Bringing scope three emissions into focus
With growing impetus for organisations to address the way they dispose of waste as part of their scope 3 reporting practices, Dr Stephen Wise, chief strategic development officer at Advetec asks: Is the Waste Management Sector Doing Enough to Ease Scope 3 Stress for Businesses?
Reducing and reporting on scope 3 emissions has steadily moved up the corporate agenda and presents an additional challenge for businesses and facilities managers (FMs) as they seek to tackle carbon in their supply chains.
But it also adds an opportunity – for the commercial sector to make major carbon cuts – and for the waste sector to help it achieve this planet-friendly outcome.
Now is the time to step up
As we move closer to 2024, the deadline for thousands of UK businesses to sharpen their scope 3 emissions reporting and the efforts to reduce it looms large.
From January next year, the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will strengthen and extend the scope of the existing EU reporting requirements. Swathes of UK companies that trade in Europe will be subject to a stricter scope 3 reporting regime – with costly penalties attached for non-compliance.
But the clamour to deliver demonstrable scope 3 results isn’t limited to the businesses set to be affected by the new directive. Across all sectors, senior leadership teams are pushing scope 3 further up the priority list, as they seek to decarbonise their operations and prove to customers that they take supply chain environmental impact seriously.
Added to this is the need to back up reporting with strong metric evidence. Anything less runs the risk of greenwashing accusations, in an increasingly savvy consumer market.
With multiple surveys finding that businesses are struggling with accessing the data they need to report on scope 3 adequately, and FMs generally feeling overwhelmed by the process, it’s time for waste handlers to step up and provide a solution.
As key links in their customers’ value chains, waste handlers can prove more valuable than ever by helping businesses to harness the benefits of cutting-edge biotechnology. This can deliver a host of scope 3-friendly results in a manner that is easy to report, as well as set a clear path towards net zero.
Help businesses reduce waste
No matter how stringent an organisation’s commitment to recycling may be, there will always remain an element of its waste output that cannot be sorted for recycling, due to organic matter contamination. Typically, this waste will be sent to landfill or for incineration. Neither is a desirable option for FMs seeking to limit waste management carbon.
This is where waste handlers can embrace a much more sustainable alternative. Pioneering treatment processes, like the one we’ve developed at Advetec, digest the organic matter in unrecyclable waste using blends of bacteria inside enclosed aerobic digesters. The digesters are installed on-site and dovetail with waste handlers’ existing operations.
The process enables waste handlers to reduce the mass of their customers’ contaminated waste by up to 50% and divert 100% away from landfill or incineration, cutting overall associated GHG emissions by over 70%.
Less waste means less carbon, less methane and less environmental damage. It’s a gain that can be fed back up the value chain for businesses wanting to boost their ESG performance and scope 3 progress.
Cut supply chain transport emissions
As businesses look to quantify emissions from their waste handlers, transport pollution is a focus.
There’s an easy win to be had here. When biotech is harnessed successfully by waste handlers it can halve the mass of waste. This means less waste needs to be transported for disposal, so fewer waste lorry journeys are required. Cutting diesel miles – and hence, fuel emissions – on behalf of customers will help to galvanise their scope 3 gains further.
Initiatives such as Biffa’s move to electrified trucks as it transitions its fleet to zero-emissions, help to demonstrate just how crucial it is to eradicate carbon from all parts of the waste supply chain, and how technology is part of delivering that change.
Turn contaminated waste into a sustainable commodity
The most forward-thinking waste handlers are partnering with their customers to transform the way that society deals with waste. This includes exploring ways to turn contaminated waste into a commodity.
As well as halving unrecyclable waste mass and reducing the need for transportation, biotechnology can turn contaminated waste into Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), which can be used as a high-quality fuel replacement product. By moving materials from the linear economy to the circular economy in this way, we’re able to extract much greater value from waste and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
One waste handler, we’ve been working with is supporting thousands of local businesses to pursue their net zero goals and decarbonisation efforts, by employing biotech to produce high-quality SRF from their contaminated waste.
The SRF is then used as a coal replacement product at a local cement kiln. This initiative is preventing thousands of tonnes of carbon from being produced each year and places the waste handler’s customers in a green loop, enabling them to use their contaminated waste for good, benefit the circular economy and positively impact their Scope 3 responsibilities.
Be part of the revolution
The opportunity is ripe for waste handlers and key commercial decision-makers to collaborate and rethink waste disposal strategy.
Biotechnology has the power to remove large amounts of carbon from supply chains and comes with built-in data capture to make scope 3 reporting more straightforward and meaningful.
Those that want to steal a march on the regulators have an opportunity to be in the vanguard of change – helping customers to meet their responsibilities as well as driving positive improvements to how we view and treat unrecyclable waste.
To find out how Advetec could help you, visit www.advetec.com
NTM-GB New Marketing Officer
NTM-GB says it is a market leader in manufacturing high-quality refuse & recycling collection vehicles to meet the exact requirements of its customers.
Through NTM’s adoption of a goal-oriented approach to product development and quality, the NTM Group says it has evolved into one of the biggest international manufacturers of quality refuse and recycling collection vehicles.
NTM-GB are excited to announce that Callum Hinton has moved into a new position within the company. Callum will be the Marketing Officer for NTM and already has been working in the role since April this year. He joined NTM back in February 2022 working within the Sales/Planning department so had a great understanding of how the business operates before this promotion. Callum has already some years of experience in Sales & Marketing in previous positions before joining NTM-GB.
Callum has already hit the ground running and will be key to organising events and communicating key messages to customers, his skills and excellent creativity will allow us to create content we haven’t before. We feel this will play a vital role within NTM, especially at a time when the business is accelerating at a rapid pace. Callum will also be working on several projects that we feel will boost scalability and sales numbers.
“I am really excited to try and grow NTM-GB and improve our strategy on maximising our sales & improving on our approach. The last few months have been great, I feel as though I have added real value to NTM as well as helped improve key areas within the business. I look forward to forming new relationships both externally & internally,” Hinton said.
Grahame Jones, NTM-GB Managing Director, commented: “It is great to see our staff progress their careers within NTM-GB and Callum is already making a great contribution to developing our marketing activities.”
NTM-GB have a lot of exciting news coming up. To stay up to date, subscribe to the newsletter by contacting email@example.com.
From Christmas Day to the height of summer: pushing back Earth Overshoot Day is essential for net zero aspirations
The year-on-year slowdown of Earth Overshoot Day’s forward charge is a false dawn – consistently driving back this milestone is what constitutes success, says Chris Williams, founder and CEO of ISB Global.
2 August marks this year’s Earth Overshoot Day, the day on which humanity’s use of the planet’s resources exceeds its ability to regenerate in the year. The current deficit is caused by both our depletion of natural resources and by the emissions and other waste we create.
Earth Overshoot Day has shot forwards since calculations began, falling on Christmas Day in 1971 and 5 August 40 years later. Although the rate of progression has slowed in the last decade, Williams argues this does not represent progress, stating that structural change is required to reverse the damage of the past 50 years.
Calculated by the Global Footprint Network, Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity by humanity’s demand for resources that year, and multiplying the answer by 365.
Williams commented: “A yearly breakdown of Earth Overshoot Day suggests things are ‘slowing down’ and there’s nothing much to worry about, but in reality, there is little cause for optimism.
“The statisticians involved in these calculations believe that the speed of progression is more important than the year-on-year comparative figures. Only when Earth Overshoot Day starts moving backwards in a consistent way can we say that we are making any improvements.
“The decisions we make for our personal, national and global energy use and waste management can help to move Earth Overshoot Day back. Individually, this means thinking about what we buy, how we travel, where we live, how we heat and power our homes, and how we actively reuse or recycle to reduce our demand on nature’s resources.
“Nationally, it means businesses and government organisations thinking about how we design and run services. How we integrate better, cleaner modes of transport and how we support communities to live and work more sustainably. We also need to pay attention to the state of nature – preserving wild spaces, reintroducing helpful flora and fauna, promoting biodiversity and reversing the damage done by activities such as over-fishing.
“Globally, it means working together to reduce land loss for farming or other food production, supporting nations who are most at risk from climate change, and committing to and working towards the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals.”
Williams concluded: “The waste and recycling industry has a key role to play in efforts to push back Earth Overshoot Day. Organisations in this sector should look for ways to reduce their waste by supporting sustainable collection, reuse and recycling. They should also contribute to the circular economy by reselling materials in secondary markets, supporting commercial customers in their own sustainability endeavours and showing public authorities how waste can be addressed positively and profitably.”
Hospitality businesses need support understanding upcoming food waste legislation
Over a quarter (26%) of businesses across the hospitality sector don’t currently recycle their food waste and just under half (42%) say that they don’t consider food waste recycling to be a key priority in their business, according to a new report by Keenan Recycling.
This comes as new legislation from Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the Welsh government’s Business, Public, and Third Sector Recycling Regulation are currently in consultation and are due to come into force within the next year.
The new legislation is expected to mandate that any business producing over 5kg of food waste will need to separate and recycle their waste through a registered food waste carrier service, or risk potentially hefty financial penalties.
Although the legislation is fast approaching, 37% of hospitality businesses say they have little or no understanding of it and over half (52%) say they feel unprepared.
However, 60% of hospitality businesses say that recycling food waste is one of their main priorities when considering how to reduce their carbon footprint and half of the respondents (49%) did say that their business is working to gain an understanding of the legislation so that they can implement changes at their business.
Marten Lewis, head of corporate responsibility at Bluestone National Park Resort, said: “There is absolutely a business case for more sustainable practices. By tracking, measuring and decreasing our food waste we have been able to both attract new customers and decrease our expenditure when it comes to the procurement of food for our guests. We conducted a questionnaire last year, which was returned by three and a half thousand people, and 89% said they would pay more for a sustainable product provided the quality was there.”
Grant Keenan, managing director at Keenan Recycling, said: “Our research found that the hospitality sector is actually ahead of other industries when it comes to food waste recycling, which is a great position to be in with new laws imminent.
“But despite this, half still don’t feel prepared for the changes. A sticking point for many is the misconception that food waste recycling is expensive. However, our research found that recycling food waste rather than sending it to landfill can save businesses almost £7,000 per year.
“At Keenan Recycling, we have been working with the hospitality sector in Scotland since similar legislation came into force back in 2014 and all the businesses that we work with have successfully adapted their operations to adhere to the regulations. So, the fact that businesses across the UK are already working to gain an understanding of legislation is a really positive sign and over the coming months there is a big opportunity for the sector to embrace the changes, not only to reduce carbon emissions but to save them money, too.”
To find out more about how the hospitality sector is faring against other industries, download Keenan Recycling’s full “Facing today’s food waste crisis” report here.
Out with the old and in with the new
Fleet provider, Specialist Fleet Services Ltd, selected leading vehicle graphics provider, EPIC Media Group, to provide the vehicle wraps for their newly retained contract with Spelthorne Borough Council.
The fleet comprising 10 refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) and four road sweepers was wrapped in a colourful, vibrant design. Designed by Surrey-based designer, Mary Gorton, the sweeping tick shape creates a strong brand consistency through the different messages and vehicle types.
The RCVs carried two messages, the first showed the different recycling streams collected in the kerbside collection service and the second promotes the council’s garden waste service. Two further RCVs and another sweeper will have their graphics fitted later this year.
The previous fleet vehicles have had their branding removed ready for the vehicles to be sold on to their new owners.
Bob Sweetland, Managing Director, SFS: “We have been working with Spelthorne Council for many years and we are delighted to have retained them for this second contract. Thanks to the great service from Epic Graphics, all 10 vehicles were wrapped within the deadline and look superb with bright, eye-catching illustrations that will certainly get noticed.”
Kevin Murton, Managing Director of EPIC Media Group said: “We are proud to have worked with SFS to deliver the vehicle wraps for their newly retained contract with Spelthorne Borough Council. Thanks to our capacity and experience, we delivered 10 high-quality RCV wraps within one week, in time for the start of the new contract.”