20 May 2021 by Robyn White

Viridor aims to ’dramatically’ cut emissions

Viridor has today (20 May) announced a string of plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of becoming a “net zero emissions company” by 2040.

The waste management firm also unveiled plans to expand carbon capture and storage technology across it’s energy from waste (EfW) portfolio and has released a five-step roadmap to “dramatically reduce” greenhouse gas emissions across its operations.

Viridor will work to reduce the amount of waste sent to its EfW facilities

By 2045, Viridor has also set itself the aim of becoming the first UK net negative emissions waste and recycling company.

‘Vital role’

Kevin Bradshaw, chief executive officer of Viridor commented: “Tackling the climate crisis requires bold action, and this pledge underlines Viridor’s ambition to drive the UK waste sector on its path to decarbonisation. We are committed to doing everything in our power to achieve net zero and net negative emissions, recognising the critical role of carbon capture and storage in the process.

Kevin Bradshaw is chief executive officer at Viridor

“We know we cannot do this alone, and are committed to working with the Government and industry to drive the policy changes needed to make this technology a reality. If we get this right the benefits for our industry, society and economy will be immense, and I am confident that the waste sector can play a vital role in tackling the UK’s carbon emissions.”

Carbon capture

To meet it’s targets, Viridor has announced a partnership with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) project, the HyNet NorthWest Consortium.

Viridor says this will bring negative emissions to the project and facilitate a “critical next step for its journey to net negative”.

The partnership will initially target carbon capture operations at its EfW site at Runcorn by 2026, which Viridor said is “the first project of its kind in the UK”.

This will then be gradually rolled out to the rest of its EfW portfolio.

Carbon capture technology will be used at Viridor’s Runcorn facility

Roadmap

Viridor’s five step roadmap sets out plans to boost recycling rates to reduce the amount of waste being sent to EfW.

It also sets out aims to invest in the “groundbreaking” carbon capture technology to reduce any emissions produced, which Viridor said forms a “major part” of the roadmap.

The roadmap sets out the following steps:
1.     Reducing direct emissions from all core operations – by driving more efficient processes that lower GHG emissions, including for landfill
2.       Maximising the amount of waste that is recycled and reused, by investing at scale in new reprocessing facilities and reducing the amount of waste going into energy from waste facilities
3.      Capturing and storing carbon emissions from strategic sites – by 2040 installing CCUS infrastructure to capture at least 1.6MTCO2 every year
4.       Generating negative emissions by expanding carbon capture across Viridor’s national network – by investing in new technologies and exploring products that can be created from CO2
5.       Supplying more homes and businesses with clean heat – by seeking to use all recovered heat from its energy from waste facilities to drive wider decarbonisation

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