Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) Metric Tracking for Waste

Many investors now integrate a company’s ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) performance into their investment decisions. The consensus is that a company’s ability to successfully manage these matters demonstrates the leadership and good governance that is essential to sustainable growth.

For many businesses, sustainable waste management is a key operational area where they can improve their ESG performance, with a resulting positive impact on their carbon footprint, operational costs and resource efficiency.

Reporting your performance in sustainable waste management – as well as other management indices – enables you to identify and reduce risks, and take action towards becoming a responsible, trusted organization in a more sustainable world.

Why is Waste Optimization Important for ESG Performance?

Resource usage, and waste-related practices and impacts span through the entirety of an organization’s value chain.

It is increasingly important for companies to measure and understand their waste, so that they can effectively respond to global concerns about increases in waste generation and the impact on the environment, society and the economy. Measurement and reporting encourage companies to prevent waste at its source, which unlocks opportunities for circular business practices.

By including updated disclosures, circularity and waste prevention concepts, global ESG reporting frameworks reflect these best practices in waste management.

The GRI Standards

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the go-to ESG reporting framework for investors. Investor rating services such as Morningstar, Inc. consider the ESG reports created within this framework when attributing a stock with its sustainability “Globe” rating. GRI Standards cover a vast range of topics, from biodiversity to anti-corruption, to waste.

Organizations can use the GRI Standards to prepare a sustainability report in accordance with the Standards. They can also choose to use selected Standards to report information for specific users, such as reporting their climate change impacts for their investors and consumers.

GRI 306: Waste 2020

There is a specific Standard for reporting on your organization’s waste related impacts; GRI 306. This Standard was recently updated to reflect the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12, which calls on organizations to use natural resources efficiently, implement environmentally sound waste management, and prevent and reduce waste through reuse and recycling.

The UN notes the critical environmental, social, and human health impacts of specific waste streams, such as plastics, food waste, and e-waste.

Investors and other key stakeholders recognize that focus was previously placed almost entirely on the impacts of the production phase. However, impacts such as the pollution of marine ecosystems with plastic waste, or the growing volumes of e-waste, make it evident that waste impacts also relate to the end of life of an organization’s products.

The GRI 306 Standard enables organizations to understand if they are causing or contributing to any waste-related impacts upstream or downstream in their value chains, and helps them to take responsibility for waste throughout the value chain. Click on this link for more information.

Data Requirements for ESG Reporting

We have created a comprehensive checklist of the data that your organization will be required to provide, in order to report on its waste activity from an ESG perspective. Click on this link to view the checklist.

Other ESG Frameworks and Standards

Even if your organization doesn’t report, or plan to report, its ESG performance through the GRI Standards, the requirements for reporting are paralleled in other reporting frameworks and standards. For example, the EPA’s WasteWise reporting system asks for much of the same data on an annual basis. These reporting frameworks are expected to become more and more mandatory so establishing a familiarity with them is important.

Building ESG Reporting into your Sustainability Report

Once the data has been captured and analyzed, most organizations will then build this into their sustainability reporting in order to effectively communicate its achievements and targets with investors and other key stakeholders. Click on this link to view an example of a Sustainability Report, from Coca-Cola.

Sustainable Waste Management with NWA

If your organization recognizes the benefits of ESG reporting for its waste operations, but doesn’t have the resources to extract and monitor all of the data internally, NWA has a dedicated Compliance Manager who can complete this paperwork for you and provide you with the action points you need to succeed.

Not only that, but by partnering with NWA, we can align your waste operations with your ESG objectives, helping to make you a sustainable business that is more attractive to investors and customers alike.

If you would like to know more about waste reporting and ESG, call 1-888-692-5005 x6 or email sales@nationalwaste.com.

©2021 National Waste Associates