Viridor's roadmap to net zero and net negative emissions

Viridor is determined to play a leading role in transforming the waste sector so it can drive the creation of a net zero, circular economy by 2050.

Tackling climate change will require action across every area of the economy and the waste sector is no exception.

Despite the sector’s achievements over previous decades in reducing emissions and increasing recycling rates, progress has slowed in recent years as we reach the limit of what available technology can deliver.

The waste sector contributes about 6% of annual UK greenhouse gas emissions – a proportion that has barely changed over the last five years. As the country aims to reach net zero by 2050, this pace of progress is not sufficient.

We must explore every option to reduce our environmental footprint – investing in green technologies and continuing to drive up recycling rates.

Through these actions, we can overcome the problem of how we dispose of waste and build a net zero, circular economy.

Viridor’s climate ambition

Viridor is determined to lead the waste sector’s contribution to reaching net zero. Our aim is to be net zero across all our operations by 2040 and be a net negative emissions business by 2045.

In other words, we will remove more human related greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere than we create across our operations by 2045.

If this achievement is replicated across the sector, our industry can be an enabler of wider decarbonisation and offset emissions from hard-to-abate industries. This will end the era of waste being seen as an environmental problem and allow waste to provide a route to net zero opportunity.

Delivering our ambition

Reaching these new targets will be no small task. It will require major investment across our business, including in new reprocessing facilities to increase the amount of waste that can be recycled.

It will also require us to develop brand new green technologies – such as combining carbon capture with our current Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities to create ‘Waste Decarbonisation Facilities’.

Given the scale of our ambition, we do not yet have all the answers for how we will deliver it.

Despite this, our approach must be more than mere warm words – we have therefore published a Decarbonisation Roadmap that sets out how Viridor will go about transforming our business to deliver on our new net zero and negative targets in the decades ahead.

It reflects on the actions that we have already taken, as well as outlining our approach to doing much more in the years ahead. While the scale of the challenge is significant, the ultimate prize will be transformational.

The publication of this Roadmap is just the first step to Viridor becoming a truly sustainable waste and recycling business and we want to work with the Government, the wider sector and our customers to deliver on our ambition.