Waste Management

In addition to the product design towards the circular economy, we also expect to achieve zero waste in business operations.

Waste can bring serious environmental and hygienic burden, as a lack of adequate management incurs enormous costs to government, corporations, and society. In ASUS, waste is categorized into general industrial waste and hazardous industrial waste. The general type primarily comes from ordinary materials for R&D, rejected products, package materials, and domestic waste from employees. The waste is strictly categorized and managed, then subject to storage. Any reusable materials are properly recycled, and non-recyclable parts are incinerated or delivered to landfill. The hazardous industrial wastes are handled by qualified recyclers for reuse.

Other than the limitations, our efforts can minimize environmental impacts, and the increase in reuse and recycling will also decrease the waste going to incineration or landfill. The historical data of type and weight of waste in Taiwan are as followed:

Zero Waste to Landfill Program

ASUS launched the Zero Waste to Landfill Program at the headquarters in 2015. The program applied UL Zero Waste to Landfill Validation (UL ECVP 2799) requiring that all waste flows within the enterprise were subject to compliance management and recycler audit to ensure that waste materials were properly recycled, reused or converted instead of direct landfill.

In 2016, ASUS headquarters' waste diversion rate reached 85% (10% via incineration and recycling included). With enhancing the waste recycling and reuse, ASUS was recognized as the first consumer electronics company with headquarters receiving UL Zero Waste to Landfill validation, and we further committed to reach a 90% waste conversion rate by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, we have started several extension programs to create new value for waste materials, preventing them from going to incineration.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Innovation and Remanufacture Program

PLA is a polymer made from corn or other plant starch. As it can be degraded into water and carbon dioxide after use, and requires only a half of the energy to process compared to that of processing ordinary plastic, it is considered as an ideal green material. However, PLA does not degrade under ambient conditions but requires specific temperatures and humidity. When recycled with ordinary plastic materials, it may cause contamination and reduce the reusability of others.

Through the Zero Waste to Landfill project, we found that the recycling practice in Taiwan has not established the market of PLA recycling and reuse, and the compost processing facilities are not popular in Taiwan. This means the PLA is mostly going to incineration after recycling, losing its green natures.

To solve this problem, ASUS worked with suppliers to develop consumer products made from recycled PLA. We recycled waste PLA containers in the headquarters, including cups of cold drinks from Starbucks and from MOS Burger, and turned them into PLA pellets via crushing, rinsing and dyeing. Injection molding was then used to produce small official supplies. Wastes which would be incinerated were turned into new commodities, showing good examples of circular economy.

Other reuse programs:

  • Coffee grounds reuse program: The coffee grounds from the shops and employees in headquarters used to be disposed of and incinerated. When collected and properly dried, they are an ideal deodorant or compost material for potting.
  • Fallen leaves reuse program: The headquarters are deployed with several compost processing zones to collect and transform the twigs and leaves from plant trimming instead of sending to incinerators.