cert org ISO blue - webThis month 3R featured in the lastest Enviro-Mark Solutions News.

At 3R Group we focus on ‘waste to resource’; essentially combining imagination and science to repurpose waste. We work with individual businesses, industry groups and government to find solutions that will help divert precious resources from ending up in landfill. Since much of our work is about asking others to act to protect our environment, at 3R we think it’s important to also ‘walk the talk’. And that’s where our CEMARS certification comes in to play.

Management guru Peter Drucker famously said “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.

This was the thinking that led to our decision to start measuring our carbon footprint in 2008. After 6 years of ‘going it alone’, we took the step of seeking external validation through Enviro-Mark Solution’s CEMARS certification programme.

With sustainability at the very heart of our vision and business activities, it was only logical to take this next step, showing that we’re serious about scrutinising our own impact on the environment.

In late February, following a 5 month process, 3R was delighted to become CEMARS certified, a standard that sits very comfortably alongside our ISO 14001 Environmental certification.

The resulting figures showed that 3R activities produced 404 tonnes of CO2 annually. To put it in perspective, 404 tonnes of carbon dioxide is the equivalent of 85 passenger vehicles on the road for the year or would fill 86 Olympic swimming pools.

This volume includes emissions from 3R activities and those from the programmes we manage, including Agrecovery Rural Recycling, SeatSmart Child Car Seat Recycling, Resene PaintWise and the Dulux Paint and Packaging Take Back programme. Unsurprisingly, diesel use from collection activities makes up 74% of our result, followed a distant 2nd and 3rd by road freight and domestic air travel.

Six months on

We’ve just completed our audit showing a reduction of 129 tonnes or 32%; a fantastic result given our primary aim of reducing emissions by 20% by 2020 for both our intensity metric (tonnes of CO2e per NZ$m of turnover) and tonnes of CO2e per tonne of material collected by the programmes we manage.

The primary reason for such a large drop in the first year was the establishment of a South Island processing base for our paint and packaging operations for the Resene Paintwise and Dulux Take Back programmes. We were aware that movement of bins to and from our Hastings depot was costly from an emissions perspective and the results speak for themselves. Reductions also came from no longer requiring a lease vehicle for a particular segment of the rural recycling operation.

Where to now?

trucks-clip-art-3With the clear majority of our emissions coming from transport, this is naturally our major focus for the future.

A key project is our new granulator trailer unit. Developed by the team at 3R alongside Omahu Machinery in Hastings, this granulator will replace the current 3R mobile processing truck which shreds container plastic from the Agrecovery programme. Among other efficiencies, the unit gives us significantly increased shredding and transport capacity so we use less diesel per tonne of plastic collected for recycling.

A review of vehicles, plus driver training, the fuel efficiency programme with EECA, and a web conferencing facility are other projects that we hope will lead to further reductions.

Can we help?

For some Enviro-Mark Solutions members, emissions from waste to landfill figures significantly in their results.

With our unique focus on ‘waste to resource’ and our own CEMARS experience, we can help others focus on what they waste – reducing environmental footprints, reducing emissions from waste to landfill, and improving outcomes for used products and packaging.

We know that waste represents an opportunity; an opportunity to make savings, meet compliance requirements, retain or gain customers, or reduce those emissions from waste to landfill.

Sometimes the “waste” in question can be reused, recycled or requires safe disposal. Whatever the issue, we help businesses by applying existing ideas where appropriate or collaborating with others to create innovative new solutions.

Finding these solutions for end-of-life products and packaging is definitely not a one-size fits all process and we find that motivation and required outcomes as varied as the parties we work with, even within the same industry.

working togetherWe’ve been working with individual businesses and industry groups to improve waste outcomes for more than 10 years and in a wide variety of sectors – from agriculture to retail, mattresses to paint, child car seats to waste oil – and because of this our experience is as broad as the problems and the opportunities themselves.

If you think we can help you reduce your emissions from waste to landfill, please give Duncan a call on 06 872 7235 or email Duncan@3R.co.nz

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