Eco-Efficiency: Gardner Denver Thomas

Cutting Waste, Cutting Costs

Key Environmental Performance Area:

  • Waste Generation (Facilities)

Reduced tons of waste by 86 percent through improved management between 2011 and 2017.

Reduced costs associated with waste management by 85 percent between 2013 and 2017.

Reduced waste bin pickups from twice a week to once a month or less.

All data and information in this case study are as of December 31, 2016, unless otherwise noted.


Global solid waste generation is increasing rapidly and is anticipated to exceed 11 million tons per day by 2100. Waste in landfills can cause soil and water contamination, and waste materials such as plastics and ash from incineration can be costly to manage. Solid waste management is one of the greatest costs in municipal budgets, and it can represent a significant, but often-manageable cost to companies as well.i,ii

Gardner Denver Thomas, a subsidiary of Gardner Denver Medical Group, manufactures vacuum pump and compressor technologies including: articulated piston, WOB-L piston, diaphragm, rotary vane, linear, liquid diaphragm, liquid linear diaphragm, and peristaltic.


To reduce waste disposal and associated costs in its Monroe, Louisiana, facility, Gardner Denver Thomas implemented a number of waste diversion and recycling efforts. In 2016, these actions included:

  • Reduced volume of cardboard waste from 800 lbs. per day prior to recycling efforts.
  • Converted disposal of wire from a cost to a revenue stream.
  • Reduced waste bin pickups from twice a week to once a month or less.
  • Identified a source to take and recycle wooden pallets at no additional charge to the company.
  • Added baling equipment to enable plastics recycling.


These improvements in waste management helped Gardner Denver Thomas reduce tons of waste by approximately 86 percent between 2011 and 2017iv and lower related costs by approximately 85 percent between 2013 and 2017. The decreased costs resulted primarily from a reduction in waste management needs.


Gardner Denver Thomas began participating in KKR’s green program in 2015 and is communicating results for the third time.

i Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “Impacts of Municipal Solid Waste.” 2014. Web. 22 July 2016.

ii Hoornweg, Daniel, Bhada-Tata, Perinaz, and Kennedy, Chris, “Environment: Waste production must peak in this century,” Nature, 502 (2013), doi: 1.14032.

iii Self-reported portfolio company data is not calculated, reviewed or independently verified by KKR or KKR Capstone. For more information regarding the results methodology for companies evaluating their own data, please see the methodology section. There is no guarantee that any GSP-related avoided costs or added efficiencies will positively impact the portfolio company’s valuation or performance.

iv Waste data are collected for the fiscal year of July 1-June 30.

Unless otherwise noted, portfolio company data represents 2016 results, published in October 2017. These case studies may contain forward looking statements including descriptions of planned projects and projected results and savings. These statements are subject to the risk that the projects will not develop as planned or at all or that projected results and savings are not realized.