Leading UK waste management solutions company, B&M Waste Services, is marking its 10th anniversary as a carbon neutral organisation and defines its ‘net zero carbon’ journey since it began in 2011.
In the past two decades, the effects of climate change have accelerated, becoming a global threat that will impact everyone. It was ten years ago, and long before any legislation was introduced, that the family-owned and managed company anticipated and embraced the growing movement in the UK to make businesses more environmentally friendly. It embarked on a programme, working with Carbon Footprint Ltd, to assess the carbon footprint of its business, starting with measuring its existing carbon impact and creating a formal Carbon Management Plan to move the business towards carbon neutrality.
The company clearly identified all the internal changes it needed to make to reduce its carbon emissions and committed to an annual process of measurement and management, culminating in its support of a raft of recognised international carbon offsetting projects in developing countries and tree planting in communities at home.
In 2011, B&M Waste Services was awarded a carbon neutrality accreditation for the first time. It was the first waste management business to achieve this accolade and its confidential waste arm, B&M Secure Shredding followed in its footsteps, achieving carbon neutrality status in 2019. Both the Waste Services and Secure Shredding businesses achieved Carbon Neutral Plus status in 2020 – another first for the sector in the UK and streaks ahead of the government’s own net zero carbon by 2050 pledge.
This measuring, management and offsetting process has been successfully repeated year after year and in 2020, B&M offset more than 2932 tonnes of carbon as it continued to focus on cutting building and transport fleet energy, supported by its ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Standard certification. In the latest Carbon Footprint Appraisal Report for the assessment period of 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, B&M has decreased its total carbon footprint by -27.6 % between this period and the baseline year. This is due to reductions in lorry freight (23.8 %), site gas (11.4 %) and electricity (86.1 %). The reductions in lorry freight is a product of a downturn in waste production and site closures due to Covid-19. However, the reduction in site energy usage is clearly due to B&M’s transition to renewable energy at the Wirral site and phasing out the use of gas at the Manchester site. Prior to Covid-19, emissions from lorry freight had increased by 354.14 tonnes CO2e (16.13%) since the baseline year (2019-20 CFP appraisal report) arising from increased business growth.
Moving forward, B&M is committed to further reducing its own emissions intensity and advocates its successful low carbon business model to its clients. Its ‘Simple Swaps Audit’ initiative continues to help companies it works with to not only recycle or reuse their waste but to make simple swaps and purchasing changes to minimise waste output and reduce their carbon footprint.
Amber Greenhalgh, B&M Director: “We see ourselves as innovators in our field and we continually strive to find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint, notably in our transport and electrification operations and improving our processing facilities. We have a keen interest in adopting new technology and we possess a strong desire to continue to educate our clients and to attain supply chain sustainability in the future.” Wendy Buckley, Carbon Footprint Ltd. Director and Co-founder: “B&M’s achievements and carbon neutrality are particularly notable as they have been achieved ahead of any legislation and way ahead of the government’s target of 2050. They are continuously reducing their own emissions intensity and have committed to further reductions this year. At the same time, they are highly motivated to educate their customers, helping them to minimise their impact on the environment.”