Why a circular economy?

Economic growth, high prosperity and preservation of the environment is not endurable with our current way of living. We are approaching the limits of this current way of growth; Essential resources become scarce, climate change is (with all its consequences) and harmful emissions damage the environment.

It is therefore inevitably to reduce the impact of our way of living on the environment. Besides we are committed to foresee a sustainable future for our posterity. One of the key issues of this comprehensive challenge is the reuse and recycling of (valuable) resources within our waste stream. As a supplier of waste treatment installations WTT has a meaningful position to contribute to the recycling and reuse of our household waste stream. Since 1996 we have built for over more than 100 composting, digestion and mechanical waste separation plants.

 

Where are we now?

The AD installations of WTT are 100% self-employed. The surplus of electricity what is produced is delivered to the grid. Besides, the produced heat, released by the combustion of biogas, is used to enable an efficient fermentation process. The corrosive biogas (H2S content) makes us to use high quality materials like stainless steel and aluminium, which are fully recyclable.

Our latest installations are manufactured and prefabricated in the Netherlands by means of separate compartments (skids). All the skids together forms the heart of the plant. Using prefabricated skids has several advantages: all equipment is already in place, it avoids many suppliers and constructors at site, reduces installation works by 75%, the whole installation is tested before transport and it increases the process liability/functioning.

Related to this process-innovation WTT is making progress at the procurement of all the equipment. Since 2015 we are developing a ’Code of Conduct’ for all our suppliers. This document prescribes the requirements our suppliers have to meet. Important parameters of this document are the sustainability and recovery of the materials of their products.

Another target what has been realised is the development of a Risk Inventory & Evaluation (RIE). Together with the new appointed prevention employer internal processes are controlled and secured with respect to risk, hazards and quality.

Inspired by the efforts concerning process optimization, WTT is aware of its own behaviour and accommodation. ‘A better environment starts with yourself’. This belief has resulted in the procurement of the first company hybrid cars and a heat pump in our office. We are constantly looking to further reduce our ecological footprint.

Circular economy for WTT

The current waste treatment business is starting a transition towards a world in where our produced waste is seen as a resource or input for new materials. Conversion of waste into valuable and high-quality products is important to minimize the use of virgin resources. For WTT a circular economy means an optimum reuse of resources together with a minimized impact on the environment and optimal labour productivity. Next to this WTT aims to reduce its ecological footprint by reducing the energy demand of our plants and offices. At the same time we aspire to achieve a higher biogas content (energy) from our anaerobic digestion process.

For WTT waste is a resource and recycling is of great importance. WTT’s vision on circularity therefore focusses around the ‘Waste hierarchy framework’

Commitment

After successful completion of a project, WTT stays in contact with its clients. Our after sales service is able to support the client 24/7 and give dedicated advise to make sure the installation performs in the best possible way. We intensively cooperate with our clients. Our objective is to establish a long-term partnership where we carry out required maintenance works and provide the client with all the support to reduce environmental impact, such as to minimize consumables, energy and emissions.

Overall, this approach results in valuable output products, low operational costs, an increased lifetime and highest availability rates.

What are the future challenges?

The process towards a fully recyclable plant is going on. On his pathway, WTT is facing interesting challenges like reducing amount of concrete, replacement of PVC and the search for the sustainable, high-quality products and materials. In 2020, >90% of all materials of a plant should be recyclable and/or biodegradable. Our equipment suppliers play an important role to realise this target. Therefore WTT is, beside of high quality standards, also focussing on the recyclability, engineering and the production of the equipment. We document our supplier requirements in the ’code of conduct’.

Despite WTT is active around the world we want to diminish our traveling movements. Our procurement and logistic department is developing a comprehensive ‘logistics optimization plan’ which aims to minimize our CO2 emissions and make process transportations more efficient.
WTT strives to deliver the best quality and service. We never compromise in quality. For WTT, quality is not only process related. Health and safety has a first priority. In order to provide safe working places, prevent accidents and reduce risks and hazards, our employees follow training sessions according a renewed H&S program and a deployed Risk Management System.

Responsibility

WTT understands its key-position to contribute to a circular economy in the waste treatment business. In collaboration with our investors we developed a comprehensive assessment, called the Circularity assessment. In this assessment our targets, priorities, criteria and vision regarding a circular economy are determined and divided over the three key topics: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). On a yearly basis, WTT reports the developments and progress on its (long term) Circularity plan. Subsequently WTT can re-adjust its (short term) plan and efforts to be sure to reach the targets in time. The targets for the long term (2020) are listed below. The targets concern both products (installations) and processes (internal affairs).

  • 50% of energy used from self-generated renewable energy
  • Accident ad absenteeism rates are <50% of industry average
  • Zero incidents on site
  • No toxicity and chemical exposures
  • Code of Conduct is implemented and reviewed annually
  • Supplier / customer audits: No major environmental and social issues at suppliers/customers
  • Implementation of a risk management system
  • Implementation of a corporate citizenship program
  • Increase in recovery of materials and products by 10% (compared to 2014)
  • >90% of materials used for plants/ equiptment are fully recyclable (or biodegradable)