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Measuring is knowing: quantify your waste

12 August 2023

Manufacturer of precision bearings and linear technology Rodriguez GmbH had an audit carried out by Rödl & Partner GmbH. We spoke to Christoph Aretz, Finance Director of Rodriguez GmbH and Sukhwinder Ghotra, Senior Associate at Rödl & Partner GmbH. How did this collaboration go and what were the main take-aways? Carry on reading to find out!

Fresh look at waste streams

Christoph: “Thanks to From Waste 2 Profit, we learnt at the end of 2022 that we could commission a waste audit to get a better picture of our waste streams. This type of audit is subsidised, making it all the more attractive. Mapping our waste streams and looking for ways to optimise them? Let’s go for it, we thought!”

“Sometimes it is simply a different way of looking or thinking that can provide the solution. This can be done, for example, by having an audit carried out by an external partner, Rödl & Partner GmbH. Things you don’t expect turn out to have an impact on the environment after all. By addressing them and implementing them in our strategy and operation, we not only create motivation among our own employees but also appreciation among our customers.”

Learning through digitising

Sukhwinder: “Environment and sustainability are becoming increasingly important issues. And companies are also expected to make their contribution to improving the climate and to use resources more sparingly. Through a waste audit, they gain a better understanding of how much waste they produce, how they can reduce it and, consequently, how they can also reduce their impact on the environment. Just like Rodriguez GmbH”

“An important first step is digitisation. As companies digitise their processes and workflows and implement a software, they can better quantify and track their waste streams. This is a simple intervention, but it makes a big difference. Digitisation is a good start, but subsequent actions are different for each company. Then we need to look specifically at the machines and production processes.”

Christoph: “We also took that first step of digitisation. Analysis showed that metal waste was one of our biggest challenges. To address this, we studied our production processes in greater detail and looked at how we could optimise those processes. Partly by taking into consideration the waste impact when investing in new machines, and partly by further fine-tuning and using software solutions which allow an optimized planning and construction, in order to reduce waste in the production process or allow a reuse of material.”

New focus

Sukhwinder: “Transparency remains the biggest stumbling block for companies. Companies often know they have waste, but have no idea how much and how big its impact is. The methodology for determining the quantities is missing. Consequently, they cannot reduce that impact. With Rodriguez, things ran a little differently. They were well prepared and had the necessary figures. All they needed was a little external push to go all the way.”

Christoph: “Indeed, and thanks to Rödl & Partner GmbH, we can now not only quantify our waste streams, but also tackle them effectively. Because if you know what you’re throwing away, you also know its impact on the environment. And from there you can start to reduce your waste. Step by step.”




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