We are playing a leading role in transforming the waste sector.
Tackling climate change is the defining issue of our generation. It demands action across every area of the economy, with no business able to ignore their responsibility to take action. Future generations will judge us on the decisions we make now – there is no time to lose. The waste sector is no exception.
Our five step decarbonisation plan
Step 1. Core operations
Reduce direct emissions from all our core operations.
Buildings and infrastructure – through committing to sustainable and low carbon construction for new build projects; maximising self-sufficiency of power and heat where viable and driving the energy efficiency of all infrastructure including offices.
Transport – though decarbonising logistics fleet as well as the ‘yellow plant’ vehicles at our sites; introducing smarter working to reduce and green our travel; and developing and delivering solutions eliminating shipping of waste overseas.
Step 2. Maximising Recycling
In one tonne of waste approximately 16% of plastic material accounts for 70% of the anthropogenic footprint.
Viridor is exploring ways to extract material – such as plastics and textile - and consider other processes for its use. In the longer-term we hope to supply material for application by novel technologies that use these materials to make new products.
Step 3. Carbon Capture
Capture and store carbon emissions from our strategic sites.
Steps 1 and 2 will maximise reprocessing and removal of residual fossil content – making the most of the waste resources we have. However, this alone will not take the waste sector to net zero emissions and we must therefore go much further.
Based on currently available technology and the Government’s planned roll-out of carbon capture and storage (CCS), we believe that by 2035 it should be possible to have implemented CCS at our four key EfW operations. Achieving net zero operations across these sites will capture 1.6MtCO2.
Click here to find out more about our Runcorn CCS project
Step 4. Negative emissions and carbon usage
Generate negative emissions by expanding carbon capture to our national network of sites.
Expanding carbon capture to all of our sites will take Viridor to net negative emissions, with the potential to capture up to 1.35Mt of biogenic CO2. As a result, the energy we generate will be net negative emissions – the heat and the power we make to supply homes and businesses.
To reduce our reliance on CCS infrastructure and ensure that we continue to progress our vision of a world where nothing goes to waste, CCS will be limited to our strategic sites close to relevant UK facilities: our remaining net negative drive will be through CCU. We will invest in CCU technologies and pilots.
Step 5. Clean heat
Supply more homes and businesses with clean heat.
Decarbonising heat is one of the most challenging aspects of the domestic energy decarbonisation agenda, and we want our clean heat to be used to full effect.
We have agreed a partnership with Vattenfall to explore heat networks our EfWs can supply and we are keen to do more. With a reliable supply of baseload clean heat, Viridor will be a catalyst for decarbonising our communities.
Delivering our ambition demands that we take our own ambitious action but also that we work in partnership with the Government and industry, engaging with those involved in areas from product design to policy, to achieve co-ordinated and complimentary actions.
Our five-step plan seeks to maximise all reductions under our control, across our operations, then proactively address the emissions that flow from all our relevant stakeholders.
Energy from waste can play a leading role in the UK’s decarbonisation efforts
Research by environmental consultancy Eunomia in 2021 found that the waste sector could help meet half of the UK Government's target by using CCS technology.