UK based waste and recycling firm, Biffa, has saved 6600 tonnes of CO2 emissions by switching to the use of rail links for the transportation of predominantly inert waste material to its facilities.
The company explained that the savings follow its 2018 strategic rail partnership with GB Railfreight (GBRf) to increase its capacity for waste transportation via rail, thereby reducing its reliance on road haulage. Since 2019, the Group has transported over 600,000 tonnes of inert waste by rail.
Under the partnership, rail links were created with the Northern cities of Manchester in 2017 and Leeds in 2018, to allow waste to be transported to Biffa’s landfill facility in Roxby, near Scunthorpe.
According to Biffa, data collected since January 2019 has demonstrated a saving of over 11 million kilometres in tipper truck journeys by using rail and 6600 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The company added that its commitment to reducing carbon emissions forms part of a wider initiative to tackle climate change, underpinning its long-term sustainability strategy, ‘Resourceful,
Responsible’, announced earlier this year.
As part of this, a new target to transport 50% of its input to landfill by rail by 2025 has been set, which looks set to be achieved. In the last few years Biffa has been developing its rail transport capabilities, transporting up to 27% of its specialist waste types, destined for landfill, by rail.
Fuel for Thought
Transportation and logistics remain an essential part of the service that Biffa provides. However, transportation is also a big source of GHG emissions. To counter this, the company said that it is committed to continually reducing emissions produced from its vehicles and improve air quality in towns and cities.
Fuel usage accounts for 15% of Biffa’s carbon footprint, included within this is approximately 90,000 tonnes of CO2 from the use of diesel alone.
The Group will also add an extra 250,000 tonnes of capacity per year when it opens a third site in East London at the end of 2020.
Mick Davis, Chief Operating Officer for Resources and Energy at Biffa: “Reducing our emissions has been a fundamental part of our business strategy over the past years and we are continually evaluating how to sustainably optimise our operations.
"This achievement is a small but important step towards meeting the ambitious targets set out in our new sustainability strategy whichtargets transporting 50% of our waste to landfill sites by rail by 2025. We’re looking forward to the results with upcoming rail links and the overall aim to tackle climate change in the UK.”
John Smith, Managing Director at GBRf: “We are delighted to be Biffa’s partner in supporting them to reduce their carbon emissions. We look forward to continuing to develop further rail solutions with them to achieve their target of delivering 50% of waste on rail.”
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