SUEZ 2021 Sustainability Report showcases progress across all three areas of its triple bottom line
Social accountability is the core of SUEZ’s people focus and in 2021, the company enhanced the ways in which it fulfils its responsibilities to its 5,700 people. Its focus on safety and wellbeing was maintained and enhanced with an added focus on inclusion and diversity. SUEZ designed the industry’s first Certificate of Professional Competence course on mental health and wellbeing at work for its drivers, launched its inclusion and diversity plan, and produced its first ethnicity pay gap report alongside its mandatory gender pay gap reporting.
The various community funding mechanisms associated with SUEZ’s activities distributed £4.2 million for local communities around the UK, and charitable donations raised through employee fundraising and corporate donations exceeded £181,000 in a year when SUEZ raised its highest amount yet for partner Macmillan Cancer Support.
In the year that saw SUEZ host events at COP 26 in Glasgow highlighting the critical role resource efficiency plays in combatting climate change, SUEZ reduced the carbon emissions intensity per tonne of waste handled in 2021 by 0.3% through operational improvements implemented as part of its journey to net zero. 2021 saw SUEZ increase its re-use activities with three new outlets and the industry leading Renew Hub in Greater Manchester. Over the year, across the 29 re-use shops it runs nationwide, 418,000 items, weighing just over 2,000 tonnes were recovered for re-use. Recycling levels rose in 2021 as business activity resumed as COVID restrictions eased, with SUEZ sending over 1.3m tonnes for recycling, and energy generation from residual waste across SUEZ’s portfolio increased by 7% on 2020, at 1.7m megawatt hours of electricity.
Alongside social accountability and environmental sustainability, sits financial viability and SUEZ delivered a strong performance here, increasing its turnover by more than 13% to £928m supported by a number of contract wins, with the company dealing with waste materials from one in three households in the UK at some point in their journey from kerbside to treatment. Investment in its facilities and fleet in 2021 was £18.5m including upgrading landfill gas infrastructure, increasing production capacity for solid recovered fuel and installing on-board camera systems and electric charging infrastructure.
Social value created by SUEZ, based on 88 performance indicators that capture environmental, economic and social impacts to measure the overall value it generates for society, reached more than £2.18 billion, some £200 million higher than 2020.
John Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said: “In 2021, we redefined our purpose to Building a Sustainable Future that doesn’t cost the earth reflecting our People, Planet, Profit ethos, which recognises that we are in the business of preserving resources not only to uphold our financial viability, but also to benefit our local communities, wider society and our environment. I am proud of the progress we made in all three areas of our triple bottom line in 2021 and confident we will continually improve on this as we embed the triple bottom line more deeply throughout our business on our journey to net zero.”