Recycling and recovery

Why we can’t deliver NetZero decarbonisation without the resources sector

The grand ambitions for COP26 demonstrate the universal feeling that we must act now to secure our future and deal effectively with climate change.

The two-week event focuses on the mechanisms and commitments needed for delivering global net zero and limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5-degrees. By collaborating across multiple sectors, including energy, finance and transport, the event seeks to align efforts and promote opportunities between governments, businesses and civilians to enable us all to deliver on these high-level objectives. However, one key sector that plays a crucial part in supporting every sector of the economy has been overlooked.

Organisations from all sectors require the services of the waste and resources industry as they are responsible for the products, packaging and materials that need processing after they have reached the end of their useful life. Going forward, as we look to deliver higher recycling performance and use more recycled content in our products and packaging, our business models will become more circular, limiting waste production and change both consumption patterns and ownership trend, the resources sector will be critical to getting valuable materials to where they are needed most in the green economic recovery. As such, the sector’s omission from the COP26 programme is tantamount to failing to fully commit to delivering the objectives of decarbonisation and NetZero carbon.

Over the last 30 years, the waste and resources sector has been successfully collaborating, innovating and driving towards the goals of net zero carbon emissions, increasing resource efficiency and creating a more a circular economy – the exact goals as set out by COP26. By working with our customers, peers and wider networks we have been able to make progress in preventing waste at source, keeping products in use for longer through reuse and repair, increasing recycling, reducing contamination of recyclate, improving biodiversity, developing solutions for previously non-recycled materials, and generating green energy from waste streams with no other solution. All the while, sharing our knowledge and supporting other sectors with opportunities that are not only effective in reducing emissions and protecting the environment, but also generate significant social value and deliver economic returns.

Now, as we approach COP26, our sector stands united as a key player in the war on climate change – and we ask other sectors to stand with us, to recognise the vital role the resources and waste sector has in securing the future of our planet.

In this series of live workshops, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK will be joined by colleagues from across the resources and waste sector for two days of shared insight, discussion, and deliberation on the actions we must prioritise to meet the objectives of NetZero and where the sector must play its part fully. Join us to understand how we can collaborate, innovate and support organisations from all sectors in reaching the shared goals set out by COP26.