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Renewi urges governments to reduce incineration and stimulate the demand for secondary materials

29 June 2023

New sustainability goals to be submitted for validation to the SBTi

Renewi plc (LSE: RWI, Euronext: RWI), today publishes its Sustainability Review, outlining the company’s progress made towards its sustainability goals. Despite a period of economic uncertainty, the company achieved an industry-leading recycling rate of 63,6%, representing 7mT of secondary materials being put back into reuse out of the 11m tonnes processed last year. The European leading waste-to-product company is proud to contribute to the transition towards a circular economy and urges governments to continue implementing legislation that reduces waste incineration and stimulates the demand for secondary materials.

Our sustainability highlights include:

  • Increased industry-leading recycling rate to 63.6%, producing more low-carbon secondary materials which replace virgin alternatives.
  • Produced 326kT of innovative secondary materials and increased share of renewable electricity from 32.6% to 36.5%.
  • Recycling activities avoided 2.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
  • Decontaminated 1mT of wastewater, an achievement we are particularly proud of in light of current droughts throughout Europe.
  • Major environmental incidents and fires decreased significantly from 19 in FY22 to 3 in FY23.
  • A 12% decrease of our scope 1 & 2 emissions, goal is to achieve a reduction by 50% in 2030.

Globally, the past eight years have been the warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Earth Overshoot Day, which takes place on the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year, keeps getting earlier each year. Circularity is one of the solutions that will help to limit further temperature increases. A fully functional circular economy means using fewer virgin materials, which means fewer greenhouse gases and less residual waste.

Renewi CEO Otto de Bont says:

A commitment to the circular economy is critical to turn the tide on macroeconomic crises and influence the change our planet needs. In the past year Renewi has made significant progress in key aspects of sustainability reporting, disclosure and target setting and we have set ambitious targets for 2025 and 2030 horizons. Contributing to key Sustainable Development Goals will also continue to drive us.

Looking at our key markets in Europe and the UK, all have shown their commitment to play a leading role in achieving a circular economy. However, governments need to further implement legislation that reduces waste incineration and stimulates demand for secondary materials to deliver against ambitious climate goals”.

Enhanced sustainability via SBTi application and strong ESG performance

Renewi is on a strong sustainability trajectory, and has committed to set near-term science-based targets in 2023. These comprise a commitment to reduce our absolute scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by end 2030 (FY31) from our newly restated FY22 baseline. It also includes a commitment to reduce our scope 3 emissions by 25% by 2030 (FY31). These targets will be submitted for validation to the Science-Based Targets initiative1 (SBTi) over the coming months.

Over the past year, Renewi has also earned a portfolio of important ESG accreditations, having gained recognition and positive ratings for its sustainability performance from leading associations, such as a best-in-class score of 83 from S&P (Standard & Poor’s) Global Ratings for the second year in a row, which recognises our actions to improve our recycling rate, produce more low-carbon secondary materials and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Renewi also received a C-score from the Climate Change Questionnaire (CDP) which rewards the corporate transparency on climate change, and positive contribution to its mitigation.

Sustainability pillars

Renewi’s sustainability strategy is based on three pillars: enabling the circular economy by replacing incineration and landfill with recycling, reducing its own carbon footprint and caring for people. Sustainability is at the heart of our operations with our sustainability strategy following a comprehensive multi-stakeholder process. We are delighted that, despite all challenges, we have made strong progress.

Optimistic outlook

Renewi is optimistic about the future. We are cognisant of the necessary steps to be taken and are playing an active role in replacing virgin raw materials with low carbon secondary materials, which reduces carbon emissions of our customers. We also focus on delivering our own carbon reduction goals and are on track to keep increasing our recycling rate by building new and innovative recycling facilities. In parallel, we will continue to increase measurement and transparency on our sustainability related KPIs, enabling better insight into our contribution to the circular economy.

Learn more about the company’s commitment to act by reading Renewi’s Sustainability Review:

Sustainability Review 2023

1The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling organizations to set science-based emissions reduction targets.