The commitment follows the announcement last month that Cory intends to apply carbon capture and storage technology to the UK’s largest single-site EfW operation, with the potential to create the world’s largest single-site EfW decarbonisation project. By 2030, this could deliver 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 savings per annum – providing a significant contribution to reducing the carbon emissions of the several million people Cory services in London and the South East.
Dougie Sutherland, CEO of Cory, said: "We've accelerated our sustainability strategy despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, with meaningful delivery across a range of areas. The waste industry plays a critical role in shaping a better future for our communities and the environment.
"We appreciate the urgency required to address the climate crisis, and that’s why we’ve committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. We’ve already started on our journey, from helping to develop one of UK’s largest heat networks, to reducing our energy consumption and undertaking research and development into low-carbon river transportation. Capturing carbon from our energy from waste process and exploring opportunities to remove plastics from residual waste are critical next steps. Delivering in these areas will make a real difference to how we operate as a business.
"Moving to net zero is a major aspect of our work, but we can’t focus on decarbonisation alone – the other two elements of our strategy are caring for our local environment and supporting our people and local communities. We want to be the best business we can be – and contribute to building a truly sustainable world for future generations."
Key highlights of Cory’s sustainability report include:
Moving to net zero
- Committed to reach net zero carbon emissions across Cory’s operations by 2040.
- Continued the development of a district heat network with Vattenfall to heat more than 21,000 homes.
- Delivered an overall carbon benefit to the UK economy of 318,000 tonnes/CO2e.
- Purchased 100% renewable energy across its sites.
Caring for our local environment
- Saved 100,000 truck movements on London’s roads by using the river to transport waste.
- Moved Cory’s river fleet onto biofuel, reducing net carbon dioxide emissions by over 90%.
- Saved c.12,000 litres of fuel across Cory’s fleet of tugs by reducing engine idling time.
- Commenced a zero-carbon and autonomous vessel feasibility study with BAE Systems as part of the Innovate UK Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.
Supporting our people and local communities
- 100% of employees received training and development related to environmental, social and governance issues.
- Supported seven community projects with grants from a new £25,000 Community Fund.
- Launched a new educational programme to demonstrate innovation in the waste management sector.