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Leaving a lighter footprint: our new substation reduces carbon emissions

 

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Leaving a lighter footprint: our new substation reduces carbon emissions

We all want to tread lighter upon the Earth. At Kenny Waste Management, we work with organisations across the UK to help them reduce and recycle their waste. But what are we doing ourselves to become a more sustainable organisation?

We were delighted when we found out earlier this month that our new electrical substation is already having an impact on our carbon footprint.

In just one year, we reduced the carbon emissions at our waste transfer station by 32%.

But what is a carbon footprint, and how do we know that ours is improving?

What is a carbon footprint?

It’s a term we all use – but what exactly is a carbon footprint? Our carbon footprint measures the impact our activities have on the environment. It’s calculated by measuring the amount of greenhouse gases (mostly carbon dioxide, hence the name) that are released by a specific activity and is expressed as tons of CO2 emitted.

All different sorts of human activity have a carbon footprint, and they naturally affect each other. This can make it complicated to calculate: for example, your business has hybrid vehicles and solar panels, but your suppliers haven’t, so their carbon usage has some impact on your footprint.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol divides emissions into three “scopes”. Scope 1 refers to emissions that an activity generates directly – for example, the gases we make while powering our waste transfer mechanisms. Scope 2 is about direct emissions where the activity uses something generated offsite that causes greenhouse gases – plugging in to grid-generated electricity is a good example of this. Scope 3 is indirect emissions, such as staff driving to work in their own diesel-powered cars.

From now on any company that uses our waste transfer station will be reducing their scope 2 emissions, thanks to our new substation.

How has Kenny Waste Management reduced its carbon footprint?

We are reducing our carbon footprint one step at a time; and recently, we’ve been focussing on our waste transfer station.

We previously powered our site at Worsley using a red diesel-powered generator. This is a common way of generating energy in this sort of location; however, it generates carbon emissions and has a negative effect on the immediate environment. We wanted to use something cleaner.

We approached UPA Energy, a Cheshire company specialising in environmentally-friendly energy management, to design us a dedicated onsite electrical substation. In 2016, we powered it up for the first time… All ran smoothly – but was it fulfilling our brief of reducing emissions?

After a year of running our transfer operation from the substation, we wanted to make sure it was making a difference. And it certainly has! Our CO2 emissions at the waste transfer station decreased by a huge 32% from 2016 to 2017, reducing the site’s carbon footprint by almost a third.

Our figures were calculated by Manchester-based specialists Business Growth Hub, who among other services, support organisations in their missions to work sustainably.

Follow in our footsteps? Here’s how we can help you

Working with Kenny Waste Management automatically reduces your organisation’s footprint. How? Step away from carbon for a moment. CO2 gets a lot of press; however, greenhouse gas also includes methane. Methane (CH4) is more potent than CO2 and has a heat-trapping effect, contributing towards global warming. One of the major causes of methane is gas from landfill sites – and thanks to our policy of diverting from landfill, your waste shouldn’t contribute towards CH4 emissions.

We can also calculate the carbon footprint of your waste management for you, using the Government’s emission conversion factors. This gives you regular data about your organisation’s waste disposal footprint – another job taken off your hands.

Find out more about how working with Kenny Waste Management can help your organisation take steps towards being more sustainable.