Optimizing Waste Management in the UK
SGS UK operates from more than 40 offices and laboratories, from Aberdeen to Southampton. Previously, waste management for these sites was decentralized, with each site holding contracts with different service providers for different waste streams. We worked with more than 100 waste management service providers across the UK.
In early 2018, our procurement team began to consider ways to reduce supply chain complexity, cut costs, and align with SGS Group’s objective of minimizing waste, especially waste sent to landfill. SGS UK’s laboratories posed a particular challenge for sustainable waste management, as we test many types of materials at each laboratory. These materials include jet fuels, electronic goods, textiles, industrial components and automotive parts. Some of our labs have more than 20 waste streams.
SGS UK had to ensure that, at each site, waste was segregated appropriately, recycling and reuse were maximized and waste management was in compliance with regulations. To create a centralized solution for this complex situation, we chose Reconomy Waste Management as a single service broker.
Reconomy conducts surveys at each of our UK sites to understand its waste streams, and then recommends the best individual management approach for that site. SGS UK’s Quality, Safety, Health and Environment Manager reviews Reconomy’s site development plan to ensure that it is consistent with SGS Group’s environmental aims and complies with regulatory requirements. Reconomy then selects appropriate waste management service providers, which it audits to ensure high standards of compliance.
The company also manages a central portal, where data on the amount of waste sent to each processor and the required legal documentation is collated and organized, for easy access.
When rolling out the system at a site for the first time, Reconomy provides waste awareness talks, training for site managers on the use of the new portal and bespoke signage on bins for specialized waste streams.
By the end of 2019, the new system was live at 10 of our sites. We intend to have site development plans in place for all sites by early 2020 and to have migrated all sites to the new system by the end of that year.