Geminor Sustainability Report 2021: The least costly solution is often prioritised

Source: press release, 24 November 2022

Geminor’s 2021 sustainability report
Geminor’s 2021 sustainability report (illustration: Geminor)

A shift towards more sustainable waste treatment depends on the industry’s willingness to carry the extra costs. Therefore, regulations that lead to sustainable choices are still an important tool in the present European market, says CEO of Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.

Geminor’s 2021 sustainability report, which is now being released, builds on the findings of the 2020 edition and shows the company’s progress within «Environmental, Social, and Governance» (ESG) in the past year. The report shows that Geminor handled 1,67 million tonnes of waste resources in 2021, a slight decrease of 3% compared to 2020. Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) account for around 2/3 of Geminor’s total volume in the Nordics, the UK, and the EU.

The market implications caused by Covid-19 affected most companies last year, and waste streams were still less than normal due to lower consumption and supply chain disruptions. Still, the sustainability report shows that Geminor since 2020 has reached and surpassed the material recycling goal of 200 000 tonnes per year. This constitutes the recovery of waste wood and waste paper in addition to plastics and other smaller fractions.

A tough market for the green shift
A shift towards greener treatment and deposit of waste is normally related to higher costs. At present, this is one of the most important obstacles in preventing a fast transition towards more sustainable solutions and services, says Vikingstad.

“Our position makes us particularly susceptible to fluctuations in the market, and to our customers’ requirements. Our experience is that the least costly solution often is prioritised. The geopolitical events this year have not helped mitigate this trend, and we are therefore limited by the willingness and ability in the market to carry the cost that is often associated with greener solutions,” says Vikingstad.

“However, regulations on emissions and waste treatment across Europe are putting pressure on the market, giving us more room to promote more sustainable and efficient use of resources. We are also seeing an increasing awareness and environmental considerations from our customers and in municipal tenders,” Vikingstad continues.

Net-zero targets
The total emissions through Geminor services, both direct and indirect, have increased compared to 2020. This was expected as more data points were included and data quality improved, says Kjetil Vikingstad.

“This result does not change our goal of becoming net zero by 2030, and we are now fully focused on offering less carbon-intense solutions to the market. To help promote this, we have developed our own calculation tool to estimate fossil carbon emissions from the waste we deliver. We are also involved in several research projects looking into using waste as fuel in carbon capture technology,” concludes the CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.