At MagnaFlow, performance means more than just horsepower. Every one of our performance exhausts must be artfully constructed, technologically advanced, and durable — that's why we guarantee them for life. As a company, however, performance also means doing our part to encourage the conservation of resources and give back to the community whenever possible.
In 2018, MagnaFlow placed a renewed emphasis on responsible practices within our organization and the communities we serve and call home. One of the top goals of this new initiative dealt with waste reduction and closing our supply chain loop. To accomplish this, MagnaFlow outfitted its production and warehouse facility with over 20,000 square feet of solar panels that, since their installment, have produced over 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy.
In 2019, through a focused effort to reduce waste, MagnaFlow recycled 1,552,458 pounds of steel, 147,730 pounds of cardboard, and 19,960 pounds of plastics. Even though these sustainability efforts represented a great start, we had more work to do.
Going into 2020, we recognized an issue with our supply chain. We were producing high-quality replacement catalytic converters, but the precious metals in retired units were going to waste.
The catalyst component of a catalytic converter is primarily platinum, but it also contains palladium and rhodium. These precious metals are considered platinum group metals and are some of the rarest elements on Earth. Catalytic converters are one of the most significant users of platinum group metals; in 2010 alone, the International Platinum Group Metals Association reported that they comprised 51% of total world demand. Their high platinum group metal content makes catalytic converters prime targets for resource recovery and reuse.
MagnaFlow launched the Recycling for Refunds program to recapture these scarce metals, which reduces our impact on the environment by mitigating the need for increased mining. We also wanted to reward our customers for doing their part in this sustainability effort by keeping their vehicles emissions-compliant and assisting us in resource conservation. That is why we share a portion of the value of these precious metals with customers after they've shipped us their old catalytic converter(s) at no charge to them.
Although our in-house efforts were making a marked difference in our environmental impact, we knew that we could do more outside of our walls. 2020 also marked two new sustainability partnerships: one with the National Forest Foundation and the other with San Diego Coastkeeper. These cooperative endeavors expand our sustainability efforts beyond our facility into the environment that we love and the coastal community we call home.
National Forest Foundation
Our National Forests are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes the world over, and every year, they see nearly 170 million visitors. Those visitors inject over $13.5 billion into our economy, particularly by redistributing funds into gateway communities where they support over 223,000 jobs. The National Forests are not only sites for recreation and sightseeing, but also valuable components of the American economy.
Through our partnership with the National Forest Foundation, MagnaFlow committed to planting 10,000 new trees in 2020 alone, doing our part to preserve the outdoor community spaces that we all enjoy (maybe even in an off-road vehicle featuring a MagnaFlow exhaust!). To double down on our efforts, for every Overland Series Exhaust sold, we'll plant a tree, each of which mitigates a half-ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
San Diego Coastkeeper
Like the National Forest Foundation, San Diego Coastkeeper is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the health of our natural spaces, particularly our water resources. San Diego Coastkeeper works to protect and restore the rivers, streams, canyons, and coastline that nourish San Diego County land and residents. The organization's approach is multipronged, using a strategic blend of community engagement, education, science, and environmental advocacy to address persistent and emerging threats to clean water.
As a coastal San Diego organization, MagnaFlow wants to do its part to protect our community's fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters. MagnaFlow has financially supported San Diego Coastkeeper’s important programs and projects, and has planned to sponsor a beach cleanup with our employees to educate them about sustainability efforts in San Diego and the larger Southern California region. With this impactful effort, we're doing our best to make sure every member of the MagnaFlow team is an advocate for the environment.
At MagnaFlow, we make exhausts that perform to the best of their ability, and as a company, we try to do the same. Through these existing sustainability efforts and future endeavors, we hope to be leaders in our industry, not only in product development and sales but also in those facets of life that impact us all — and the planet we call home.