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Republic Services sets new 2030 sustainability goals incorporating biogas targets

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US waste disposal and removal services firm Republic Services has set new 2030 sustainability goals, which incorporate biogas targets.

The plans include reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% compared to a 2017 baseline. The Arizona-based company previously reported generating almost 13.8 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide within these categories in 2017, with a 2% decrease in 2018.

The company has outlined plans to increase recovery of ‘key materials’, including cardboard, plastics, metals, organics, biogas and oil by 40%. It also intends to increase biogas sent for ‘beneficial reuse’ by 50%.

Republic Services reported that it has already achieved sustainability goals that were set in 2014. This included developing two landfill gas-to-energy projects per year, adding 150,000 tonnes of recycling capacity per year and reducing Scope 1 fleet emissions by 3%. The only outstanding goal is to annually reduce the total recordable incident rate (TRIR), though the firm notes that it’s performing better than the industry average.

Converting fleet fuels from diesel to natural gas or electric (which Republic is pursuing) has become fairly commonplace as a guaranteed way to lower emissions, according to analysis by Waste Dive. However, the majority of any waste company’s Scope 1 emissions and overall GHG emissions mostly come from landfills. Republic plans to address this directly within its network as part of its 2030 goals.

“2018 was a milestone year for Republic Services as we marked the achievement of our time-bound sustainability goals,” said Donald W. Slager, CEO of Republic Services. “Today, we’re setting an even higher bar by establishing 2030 goals that we believe have the potential to significantly benefit the environment and society while continuing to strengthen the foundation of our business.”