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Environment

We care for the environment and are glad to see our hard work is paying off.

A Strong Performance

We give new life to used materials. This helps to protect the world’s limited resources and preserve the planet for future generations. Our work puts us at the heart of the circular economy.

At Renewi, protecting and preserving the environment is extremely important and we take that responsibility seriously. That is why we are delighted that our hard work is showing through in our CSR performance figures for 2016/17.

Of the 15 million tonnes of waste our sites handled, 90% was recycled as secondary raw materials or recovered for use in energy production. Through those recycling and recovery activities, we prevented more than three million tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere and we produced more than 172 billion watt hours of green electricity – enough to supply 40,000 homes.

Carbon prevention is a core part of our mission. As part of our commitment to this goal, in October 2016 we signed up to the Sustainable Mobility Pledge, a Dutch initiative to reduce the carbon emissions generated by employees travelling to and from work. Although it has a small effect, it underpins our commitment in this area.

We also continued to support Ocean Cleanup – a project that is testing an innovative cleaning system designed to drastically reduce the eight million tonnes of plastic waste that enters our oceans every year. You can read more about our involvement in these environmental initiatives on pages 19 and 20 of our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

Next year’s goals

In 2017/18, we are challenging ourselves to build on this year’s impressive figures by working towards a 95% recycling and recovery rate, a 10% increase in carbon prevention and a 60% increase in green electricity production – all by 2020.

We will also push ourselves in the area of energy efficiency. Producing energy from waste is just one part of the equation; using energy efficiently to power our operations is equally important. In the coming months, we will be working to define what energy efficiency means for our combined Group and establishing how we collect and analyse data on this important area. In 2018/19, we hope to have a clearly defined objective to work towards.

  RENEWI plc TOTALS
RECYCLING AND RECOVERY 2015/16 2016/17
Total waste handled at sites (million tonnes) 14.28 14.78
Amount of materials recycled (million tonnes)1 9.69 10.25
Amount of materials recovered for energy production from waste (million tonnes)2 3.16 3.07
Total materials recycled and recovered for energy production (million tonnes) 12.85 13.31
Recycling as % of total waste handled 68% 69%
Recycling and recovery as % of total waste handled 90% 90%

1Recycling is materials given a ‘second life’ for reprocessing into new goods/materials; recovery is waste used for energy
2Includes water recovery and moisture loss during treatment for some technologies employed

Our Carbon Footprint

  RENEWI plc TOTALS
EMISSIONS FROM OUR ACTIVITIES (CO2 equivalent ‘000 tonnes)1 2016 2017
Process based emissions    
Emissions from anaerobic digestion and composting 105 109
Emissions from hazardous waste treatment 295 304
Emissions from landfill 97 93
Emissions from mechanical biological treatment (MBT) 24 22
Transport based emissions    
Fuel used by waste transport vehicles 126 120
Business travel (cars, trains, flights, etc) 8 8
Energy use emissions    
Electricity used on sites and in offices 96 103
Gas used on sites and in offices 15 17
Fuel used on sites for plant and equipment/heating 30 28
Total emissions from significant sources 796 805
CARBON AVOIDANCE AS A RESULT OF OUR ACTIVITIES    
Renewable energy generated 49 63
Waste derived fuels produced and sold 848 874
Materials separated for re-use/recycling 1,656 1,788
Energy from waste used on site as a fuel 334 349
Total emissions from significant sources 2,887 3,075
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND AVOIDANCE INTENSITY RATIOS2    
Amount greenhouse gases emitted (CO2 equivalent ’000 tonnes) per unit of revenue (£m) 0.61 0.56
Amount greenhouse gases avoided by our activities (CO2 equivalent ’000 tonnes) per unit of revenue (£m) 2.22 2.16

1Figures rounded to nearest 1,000 tonnes – totals may reflect rounding. Some data based on carbon ‘factors’
These vary from country to country and are periodically updated, such as by Government agencies
2Where revenues are not in £ average exchange rates for the years in question have been used

  RENEWI plc TOTALS
RESOURCE USE AND SPILLS 2016 2017
Electricity consumption (‘000 kilowatt hours) 196,653 203,618
Gas used at sites and offices (‘000 kilowatt hours) 80,324 91,342
Fuel (such as diesel) use at sites and offices (‘000 litres)1 10,195 8,222
Fuel used by waste collection vehicles (‘000 litres) 39,885 37,964
Green electricity generated (mega watt hours) 137,166 172,834
Significant spills at sites – number of reported spills required by permits2 51 31

1Includes diesel used in heavy mobile plant and static plant, plus oil etc used for heating
2Spills are those required to be reported by environmental permits

Case studies

Sustainable Mobility Pledge
Ocean Cleanup Project