ESA launches toolkit to help waste firms ‘mitigate’ environmental impact

The Environmental Service Association (ESA) has launched its ‘nature positive toolkit’ which aims to help organisations from across the recycling and waste management sector “understand and mitigate” their impacts on the environment.

The toolkit aims to provide a standardised process for recycling and waste management operators to follow to support a Nature Positive future.

The toolkit was commissioned by the ESA and produced jointly by consultants, Mott Macdonald and WSP (click to open in a new tab)

The toolkit outlines the steps that businesses can take to become “nature positive” such as creating areas for wildlife on HWRC sites and outlines the impact of common pollutants found in the sector have on the environment.

Alongside suggesting practical measures companies can take to become more environmentally friendly, the report also outlines the financial incentives for doing so suggesting that “failing to consider nature in corporate strategies could expose organisations, in any sector, to higher borrowing costs or, in the longer term,”


Chair of the ESA’s biodiversity working group, Leigh Broadhurst, said: “At current global annual consumption rates, it would take 1.7 planet Earth’s to meet humanity’s needs. Clearly this significant over-extraction of natural resources is unsustainable and is devastating the ecosystems upon which every living organism on earth relies. Conserving precious resources is at the heart of what the recycling and waste management sector does, but our operations have their own impacts on nature. By understanding these impacts, we can not only mitigate the negative aspects, but take positive action to actively contribute towards conservation efforts.


The ESA states its approach aligns with international frameworks and methodologies such as the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and the Science-based Targets for Nature (SBTN). Moreover, it guides organisations in establishing a baseline for measuring their own impacts on nature using the toolkit as a starting point.

The impact of the waste sector on the environment (click to enlarge)

Julia Baker, nature services lead at Mott MacDonald, said: “All parts of our economies and societies are impacted by the increasingly vital role of nature and biodiversity. Mott MacDonald was excited by the opportunity to collaborate with ESA and WSP and bring our industry-leading knowledge and experience to deliver such a critical resource for the waste and recycling sector and the communities they serve.

“Nature services is integral to our Mott MacDonald values and we’re proud to have contributed to such an important new project.”

The ESA states the toolkit also offers external reference sources to help organisations enhance their nature-positive efforts.

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