Our purpose is to give the world’s resources new life. In effect, sustainability is the very essence of what we do. It’s at the heart of the business and services we provide to our local authority and private sector customers across the UK.
But by transforming ‘waste’ into quality commodities and renewable energy, we’re also creating jobs, and benefiting our customers and society at large. So our business promotes all three aspects of sustainability - environmental, economic and social. Our aim is to ensure it stays that way, and that our sustainability and business strategies are one and the same.
Perhaps we shouldn’t use the term ‘waste’. Materials society once discarded are now valuable resources we must collectively challenge ourselves to reuse, recycle and recover. Our role is in making this happen. Last year we transformed over two million tonnes of domestic, industrial and commercial recyclables into high-quality raw materials. Going forward we hope to transform even more
These days, around 50% of our profits come from recovering value from recyclable materials. And where this isn’t economically viable or environmentally feasible, our advanced energy recovery facilities generate much needed heat and power from ‘waste’ materials. We continue to invest in such economic sustainability, ensuring the UK achieves higher recycling rates and increased renewable energy capacity.
On the social side, we have been creating a growing number of job opportunities for many years, directly and for contractors and supply chain. We now offer over 200 apprenticeships and a foundation degree programme for our aspiring managers as well as training opportunities for colleagues across the business. We’re working with organisations like EU Skills and Business in the Community to ensure that our experiences benefit others within the industry and beyond. And we’ve recognised the need to increase diversity in our workforce, particularly with regards to female representation so have set challenging targets to combat this.
We continue our biodiversity and stewardship programmes across our landholdings, working with the Wildlife Trusts to achieve the Biodiversity Benchmark at our closed landfill sites and seeking additional uses for these sites.
Sustainability isn’t just a part of what we do. It is what we do.