As a company focused on sustainability, Bywaters are constantly striving to reduce our carbon footprint. We only have one planet, and it’s up to us to keep it safe and sustainable.
We take a serious approach to cutting CO2, looking at every part of our operations to see where reductions can be made. From ensuring our collection vehicles are either fully electric or meet ultra low emissions standards, to upgrading our facilities to increase energy efficiency, we look to reduce carbon emissions at every stage of the waste management process.
Our ‘London for London’ approach puts Bywaters’ focus on lowering the level of pollution in the nation’s capital, and we’re proud to have held a Planet Mark for the last five years in recognition of the work we have done in reducing our emissions.
In recent years we’ve reduced our emissions by focusing on three areas: improving the energy efficiency of our facilities, upgrading our fleet of vehicles, and moving as much waste as we can via London’s waterways instead of its congested roads. Here’s a breakdown of how all these targets has been achieved.
In February 2016, Bywaters carried out the largest ever solar panel retrofit on an existing building in London. The roof of our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Bow is now home to 4,000 solar panels, significantly reducing the environmental impact of our operations.
These panels had an instant impact, and last year they generated nearly 700,000 kW/h of electricity. Using figures from DEFRA about the efficiency of the National Grid, this means that Bywaters – through these solar panels alone – reduced our carbon emissions by 241 tonnes across the year.
Bywaters recently carried out a £7million upgrade to our vehicle fleet in order to reduce the emissions associated with our waste collections. Our fleet of Euro 6 trucks are fully compliant with London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), and also introduced electric vans for our coffee cup recycling service.
All vehicles in our fleet have an on board Dynafleet system which monitors each truck or van’s environmental performance, along with driver behaviour in order to ensure every journey is made using the most efficient and safest route.
We always keep on top of the latest environmental innovations, and are proud to have upgraded our entire fleet to new Euro 6 vehicles. The performance efficiency of these trucks ensures we keep London’s air clean while cleaning up waste for our clients.
The stats speak for themselves in terms of this vehicle upgrade. Compared to their Euro 5 predecessors, Euro 6 vehicles emit:
Without a sustainable fleet, we couldn’t deliver our sustainable waste management service, so we’re always investing in the latest low emissions and electric vehicles.
In addition to upgrading our fleet of trucks, we have also introduced new fully electric vans to implement our coffee cup recycling service.
This is an innovative recycling solution that we have implemented in partnership with Costa Coffee, improving the sustainable waste management services we offer to our clients.
Coffee cups are notoriously hard to recycle because of their plastic inner lining, which must be separated from the paper cup before the recycling process. Our new electric vans ensure that we transport all coffee cups to specialised mills where this process takes place, without adding any additional carbon emissions to our service.
After we’ve sorted and streamed all collected waste at our MRF, we ensure that the resulting materials are transported in the most environmentally sustainable way available.
Where possible, we transport waste materials via barge on London’s waterways – which not only reduces CO2 emissions, but also saves congestion on the capital’s roads. On average, we manage to save 64 vehicle movements a week through using London’s canals and rivers to transport waste.
Most of the waste that we transport this way is the non-recyclable materials we recover. In keeping with our ‘zero waste direct to landfill’ commitment, this waste is sent to Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities inside London.
We handle around 62,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste this way each year. The energy recovered when this is incinerated generates c.44,000MWh – enough to power 13,000 households in London for a year.
Bywaters’ vision is to lead the UK to a more sustainable future, and we can’t do this without providing the most sustainable waste management service in the country.
This is why we are constantly striving to implement new ways to reduce our carbon emissions. We want to keep London’s air clean for future generations, and demonstrate the environmental improvements that can be made by companies willing to invest in new innovations.