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Waste targets scarce among FTSE100 companies

Fewer than half of the largest UK corporates set out targets for waste prevention, recycling or landfill diversion and are prepared to announce them publicly, exclusive research by MRW indicates.

MRW exclusive

MRW has analysed the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) reports of the FTSE100 companies to assess how relevant waste management is for those UK market leaders.

It found out that while most of them are willing to reveal how much waste they produce or recycle, only some mention landfill diversion objectives and a minority publicly states numerical waste reduction and recycling targets (see findings below).

The best five FTSE100 performers, according to the research, are Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Kingfisher, AstraZeneca and Aviva.

Setting such specific objectives and openly stating them indicate commitment to improving resource efficiency, Will Griffiths, waste expert at consultancy Carbon Trust told MRW.

“If a company understands the importance of resource efficiency and waste, it wants to have some strategy to move in a downward trajectory and improve,” he said. “Targets are the best way to do it. They should be specific, measurable and related to the company’s activity.”

Prasanta Kumar Dey, professor in operations and information management at Aston Business School, says good waste management is not only an environmental concern, but also helps companies to improve their bottom line as it reduces costs.

Chiara Francavilla’s analysis in detail

Best practice case studies for Marks & Spencer, Kingfisher and Astrazeneca

MRW research findings:

  • 75 reports contain figures for waste arisings;
  • 47 reports contain numerical recycling or waste reduction targets, or landfill diversion objectives;
  • 37 reports contain landfill reduction targets;
  • 19 reports contain numerical recycling targets;
  • 12 reports contain numerical waste reduction targets;
  • 15 reports contain have little or no mention of waste at all.

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