The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Xerox treats waste responsibly

Case study: How Xerox treats waste responsibly

Xerox is a print technology and intelligent work solutions global leader, applying its expertise in imaging and printing, data analytics, and the development of secure and automated solutions to help its customers improve productivity and increase client satisfaction. Xerox has waste reduction efforts in place for many years, along with a mature programme for reducing the amount of hazardous waste generated throughout the company.

This case study is based on the 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report by Xerox published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Xerox’s vision is to transform Xerox manufacturing, operations, offices, and facilities into waste-free workplaces  Tweet This! – with preventing and managing waste as a key priority. In order to treat waste responsibly Xerox took action to:

  • reduce hazardous waste
  • reuse and recycle non-hazardous solid waste
  • address environmental contamination

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Xerox identified a range of material issues, such as customer satisfaction, sustainability of products and services, data security, product energy efficiency, supply chain management. Among these, treating waste responsibly stands out as a key material issue for Xerox.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Xerox engages with: 

Stakeholder Group
Public policymakers
Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs)

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Xerox conducted interviews and workshops with internal stakeholders and Xerox leaders along with discussions with external stakeholders, also collecting feedback from its employees.

What actions were taken by Xerox to treat waste responsibly?

In its 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Xerox reports that it took the following actions for treating waste responsibly:

  • Reducing hazardous waste
  • Since 1999, Xerox has reduced the quantity of hazardous waste generated by almost 90 percent. These hazardous waste reduction activities included manufacturing technology changes and reuse/recycling initiatives. Xerox seeks to manage these waste streams in a beneficial manner. Approximately 65 percent of the hazardous waste generated in 2018 was managed at fuels blending and solvent recycling facilities. Only 1.49 tons of hazardous waste was landfilled, while all other hazardous waste generated during the year was treated and/or incinerated. Xerox does not export hazardous waste to developing nations.
  • Reusing and recycling non-hazardous solid waste
  • Xerox reuses boxes, pallets, and containers for parts delivery, captures and reprocesses toner that is outside the acceptable size range during manufacturing, recycles returned equipment, and reuses totes for recycling scrap metal and paper. Xerox’s process waste consists primarily of paper, wood, pallets, waste toner, plastics, and packaging waste, such as corrugated cardboard. Equipment manufacturing waste includes scrap metal, waste batteries and lamps, miscellaneous trash, and unusable, end-of-life equipment and parts that clients return to Xerox for processing and remanufacturing. This waste made up about 68 percent of the non-hazardous solid waste managed by Xerox operations in 2018. Xerox is able to reuse or recycle nearly 100 percent of the equipment and parts generated from its client and field service returns. Xerox’s goal is to reuse, recycle, or recover energy from 100 percent of waste generated at facilities globally, by 2020. In 2018, 95 percent of non-hazardous solid waste generated was reused in equipment repairs or remanufacturing, recycled, or used to produce energy, up from 94 percent in 2017. Xerox’s equipment resellers were also able to return a greater number of products to the marketplace for resale.
  • Addressing environmental contamination
  • In 1985, Xerox voluntarily assessed its real estate portfolio globally and identified sixty-eight facilities that required corrective actions to address environmental contamination. Xerox worked closely with the appropriate federal, state, and local agencies to implement prompt and appropriate measures to ensure the protection of employees, neighbours, and the environment. Today, only three of the original sixty-eight sites require active remedial or control measures. Source areas of contamination have effectively been removed or greatly reduced, allowing the remediated properties to be available for reuse or redevelopment. Xerox is conducting post-remediation compliance monitoring at one site that is no longer subject to active remediation, which will enable the regulatory process for managing this site to be completed. Besides employing conventional techniques for groundwater recovery and treatment and soil excavation, Xerox has a history of developing innovative technologies to enhance its remedial efforts. These include techniques that improve and accelerate the recovery of contaminants, such as high-vacuum 2-Phase Extraction and enhanced bedrock fracturing. Xerox also employs technologies where contaminants are degraded or converted to less harmful substances through enhanced natural biodegradation and chemical oxidation processes.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 306-2 Waste by type and disposal method

2) Disclosure 306-4 Transport of hazardous waste


Disclosure 306-2 Waste by type and disposal method corresponds to:

Disclosure 306-4 Transport of hazardous waste corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by Xerox, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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