in a desert area with more browns than greens, the sustainability program at the Raytheon Tucson site bleeds bright green.

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For the third year, Raytheon sponsored a zero waste luncheon event for Lawrence, Massachusetts, middle school children.


Corporate Responsibility Report

Corporate Responsibility Report This year’s report provides an expansive review of our corporate responsibility content, and highlights our efforts to enrich the lives of people, strengthen our performance, and reduce our footprint on the planet.

Corporate Responsibility Report