Case Studies

DENSO Has its Cake and H-eats It!

DENSO Manufacturing UK is based in Telford, Shropshire. The company manufactures air conditioning units, engine cooling systems and components for the automotive industry, working with household names such as Toyota, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover. Sustainability is a key focus for the company, so once it achieved its zero waste to landfill target it began to look more closely at reducing raw material usage and waste generation.

The Challenge Since DENSO Manufacturing UK Successfully achieved zero waste to landfill in 2006, the company had concentrated its efforts on improving resource efficiency and increasing productivity across all of its manufacturing processes. The company had already established a sustainable disposal route for waste filter cake generated as part of its process, but was keen to identify a more sustainable option that required less transportation and offered greater environmental benefits.

NISP Involvement DENSO Manufacturing UK attended a number of NISP  ‘Resource Matching’ workshops. They further benefitted though on-site visits and practitioner support. The NISP practitioners looked at all manufacturing processes in order to identify ways in which to further eradicate waste at source and effective recovery, reprocessing and reuse options when waste was unavoidable.

Solution The filter cake produced in the effluent treatment plant at DENSO has a 70% moisture content. NISP recommended implementing an on-site solution using waste heat from the company’s manufacturing systems to dry the cake, making it suitable for use in an alternative processes. The new system has reduced transportation and the material is now used in three additional processes, significantly impacting on the company’s carbon footprint. Once dried, the product is sent to another company, where it is crushed for use as an active agent in the absorption of oil and solvent. This agent is then employed as a fuel source, before the residual ash is added to aggregates or put to work as a soil improver.


• Reduction of 18 tonnes of waste filter cake by drying it and reducing moisture content of the cake;

• Cost saving of £5000 as a result of waste minimisation (reduced quantity of cake to be disposed of) and transport;

• Road transport requirements were reduced by 200 miles per year.

"Being part of NISP has resulted in exposure to expertise and solutions available enabling us to identify a beneficial waste reduction process on our own premises."

Manel Roura, Environmental Officer, DENSO





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