Case Study: Great Forest Helps Multinational Conglomerate Move Towards 95% Circularity


Multinational Conglomerate with Facilities Worldwide


Great Forest identified circular solutions for waste streams being handled linearly for several of the global manufacturer’s facilities in the U.S., Europe, and in the Middle East.  The recommended strategy would enable the company to reach its goal of over 95% circularity across its portfolio.


This global manufacturer asked Great Forest to help them reach their goal of closing the loop on waste that was being handled linearly.  

Great Forest Solution

The team analyzed site operations, collaborated with waste vendor partners, and researched global materials markets to find creative, closed-loop solutions specially tailored to meet each location’s unique set of regulatory requirements, vendor capabilities, and infrastructural challenges.

  • Waste Stream Analysis

Great Forest conducted on-site waste stream assessments at several of the company’s manufacturing sites to gather data on the linearly handled waste streams and determine the average proportion of the linear waste stream for each material at the commodity level. The team observed operations, conducted interviews with company staff as well as local haulers, and audited –-including sorting, weighing, and categorizing–non-circular waste streams.

A report was then produced for each manufacturing site investigated, giving the company a firm understanding of their waste stream breakdown and possible solutions. The findings were used to develop recommendations for circular solutions tailored for each location.

  • Zero Waste Opportunities Assessment

Great Forest provided Zero Waste opportunities assessments based on the company’s waste tracking and linear stream breakdowns from the waste audits. The team researched the materials markets and identified two to four solutions for each non-circular commodity in accordance to local regulatory requirements and local capabilities for each location. 

The recommendations focused on keeping materials in the economy through recycling, reuse, repurposing, composting, donation, supplier take-back arrangements, and other diversion methods, including efforts to prevent and reduce waste generation in the first place. Examples of recommendations delivered included:

  • Improving material separation by increasing the number and types of waste collection bins at centralized collection stations to avoid mixing different types of plastics and metals.
  • Bringing current diversion programs up to efficiency to stop recyclables, including organics, ending up in the trash stream. For example, recommendations at one site included placing bins to capture the large amount of used paper towels, which Great Forest investigators found could be recycled by the manufacturer. 
  • Creating a sustainable system and mindset that would keep improvements going and prevent a backslide. These included recommendations to management to form a Green team, capacity building with education and training, and infrastructure investments that included equipment upgrades, and a weather-tight secure location for household hazardous waste such as batteries, paint, and solvents.


Our recommendations outlined a strategy that would enable the company to reach its goal of over 95% circularity across its portfolio, and eventually work towards closing the loop completely and eliminating the concept of waste from its operations and manufacturing. 

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