Collector time | Geminor’s ESG report compares CO2 emissions from transporting waste through maritime / land services

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Norway-based resource management company Geminor released its first environmental, social and governance report on Thursday (October 28th) focusing on information on emissions from different forms of waste transport and a report mapping the dioxide footprint of carbon (CO2) from material recycling versus energy recovery.

In a strategic move to develop more sustainable operations, Geminor is now publishing its first ESG report covering the year 2020. The report presents the company’s current emissions in operations, transport, energy recovery and materials recycling .

The aim of the report is to improve business routines and achieve best practices in sustainability, explains Kjetil Vikingstad, CEO of Geminor.

“In terms of sustainability, our goal is for Geminor’s operations to be fossil fuel-free and achieve zero direct net emissions from our operations by 2030. To tackle our indirect emissions, we will use our purchasing power to define environmental requirements for services. acquired from our value chain, ”says Vikingstad.

“Geminor is also creating tools allowing us to calculate the footprint of the services provided and to offer our customers the least carbon-intensive solutions on the market.

“We believe it is important to let all of our stakeholders monitor our progress in achieving our economic, social and environmental goals.

“This report gives us the opportunity not only to show how Geminor works, but also to point out and raise awareness of the challenges facing the entire recycling industry,” he adds.

Shipping is the best

The report shows that the Geminor group processed more than 1.7 million tonnes of waste raw materials in 2020. About 91% went to energy recovery and 9% to material recycling. Only 0.15% went to landfill.

A considerable part of the emissions linked to waste management comes from the transport of materials for recycling or energy recovery. For Geminor, 76% of last year’s volumes were transported by truck, 23% by boat and 1% by rail.

The choice of transport with regard to CO2 emissions is a complex issue for the industry, explains Christina Telnes, report writer and sustainability manager at Geminor.

“CO2 intensity is calculated by dividing transport emissions by the tonnage of waste transported. In our transport portfolio, maritime transport is both the most and least CO2 intensive means of transport. Ro-ro ferry transport has the highest CO2 intensity, while container transport is the least carbon intensive alternative, ”says Telnes.

The report presents truck transport in a more favorable light.

“Road transport, which has long had a bad reputation for emissions per tonne, turns out to have the same average CO2 intensity as bulk transport in our transport portfolio. The greener option, rail transport, is slightly beaten by container transport, ”says Telnes.

“By actively choosing transport services with a low fossil carbon footprint and using our HUB network to optimize logistics, we can reduce our emissions in the years to come. “

Energy recovery vs material recycling

“The report also reveals that CO2 emissions from energy recovery from wood waste are very low compared to those from other fractions or even material recovery from wood waste. Indeed, biomass is defined as having net zero emissions, ”she adds.

“Biogenic materials are part of the short-term carbon cycle and do not add to the planet’s existing carbon mass balance like fossil carbon does. The combustion of wood waste is not without emissions, but in climate accounting it is set at zero relative to fossil CO2. “

As a result of the calculations made in the report, Geminor presents the recycling of materials as more CO2 intensive than the energy recovery of wood waste.

According to the Asplan Viak estimates we used for this report, energy recovery is slightly better than recycling.

This is a good example of how looking at a single parameter is insufficient to determine the best solution. CO2 emissions from material recycling are higher because they involve more processing and use of chemicals. However, the emission factor does not take into account the resources saved by avoiding the extraction of virgin wood.

“In other words, CO2 emissions don’t tell the whole story. Therefore, the report does not change Geminor’s goal of increasing the amount of recycled wood waste in the future, ”concludes Christina Telnes, Head of Sustainability at Geminor.

Note: A copy of the full report is available here.

Photo credit: Geminor
Posted: 29 October 2021


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