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Viridor sets first sustainability strategy

Viridor has laid out its first multi-decade strategy for sustainability in its annual report for 2013.

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The waste management firm sets out a range of targets for 2020 and 2050.

They include waste and materials handling, energy use, renewable power generation, biodiversity and stewardship and people and communities wellbeing.

2020 targets include:

  • Doubling the recycling rate and recovery rate of materials handled from the current 35% to 70%
  • Sending zero of Viridor’s own waste to landfill
  • Doubling renewable energy generation capacity from 136MW to 300MW

2050 targets are less quantitative, and include:

  • Providing collaborative resource management services designing out waste, building in recyclability and circularity
  • Investing in R&Ds, converting opportunities into technology and services to ensure that nothing is wasted
  • Ensuring all closed landfills are brought into economically, environmentally or socially beneficial use

Alongside establishing the strategy, Viridor also provided an overview of its performance against 2012/13 targets.

Completed targets include the establishment of quality standards of recyclate for its materials recovery facilities and reducing the rate of workplace accidents.

Missed, and therefore ongoing, targets include the development of a sustainable procurement policy and the building of a safety information database.

The sustainability strategy was developed as Viridor experienced difficult operating conditions. In its latest financial results the company reported a 7.5% decrease in revenue and pretax profits down by more than one third to £36.5m.

Reasons cited behind the decline were falling recyclate prices and weak economic conditions in the Eurozone, coupled with uncertainty about the speed of China’s growth.

“Despite the continuing challenging UK and global and economic conditions, Viridor remains convinced that embracing the sustainability agenda is essential for long-term growth,” the company said.

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