Sustainable Waste Management Practices Are The Key To Unlocking Net Zero For Facilities Managers

An electric truck The built environment contributes 40% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, this means facilities managers have a huge task ahead of them. London’s leading recycling company, Paper Round have created a new initiative to help FM’s achieve real carbon reductions in their buildings. This initiative includes the industry’s first Carbon Reduction Reporting tool, a credible reporting system to track year-on-year emissions and model scenarios for carbon reductions.

With COP26 underway, building a low carbon, net zero future has never been more of a focus. And since the pandemic, ‘building back better’ is commonly cited as a key business objective – net zero is part of this journey. Facilities managers are in the thick of it, with the built environment contributing to around 40% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.

Experts in buildings and workplaces, facilities managers oversee everything from energy, cleaning, engineering, and waste management. And since the emissions from within a business’s value chain are up to five times higher than emissions they directly control, it’s important that trusted service partners are used in these areas.

Waste and recycling play a vital role in achieving real carbon reductions for buildings. It is one of eight key upstream activities in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and is the enabler to the circular economy. Indeed, it plays a key part in any buildings net zero journey.

To help facility managers achieve low carbon buildings, recycling company Paper Round has launched an initiative to focus all its activities, both internal and customer facing, on achieving a lower carbon footprint. The company’s SustainABLE Pathway sets out detailed steps by which it will reduce operational carbon emissions and unlock the avoided emission benefits from recycling.

A key part of Paper Round’s SustainABLE Pathway approach is innovative data collection and analysis. For its FM customers, they have created a new Carbon Reduction Reporting tool.

  • Using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology, this provides a credible reporting system to track year-on-year emissions associated with waste and recycling for each site.
  • One simple report provides Scope 3 emissions from waste and recycling activities. This will help facilities managers to easily track and report on their buildings’ carbon emissions and see the impact of changes as collection vehicles become electric.
  • It also quantifies the real benefits of recycling, by showing the ‘avoided emissions’ by removing the need to produce virgin materials
  • The intelligent data can be used to model the carbon impact of changes to waste and recycling services, enabling facilities managers to try out new initiatives to reduce emissions
  • In addition, the report provides the option for customers to offset the emissions associated with their waste and recycling collections, through Paper Round’s new offset scheme with charity partner Trees for Cities

With the launch of the Government’s Heat & Building Strategy last month, cutting emissions will be one of the greatest challenges faced by facilities managers in the coming years. Having a trusted partner, who can report on the carbon emissions that FM Managers and tenants do not directly control, will be a key requirement in achieving real carbon reductions towards net zero.