Climate Change

Biffa joins ambitious climate change scheme

Nilk bottles sit on a shelf, ready to be sold to milk.

Biffa, the UK’s leading sustainable waste management company has joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), setting science-based emission reduction targets to lower its carbon footprint. Since 2002 Biffa has reduced its CO2 emissions by 65% and is targeting a 50% carbon emission reduction by 2030.

The move to join the world recognised SBTi scheme will help further define Biffa’s journey to net-zero emissions and demonstrates Biffa’s commitment to a more sustainable future.

Positive action from Biffa on climate change this year has already seen the introduction of the UK’s largest fleet of electric Refuse Collection Vehicles in Manchester and a recent £13m increase in investment in plastic recycling which will enable Biffa to recycle a further 14,000 tonnes of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).

HDPE is a material commonly used for milk bottles, growing its total annual capacity to 39,000 tonnes or 1.6bn bottles a year. One tonne of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) in new drinks bottles saves around 1.5 tonnes of CO2.[1]

Biffa’s plans include phasing out the purchasing of fossil-fuelled collection vehicles, increasing route efficiency by 20% and supporting a low carbon economy by quadrupling plastic recycling capability.

Connie Turner, Group Sustainability Manager at Biffa, said: “At Biffa we have already made great progress in reducing our emissions by 65% since 2002 but we need to go further and faster. Tackling climate change is a key pillar of our sustainability strategy Resourceful, Responsible and by joining SBTi and embedding science based targets in the business we have the tools to make sure we can act quickly to reduce our carbon footprint.”

What is SBTi? 

More than 1,000 companies including Biffa are signed up to SBTi, which aims to support organisations to drive ambitious climate action. It helps companies set reduction targets for science-based emissions that are in line with the latest climate science deemed necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

The initiative was launched in 2015 and is a partnership between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

How does SBTi work? 

Emission reduction targets are submitted to the SBTi and independently verified against a set of science-based criteria. Biffa is targeting a further 50% reduction in direct emissions by 2030.

These relate to emissions which Biffa has operational control over and the indirect emissions from electricity consumption.

Biffa is also committing to reducing carbon emissions within its supply chain known as scope 3 emissions. The targets for scope 3 emissions will be defined over the next 2 years.

Martin is a journalist and PR executive of Commercial Waste Magazine. He has worked in the commercial waste and recycling industry for over a decade and is dedicated to raising public awareness in the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill every year.

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