Elon Musk’s Deep Roots in Hazardous Waste Management

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Tesla Motors selects SFS Chemical Safety’s EMS software for Waste Management at it’s Fremont, CA manufacturing plant.

If you haven’t been paying attention, Tesla’s taken the world by storm as the first successful car company to launch in the US in more than 70 years.  And if you haven’t heard of Elon Musk and his bold achievements in three (four, really) successful enterprises that he’s directing concurrently, you’re probably from another planet.  But don’t worry: his SpaceX company will soon be coming to a universe near you.

What you may not know is that Elon Musk started his career in North America disposing of hazardous waste in a paper factory in Canada and is intimately familiar with the perils and the difficulties associated with the proper handling and disposal of hazardous waste. Tesla is utilizing SFS Chemical Safety’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)  EMS Waste Management technologies to manage and streamline its waste disposal processes at Tesla’s Fremont plant.

Tesla’s Fremont plant is the poster child of efficiency.  The open space design allow for manufacturing to co-exist with Engineering, design and almost every aspect of the running of a company.  Tesla took over the New (old) United Motors (NUMI) plant and for a few years now has been cranking out a new, beautiful Tesla Model S every 4 minutes.  Part of the plant is now gearing up for the new Model  X, and soon after  what was to be named the Model E, the three models collectively spelling out S-E-X, until Ford blocked the “E,” claiming trademark infringement.  Whatever…

Elon Musk came to the US as a young man from South Africa via Canada, where relatives lived, and quickly took a job disposing of soot at a paper mill because the pay was better than other jobs. Based on his biography, he wasn’t too thrilled with the conditions of the job.  That may be one of the reasons why his Tesla factory focuses on systems that ensure safety and efficiency.

Chemical Safety Software implemented its EMS Waste Management Software at Tesla in early May 2015, and with the use of the EMS.Waste iPhone and iPad apps onsite, Tesla collects, labels, stores and manifests (disposes) of waste generated by the manufacturing side of the plant.  The cloud-based EMS software was deployed in record time and has already improved the monitoring and timely management of waste activities at the plant.

It is no coincidence that the focus of Musk’s businesses is sustainability, clean energy, and, of course, the sun.  Musk succeeded in creating a successful car company in the US for the first time in three generations.  He built the country’s premier solar company and is now building the world’s largest battery plant, which will benefit all his businesses. But, most importantly, it will benefit us and improve our environment.  Just in case the world continues to head in the wrong direction, however, Musk is building rockets that soon, possibly in our lifetime, will go where no man has gone before.

Coincidentally, or not, Chemical Safety Software has a number of clients in both the Space and the Energy sectors, including NASA, the US Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense, and has been working with Stanford University, where Musk was admitted but never attended, for over 15 years to provide environmental technologies through its cloud-based Environmental Management Systems which support Chemical Tracking, Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Management, Waste Management, Workplace Safety and Regulatory Compliance.

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