Waste transportation by container. Photo: Håvard Vikingstad.
Waste transportation by container. Photo: Håvard Vikingstad.

Sustainability report 2021: - The most affordable solution is most often prioritised

November 24, 2022
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A shift towards more sustainable waste management depends on the industry's willingness to cover the extra costs involved. Therefore, regulations promoting sustainable choices remain an important tool in today's European market," says Kjetil Vikingstad, CEO of Geminor.

Geminor's 2021 Sustainability Report is now released, building on the findings from 2020 and highlighting the company's Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance throughout last year. The report shows that Geminor handled 1.67 million tons of waste resources in 2021, a slight decrease of 3 percent compared to 2020. Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) and Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) account for around 2/3 of the total volume handled by Geminor in Europe in 2021.

Challenges caused by Covid-19 affected most companies last year, and waste flows were still smaller than normal due to lower consumption in the economy, as well as supply chain issues. Nevertheless, the sustainability report shows that since 2020, Geminor has passed the material recycling target of 200,000 tons per year. This mainly involves the recycling of wood, paper, plastics and some smaller fractions.

A tough market for the green shift

A shift towards greener treatment and recycling of waste is normally associated with higher costs. Currently, this is one of the main obstacles to a rapid transition to more sustainable solutions and services, says Kjetil Vikingstad, CEO of Geminor.

General Manager of Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.

- Currently, the whole value chain is subject to market fluctuations and we have to constantly take into account the wishes and requirements of our customers. In our experience, the least costly solution is often prioritized. This year's geopolitical events have not helped to dampen this development, and we are therefore limited by the market's willingness and ability to bear the costs associated with greener solutions," says Vikingstad.

- But current regulations setting requirements on emissions and waste treatment across Europe are putting pressure on the market and making it easier for us to promote more sustainable solutions. At the same time, we are also seeing a gradual increase in sustainability awareness and willingness to make a difference among industry players. This also applies to many municipal tenders," says Vikingstad.

Zero emissions target

The total emissions related to Geminor's services, both direct and indirect, have increased compared to 2020. This was expected as more data on emissions was included in the measurement and the data quality has improved, explains Kjetil Vikingstad.

- This result does not change our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and we are now fully focused on offering less carbon-intensive solutions to the market. To help promote this, we have developed our own calculation tool to estimate fossil carbon emissions from the waste we deliver. We are also involved in several research projects looking at the use of waste as fuel in carbon capture technology," concludes Kjetil Vikingstad, CEO of Geminor.