World’s first international standard for waste reduction goes live

The world's first international standard for organisational waste reduction has been launched by the Carbon trust, adding to its existing standards for carbon and water reduction.

Whitbread, PwC and AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK become first companies to achieve the triple crown of certifications for carbon, water and waste. In addition, the Football Association (FA) and Renishaw have also been awarded the new waste standard.

The standard is awarded to organisations able to demonstrate that they are measuring, managing and reducing waste year on year, both for solid and hazardous material streams.

To achieve the standard organisations need to demonstrate that waste streams are being reduced every year, or used more effectively, for example through increased reuse, recycling or recovery.

It also includes a qualitative assessment to show that waste is being managed responsibly. This will include considerations outside of an organisation’s direct control, such as having a diligent procurement policy for goods and waste management services, and looking at downstream impacts through products and packaging.

In launching the new standard, Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said that organisations that fail to bring sustainability inside their operations will face the consequences of increasingly scarce or expensive commodities, water and energy.

“Reducing waste and resource use, along with carbon emissions and water, is a crucial part of the transformation that all businesses will need to make in the next decade,” he stressed.

One of first organisations to have achieved the standard is Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants. Its head of energy & environment, Ben Brakes, said the company was challenging the preconception that big businesses have a big impact on the environment.

“Reducing waste is something we take extremely seriously at Whitbread. Over the past two years alone, we have increased the amount of site waste we divert from landfill from 80% to over 93%,” he said.

“We are not stopping there however. Our target is to send no waste from direct operations to landfill by 2017, which we are working hard to deliver.”

Likewise, Wembley Stadium – another early mover on this front – is now monitoring and assessing its environmental impacts and setting targets for improvement.

Its managing director, Roger Maslin, said: “Since the new Wembley Stadium Waste is one of our most significant impacts, consequently, staff and contract partners on site have all worked together to improve our waste management system to reduce these impacts.

“Initiatives have ranged from implementing new waste streams, to tailoring packaging used on site and producing video format waste training to train the thousands of event day staff.”

Maxine Perella

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