Business achievements in reducing waste recognised by Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust today launches its new Carbon Trust Waste Standard, awarded to organisations able to demonstrate that they are measuring, managing and reducing waste year on year. Following the successful completion of a pilot stage, five leading businesses have become the first to achieve the award: Whitbread, PwC, AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK, Renishaw and the Football Association.

This makes Whitbread, PwC and AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK the first organisations to achieve the triple crown of Carbon Trust certifications, for continually reducing their environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste.

A recent Carbon Trust survey[1] of executives in large companies in the UK, USA, China, South Korea and Brazil found that only a third (33%) saw waste as a priority environmental area to focus on in order to compete effectively, and only a fifth (21%) had targets in place.

We are living beyond our means, drawing on natural resources at a rate that cannot continue without leading to an ecological and economic crunch. Organisations that fail to bring sustainability inside their operations will face the consequences of increasingly scarce or expensive commodities, water and energy. Reducing waste and resource use, along with carbon emissions and water, is a crucial part of the transformation that all businesses will need to make in the next decade. By taking early action and opening themselves up to independent certification showing real reductions, the businesses that hold our Standards are showing themselves to be genuine leaders and are putting themselves in a much stronger competitive position.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust Waste Standard requires organisations to measure, manage and reduce their solid and hazardous waste. To achieve the standard organisations need to demonstrate that waste streams are being reduced every year, or used more effectively, for example through increased reuse, recycling or recovery.

The standard also includes a qualitative assessment to show that waste is being managed responsibly. This will include considerations outside of an organisation’s direct control, such as having a diligent procurement policy for goods and waste management services, and looking at downstream impacts through products and packaging.


WRAP welcomes the Carbon Trust’s waste standard and recognises the challenge than it represents. We wish the Carbon Trust and participating organisations well in tackling this difficult task.

Dr Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP

We are challenging the preconception that big businesses have a big impact on the environment. Reducing waste is something we take extremely seriously at Whitbread. Over the past two years alone, we have increased the amount of site waste we divert from landfill from 80% to over 93%. We are not stopping there however. Our target is to send no waste from direct operations to landfill by 2017, which we are working hard to deliver. Whitbread is a people business and our staff are crucial in ensuring our customers get the service they expect. They also hold the key to cutting waste across the business. By educating our team members of the importance of saving waste, and giving them the tools to do it, we have saved tonnes of waste from landfill. We are rightly proud of our achievements and will continue to push hard to make our business as sustainable as possible. Watch this space.

Ben Brakes, Environmental Manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants

We are delighted to be awarded the Carbon Trust Waste Standard for our achievements in operational waste reduction. This is a reward for the excellent effort we have been putting into reducing waste. Our businesses throughout the UK and across the world are all working hard to contribute to our ambitious sustainability targets, and being one of the first companies to achieve the three Carbon Standards for carbon, water and waste reduction demonstrates to our customers our commitment to working towards increasing sustainability standards across the business.

Susan Kendall, Sustainability Director, UK & Ireland at AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK

We’re delighted to be recognised, against such high standards, across three critical areas of impact for our business. We firmly believe that setting an example and helping others understand what we’ve learned along the way will help business as a whole make similar reductions and achievements.

Jon Barnes, Head of Buildings & Facilities, PwC

Since the new Wembley Stadium opened we have been monitoring and assessing our environmental impacts and setting targets for improvement. Waste is one of our most significant impacts, consequently, staff and contract partners on site have all worked together to improve our waste management system to reduce these impacts. Initiatives have ranged from implementing new waste streams, to tailoring packaging used on site and producing video format waste training to train the thousands of event day staff. The Wembley Stadium vision states that we are committed to demonstrating leadership in environmental sustainability and so we are very proud to be one of the first organisations to achieve the Carbon Trust Waste Standard.

Roger Maslin, Managing Director of Wembley Stadium

As an advanced manufacturing business, increasing efficiency and reducing waste in our operations and processes is fundamental to what we do. We are delighted to be recognised by the Carbon Trust for our ongoing work to improve how we deal with our waste, through prevention, reuse and recycling wherever possible.

Ben Taylor, Assistant Chief Executive at Renishaw

Notes to Editor

Waste Facts:

  • Around the world it is estimated that around 11.2 billion tonnes of solid waste are collected each year.
  • The decomposition of organic waste is responsible for around 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In the UK alone the waste sector is responsible for 17 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year, around 3% of all UK emissions.
  • WRAP estimate that by 2020 moving towards a circular economy has the potential to increase the UK’s net exports by more than £20 billion and create 10,000 new jobs in just the recycling sector.
  • The resource management sector in the UK already generates more than £13 billion a year in sales and employs more than 40,000 people.
  • In 2014 UK landfill tax will be £80 a tonne.
  • UK government figures outline that British businesses have a £50 billion opportunity for making savings through resource efficiency in waste. Of these savings, £18 billion is identified as being achievable through low or no cost measures, with a payback of less than one year.
  • The average European generates around half a tonne of waste a year. More than a third of this goes to landfill and only a quarter is recycled.


About the Carbon Trust Waste Standard:

The Carbon Trust Waste Standard certifies organisations that measure, manage and reduce their solid and hazardous waste. To achieve the standard organisations will need to demonstrate that waste streams are being reduced every year, or used of more effectively, for example through increased reuse, recycling or energy recovery.

See more information on the Carbon Trust Waste Standard

Whitbread reducing waste:

Whitbread is the UK’s largest hospitality business running some of the UK’s most successful brands including Premier Inn, Costa, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater Grill and Table Table.

With a strong commitment to reducing its environmental impact through its ‘Good Together’ corporate responsibility programme, Whitbread achieved a 4.5% absolute reduction in waste across all its hotels and restaurants over the certification period.  This reduction is equivalent in weight to around the annual household waste from around 7,000 people.

The certification covers over 665 Premier Inn hotels and 380 restaurants operated under the Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns brands.

Whitbread currently diverts 93% of its waste from direct operations from landfill and is on track to divert 100% of its waste from landfill by 2017.    

Examples of waste saving programmes running across the business include sorting food waste and recyclable materials on site, educating 7,000 Whitbread team members on the importance of saving waste, and recycling fixtures and fittings where possible.  The majority of Whitbread’s food waste is also sent for anaerobic digestion – sending energy back to the national grid.

PwC reducing waste:

PwC, one of the world’s largest professional services firms, with a UK revenue in excess of £2.6 billion has achieved a 9% absolute reduction in waste across its UK operational buildings over the past two years. 

The business has managed to achieve zero waste to landfill and has the very ambitious target of reducing its absolute waste by 50% by 2017 (compared with a 2007 baseline). Huge reductions in paper wastage have been achieved by removing desk top printers and replacing these with secure centralised printing areas. Reductions in waste have also been achieved by removing desk side bins and replacing these with central recycling hubs on each floor to segregate waste at source.

At PwC’s two largest UK buildings in London, a tri-generation system has been implemented to provide zero carbon heating, cooling and power. These generators are powered by recycled used cooking oil. This oil is collected from sources within Central London including PwC’s own restaurants and is refined locally, further reducing the carbon footprint.

AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK reducing waste:

AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK is home to a number of well-known brands including Dulux and Hammerite. The company achieved an absolute reduction in its operational waste through improving resource efficiency and minimising raw material wastage by changing production processes and batch scheduling. This has helped to move waste streams up the waste hierarchy and avoid landfill.

In its offices “Anywhere Printing” has been implemented. This means print jobs only commence when an employee logs into a printer. Any unnecessary printing is not completed reducing waste. Recycling bins have been implemented around offices and all other waste bins removed to encourage correct waste segregation. This leads to waste being sent off for either recycling or energy recovery.

AkzoNobel has tried to reduce waste outside of its own operations by offering empty paint can recycling at Dulux decorator Centres, recycling over 250,000 cans since 2010. This was supplemented by setting up consumer recycling trials at Household Waste Recycling Centres which recycled in excess of 100,000 cans. Secondary packaging, such as cardboard interleaves and shrink wrap, is backhauled to warehouses to either be reused or recycled.

The company has encouraged the reuse of paint by sponsoring Community RePaint for the last 20 years. Community Repaint is a paint reuse network that collects consumer waste paint and company paint surpluses to redistribute it to those in social need. In 2012 this network prevented 387,000 litres of paint going to waste.  It is also supporting a startup business called Newlife Paints, that takes consumers paint waste and recycles it into a brand new paint product that is currently on sale across the UK.

The company’s green credentials will soon be boosted by the opening of a new site in Ashington in 2014, which will be the world’s most sustainable paint plant. This plant will exemplify the business’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact through ensuring 100% reuse of water and 90% solvent reuse, as well as a series of targets to eliminate waste at source.

The FA reducing waste:

The FA is the governing body for English football, with operations at Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park National Football Centre in Burton-Upon-Trent. The majority of its waste impact is related to events at Wembley Stadium, which has over 2 million visitors in attendance at up to 30 events a year, as well as conference and meeting facilities.

The FA’s commitment to reducing waste has resulted in the development of a waste strategy that minimises interaction of stadium visitors with potential waste. As a part of this, The FA worked with catering partners to reduce the amount of packaging used in food and drink sales, as well as making sure that wherever possible packaging is fully recyclable. Recycling rates at the Stadium were 80 % in 2012.

Since August 2010 Wembley Stadium has managed to successfully divert all waste away from landfill, with all waste typically being recycled or sent to a waste-to-energy plant. The stadium uses colour-coded waste streams behind the scenes and all food waste is collected and taken off site where it’s composted into fertilizer.

When items like pop-up tents and sleeping bags get abandoned at the Stadium, often following fans camping out waiting for music concerts, these have been donated to Shelter and sold in charity shops. Sussex County FA Headquarters also received a donation of over two thousand Wembley Stadium seats when one of the stands was refurbished.

At its own offices The FA runs an annual office waste campaign with a ‘Recycling Referee’ that issues contamination notices on any bin which contained the wrong items. There is also a competition to establish which of the office quads will be the recycling Champions. Staff are engaged both through video training and a more advanced “train the trainer” programme.

Wembley Stadium’s logistics manager operates a Redundant Asset Register, helping to encourage the reuse of assets throughout the organisation. One successful example of this is the distribution of old stock from the retail team being donated to teams in the junior leagues and old kit being sold to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.

Renishaw reducing waste:

Renishaw is an advanced manufacturing business and a constituent of the FTSE 250 index. It specialises in measurement, motion control, spectroscopy and precision machining for the manufacturing and healthcare industries. To achieve the Carbon Trust Waste Standard the company has demonstrated an overall movement up the waste hierarchy, increasing rates of reuse and recycling.

Waste has also been turned into a valuable resource. Renishaw invested £196,000 to install two briquetting machines and associated handling systems that turn waste aluminium swarf from production processes into briquettes that can be sold on to other manufacturers, creating a new revenue stream. It is also assessing the viability of further equipment that will enable the company to recover waste oils from metal cutting operations.

Going through the Carbon Trust Waste Standard assessment process has catalysed improvements in the business’ waste management systems that should help it continue making reductions in future years. 

Renishaw is also at the forefront of research into systems that will in the future help to limit industrial waste. It is the UK’s only manufacturer of a metal-based additive manufacturing (‘3D printing’) machine which allows items to be produced by building them up using the exact amount of resources required, rather than having to create components out of larger pieces of material using subtractive manufacturing processes.

About the Carbon Trust Standard:

The Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon, certifying organisations that measure, manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions year-on-year, was launched in June 2008. Over 1,000 successful certifications have now been awarded around the world, covering more than 230 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

About the Carbon Trust Water Standard:

The Carbon Trust Water Standard, certifying organisations that measure, manage and reduce water use year-on-year was launched in March 2013. It is currently held by a number of large businesses including Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola Enterprises and GlaxoSmithKline.

About the Carbon Trust:

The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. The Carbon Trust:

  • advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world
  • measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services
  • helps develop and deploy low carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power

For further information on the Carbon Trust, please contact the Carbon Trust press office on 020 7170 7050 or Alternatively visit

[1] Vanson Bourne conducted the survey commissioned by Carbon Trust by telephone with 475 C-level executives (board members and those with ultimate responsibility for particular business functions) from a variety of functions within a wide-ranging number of industries. Interviews were conducted during October 2012.