Recycling and recovery

SUEZ releases 2023 sustainability report

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK has today published its 2023 Sustainability Report, updating on progress across the three areas that make up its triple bottom line - People, Planet and Profit. The report outlines how in 2023 following its return to the global SUEZ Group, SUEZ continued to invest in its people and support local communities, helping customers to reduce the carbon impact of managing their waste, all the while building a more resource-efficient, circular economy.

The report outlines the company’s nine strategic goals, that set out its ambition across its triple bottom line up to 2030.

With social responsibility one of the guiding principles at the heart of its triple bottom line, SUEZ continued its efforts to generate social value to benefit local communities. 2023 saw the total social value SUEZ generated exceed £2.7 billion, an increase of almost 4.5% on the previous year. * Through its various local community funds and partnerships with local enterprises and not-for-profits, the total funding to community projects and good causes exceeded £5 million.

2023 also saw an important milestone as SUEZ marked the 10th anniversary of its partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support. The funds raised for charitable causes through employee fundraising and corporate donations almost doubled during the year to exceed £219,400.

Its focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of its people was maintained and supported a 38% reduction in RIDDOR and severity rates and 41% in frequency rate. Over 560 employees completed Situational Awareness training, boosting pre-emptive hazard reporting. Additionally, the business made a commitment to invest £2 million annually in fire protection from 2024 and introduced training to contain battery fires.

Committed to equal opportunities, SUEZ continued to refine its strategy for promoting inclusion and diversity and saw an increase in the share of management positions held by women to 28%. Moreover, projects are in place to increase the number of female employees at all levels over the next three years. During the year, SUEZ’s disabilities network laid the groundwork for two initiatives to be rolled out in 2024, a neurodiversity guide for managers and an ‘adjustment passport’ to ensure the smooth transition to new roles for colleagues with disabilities.

Environmental sustainability sits alongside social responsibility in SUEZ’s triple bottom line. In 2023, SUEZ secured a Gold Medal EcoVadis rating in its first year of assessment, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. The score 72 out of 100 rated SUEZ within the top 3% of companies rated in the materials recovery industry - SUEZ was also in the top 1% of companies rated by EcoVadis for its Environment score.

In its commitment to helping its customers to reduce waste and reuse more, of the circa eight million tonnes of waste SUEZ sent for treatment, the proportion put to good use through re-use, recycling and energy recovery increased from 81% to 83%. Of the municipal waste collected, re-use saw a notable 36% increase as more waste items were reclaimed and diverted from recycling or disposal.

The business also continued to improve and enhance biodiversity across all of its sites. In 2023, SUEZ recorded more than 290 biodiversity-boosting measures, most led by its network of site-based sustainability champions. These included the installation of 114 bird boxes, 22 separate tree planting schemes for a total of 9,665 trees on sites and 754 off-site with partners such as the City of Trees and Severn Rivers Trust. Furthermore, over 57 hectares of former landfill sites were restored in keeping with local surroundings.

In the year that saw the acquisitions of Devon Contract Waste (DCW) and F&R Cawley (Cawleys), SUEZ saw its commercial customer base expand to just shy of 32,500 as it continued to serve 36% of households in the UK (over 10.3 million). The business also saw its customer satisfaction rise to a score of 86%.

Alongside improved environmental compliance and continued commitment to social responsibility, despite a challenging economic environment, SUEZ posted a strong financial performance and grew its turnover by 3% to £1,037 million. Investment in infrastructure, research and development went up by 13% to over £25 million, as SUEZ plans for the future to meet the evolving needs of its customers.

John Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said: “In 2023, we continued our progress towards creating a more resource-efficient circular economy, delivering on our commitment to people and planet. This report sets out our ambition and highlights the milestones we’ve reached over the year. I’m immensely proud of our achievements in all three areas of our triple bottom line. Testament to our resilience, despite tough market conditions, we saw an increase in turnover and I am confident we can continue to grow sustainably and innovate to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”