Waste Minimization Programs and Performance Results

Our approach to effective waste management is to reduce waste and capture value of materials through recycling, reuse, or conversion to energy. Enterprise-wide, total waste volumes have been reduced by 15% since 2013, and recycling volumes show a 60% increase. The majority (about 98%) of all waste is wastewater. The top two recycled materials are metals (42%) and solvents (41%). Less than 1% of all waste is categorized as hazardous.

Waste Management Program

Wastes are minimized and handled properly at our locations using procedures in our Health, Safety & Environmental Management System:

  • Waste Management and Minimization. This procedure requires that locations establish a Waste Management and Minimization plan that details the nature of waste materials, their classification, legal requirements, storage requirements, approved waste vendors and opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • Waste Vendor Audits. Our audit process ensures that any materials that cannot be used are disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. This procedure states the requirements and protocol for auditing waste vendors and documenting them on a master list of approved waste vendors.


In 2014, we continued an initiative with a major waste management partner in a primary operating area. This involved instituting an aggressive recycling program to reduce the amount of office, production and packaging waste going to landfills and associated costs. Wood, cardboard, paper, plastic, electronic equipment and several metals were included in this comprehensive recycling program. The 50 facilities in this program have recycled more than 2,000 tons of material and diverted 11% of their total waste from landfills. In 2014, world-wide, we obtained USD 17 million in revenue from our recycling efforts.

In the U.S.A., Baker Hughes also operates a recycling program for our used, scrapped and obsolete drill bits. Our matrix body polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits are manufactured from tungsten carbide that may contain up to 60% recycled material. A typical percentage of reclaimed tungsten carbide powder in a new-build bit is 25%.The recycling process meets federal and state environmental standards while generating minimal effluent. One hundred percent of all materials processed are converted into usable products.

Byproduct Synergy in our Chemical Operations

In support of our commitment to sustainable development, we have researched opportunities to find beneficial uses for undervalued waste streams, particularly in our chemical manufacturing facilities. Many chemicals such as solvents can be reused in other applications within our own operations, or by other companies.

For more information on Baker Hughes waste minimization program and performance results, please download our latest Annual HSE & Social Responsibility Report (see Additional Resources).

Baker Hughes commitment to responsible waste management also covers our field operations. To see how we are managing waste at the well site, see the following links:

Additional Resources

Brochures / Overviews