Our Decade of Action: Planet-Protecting Productivity

2020-09-28
Guy Mercer, EMR Sustainability Director

EMR is working hard to ensure the targets set out in the Paris Agreement are met. After all, we each play a part in protecting our planet.

Having launched our Decade of Action; committing to becoming net carbon neutral by 2040, we have identified energy productivity as a core route to reduce our carbon footprint and limit energy wastage.

What are the benefits of increased energy productivity for our business and the environment? And how can this help shift the recycling industry towards environmentally friendly business practices?

Why make the change?

Wasted energy not only has a cost to businesses but also a severe cost to the environment. Inefficient use of energy leads to an increase in demand for more energy, most commonly generated through the burning of fossil fuels, which generate harmful greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. The level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has been rising consistently for decades and traps extra heat near the surface, causing temperatures to rise; also known as the Greenhouse Effect. The warming of our planet, and the accompanying changes in our climate, affects human health, our livelihoods, homes and businesses.

By ensuring we maximise energy productivity, we can reduce the harmful effects caused by greenhouse gases to our planet.

A commitment to improve energy productivity by 20% (by 2040), with an interim target of 10% by 2030 is one of the three Sustainable Development Goals set by the EU for 2020.

Productivity and Protecting the Planet

Research by the International Energy Agency indicates that improvements in energy efficiency can deliver over 40% of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions required to meet key targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

Changes to improve energy productivity are simple to implement and easy to manage; new habits that can have a huge positive impact on our environment.

Smarter energy use not only reduces the production and emission of harmful greenhouse gases, but it also enables us to drive innovation and operational efficiency.

Our Commitment

EMR recognises it has a responsibility to drive change in the recycling industry, to do our part to tackle the climate crisis globally, for this generation and others to follow.

Our Decade of Action maps our path to net zero carbon by 2040. We have committed to developing an EMR-specific Energy Management System. We will roll this out across our business by 2030. We will be using lean techniques to do more with less. We will be replacing legacy equipment with alternatives that are more energy-efficient, this means every element of our process will adapt to improve our energy productivity.

Group-wide staff training in energy efficiency will ensure everyone at EMR can work together to meet business-wide goals and site-by-site energy efficiency targets. Regular audits will make sure we stay on track to meet our ambitious targets.

To help us move faster and to ensure that our progress is externally validated, EMR has joined The Climate Group’s global EP100 initiative. Members of the initiative have committed to the implementation of Energy Management Systems across sites globally, with the aim to deliver a 10% improvement in group energy productivity by 2030.

These improvements throughout our operations will help to demonstrate EMR’s role as a global leader in sustainable materials.

What we’ve done so far...

Establishing our Total Energy Consumption and Energy Productivity baselines was essential to being able to proactively work towards our targets over the next decade.

EMR has commenced the design and development of our Energy Management System (EnMS) to be deployed across each of our sites; with certain sites being identified as a priority for implementation.

But this is just the beginning. We will continue to devise and implement operational controls for our energy efficiency, rolling out our Energy Management Systems across our sites globally, and achieving our goal of a 10% improvement in our energy productivity by 2030.

Download ’Our Decade of Action’ here.