W.W. Grainger, Illinois Distribution Center

Minooka, Illinois
Certification level: 
Percent of Overall Diversion Achieved: 
Facility Size: 
1,000,000 sq. ft
Type of Operation: 
Maintenance, Repair, and Operations
Project Owner: 
W.W. Grainger
Project Overview: 

Grainger is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 4.5 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products in categories such as safety, material handling and metalworking, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries, including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, over the phone and at local branches. More than 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with 1.5 million products stocked in the company’s distribution centers (DCs) and branches worldwide.

Grainger strives to implement innovation and efficiency to achieve their sustainability goals. This includes assessing expanded facility recycling initiatives and business collaborations to reduce or eliminate superfluous waste streams, close material loops and spur additional innovation. Grainger is working to continually improve the recycling rate in their DCs by standardizing recycling processes and sharing best practices across their network. For example, teams are trained to use color-coded system to separate and bale materials such as cardboard, plastic wrap and metal, and are encouraged to share and test ideas for ongoing improvements. DC leadership receives monthly progress reports on recycling to help ensure transparency and accountability. Local DC facility managers also include recycling metrics as part of their annual performance goals. To learn more about Grainger’s sustainability initiatives, go to graingeresg.com.

Grainger’s 1,000,000 square foot Distribution Center in Minooka, Illinois was awarded TRUE Silver certification by achieving 39 credits. The facility in Minooka has a diversion rate of 91.0% and was able to meet the highest and best use for 100% of the waste produced at the DC. Grainger has a partnership with Avangard Innovative, who played a large part in achieving this goal. This certification is a testament to the emphasis that Grainger has and will continue to put on sustainability and doing the right thing.

"The Illinois Distribution Center has built a culture of reducing waste by following the three R’s; reduce, reuse and recycle. Team Members do a great job of separating waste streams which resulted in the Illinois Distribution Center having a zero percent contamination rate for the TRUE certification. The Illinois Distribution Center team consistently demonstrates Grainger's principle of "Do the Right Thing" by being strong advocates for the environment and sustainability." - Alan Olson, Illinois Distribution Center Senior Manager of Distribution Operations