Need Help with your ESG Objectives? Sustainable Waste Management Can Help

Investors are increasingly integrating a company’s ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) performance into their investment decisions, and many more customers now consider a company’s sustainability performance when deciding which provider to go with.

The consensus is that a company’s ability to manage environmental, social and governance matters demonstrates the leadership and good governance that is essential to sustainable growth. This is particularly important within the utilities sector, as a public service with a huge resource footprint.

Sustainable waste management is therefore a vital operational area where utilities firms can improve;

  • ESG performance
  • Carbon footprint
  • Operational costs
  • Resource efficiency

Your waste management provider should be working in all of the areas covered in this article, to make your waste management more sustainable.

Optimize Hauls to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Your waste management partner should conduct regular analysis of the weights and fill-levels of the containers at your sites and compare these against the optimal weights that they should be able to achieve. This analysis highlights where containers are being serviced too frequently. This doesn’t just cost you more, but it can also have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of your waste operations.

Refuse trucks are heavy vehicles with high fuel consumption, operating on average at just 3 miles per gallon. Every unnecessary movement that they make between your premises and the disposal or treatment sites burns needless diesel. Not only that, but they also emit more harmful emissions, from greenhouse gases to small particulates that have been linked to adverse human health.

An experienced waste management provider will optimize container loads across your entire operation, ensuring that containers are serviced only when they are full. When combined with right-sizing the containers to your operational requirements, collection frequencies can be reduced from as often as a daily service, to just once a week – cutting the associated carbon footprint by up to 80%.

Analyze Resource Flows to Improve Efficiency

A landfill-independent waste management provider will source haulers who are independent and agnostic to which disposal sites they utilize, so that your waste can be treated in the most sustainable manner, rather than what is most cost effective for the operator.

An audit of all resources that flow into and out of each location will highlight where there are opportunities to minimize resource consumption, divert or repurpose materials, and reuse others – whether they are reused within your own operation, or externally. An experienced waste management provider will then source the haulers who can recycle the maximum number of materials to the highest quality standard, maintaining the value of those materials.

This methodology of waste management not only significantly reduces operational costs, but also aligns your business closely with the circular economy, as discussed in our previous article. This will improve your firm’s ESG score, increasing your appeal to investors and improving brand reputation with customers.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Waste and recycling legislation can exist at all levels of government, from federal to state to local. This can necessitate that businesses have different waste management practices and paperwork at their different locations. Failure to comply with these regulations can hurt your business financially and adversely affect your company’s reputation.

Special wastes and sludges, which commonly arise in the utilities sector, require additional control mechanisms for safe haulage and treatment. As well as ensuring that all manifests are in order, your waste provider should perform haul audits to ensure the safe transit and treatment of these materials so that you can be confident this part of the operations is in full compliance with environmental regulations.

The best way to ensure compliance with different legislations is to operate a sustainable waste management system that goes above and beyond the basic requirements set by these regulations. If all your sites are optimizing resource efficiency, then you will only need to complete the paperwork to prove that you comply with their requirements – another thing that your waste management provider should be helping you with.

Waste Optimization Links Directly into ESG Reporting

Resource usage, and waste-related practices and impacts span the entirety of a utility provider’s value chain.

For this reason, it has become increasingly important for firms 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 enable utility firms to prevent waste at its source, unlocking opportunities for circular business practices.

Your waste management provider should be able to assist with data processing for ESG reporting, so that your firm can prove that it is implementing best practices in waste management. This should include establishing a baseline and having multiple reviews each year to gage how your organization is trending.

Sustainable Waste Management with NWA

By partnering with National Waste Associates (NWA), you unleash a trusted ally that is disrupting the waste management industry. We’ll develop tailored plans for your sites to ensure they remain in full compliance with all necessary waste and recycling legislation to relieve you of regulatory burdens. Our experts will streamline your waste operations so that they have the lowest carbon footprint, and the maximum value is extracted from all resources consumed.

Our dedicated Compliance Manager can extract and monitor all waste-related data, in order for it to be fed directly into your firm’s ESG reporting framework. By partnering with NWA, you can align your waste operations with your ESG objectives, helping to make you a sustainable business that is more attractive to investors and customers.

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