I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Johnson Control, Inc's Social Innovation, State-of-the-Art Battery Recycling Centre
Johnson Controls, Inc., a global technology and industrial leader, has opened its social innovation Florence Recycling Centre for automotive batteries in South Carolina, U.S. The facility expands Johnson Controls' presence in Florence with an investment of more than $150 million, representing 250 new jobs in the area.
Car batteries are the most recycled products in America, having a 98 percent to 99 percent recycling rate! This social innovation facility will recycle 132,000 metric tons per yearthe equivalent of more than 14 million automotive batteries. Johnson Controls developed 36 acres of the site for construction of the facility with the remaining land undeveloped. Portions of the site will be permanently protected through a conservation agreement. These steps taken by Johnson Controls to maximise economic impact and minimise environmental effects on the area at the same time are important to the local community. Throughout the process, Johnson Controls ensured that the citizens' concerns were heard and supported; it was a critical element in bringing the recycling centre to Florence.
Battery recycling is an activity that aims to reduce the number of batteries being disposed in municipal solid waste, because batteries contain a number of heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Their dumping raises concerns over risks of soil contamination and water pollution, so the main reason for recycling batteries is to prevent hazardous materials from entering landfills. Lead acid and nickel-cadmium batteries are of special concern. About 60 percent of the world's lead comes from recycled car batteries; while lead-acid batteries use over 80 percent of the lead produced in the U.S. As part of the company's commitment to environmental stewardship, Johnson Controls will minimise its environmental footprint within the state by protecting sensitive habitats, managing habitat for wildlife, participating in the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Stewardship Program, and storm water management.
Since the 2011 Johnson Controls has worked closely with area leaders and citizens to integrate itself into the community through efforts with the United Way, the development of Project H.O.P.E. and fundraising work with Harvest Hope Food Bank. Alex Molinaroli, President, Johnson Controls Power Solutions says, "We're proud to bring a recycling facility to Florence, resulting in a strong capital. We look forward to a strong continued relationship with the Florence community."
Johnson Controls has a deep commitment to sustainability, which dates back to 1885. It believes quite rightly so, that it is much better for the environment to recycle batteries rather than throw them in a landfill because of their high lead content. This new facility features a range of advanced and proven environmental control technology that will enable Johnson Control to continue to responsibly recycle its customers' used batteries, while maintaining a reliable source of raw material to support battery production.
Photo Credit: Johnson Control, Inc website