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Rethink the waste management industry

Denuo

The waste management and recycling industry sets a powerful example with its sustainability activities. Through recycling and energy valorisation, the industry avoids nearly twice the amount of emissions it produces through the value chain.

Industry emissions today and tomorrow

Together with Denuo, we conducted a study to map the CO2 emissions of the waste and recycling industry in Belgium and examined opportunities for emission reduction, highlighting the powerful example this sector sets with its sustainability practices.

Denuo represents more than 300 companies active in the Belgian waste management and recycling sector. As part of its ambitions around the circular economy and climate, Denuo wishes to provide more insight into the role the sector can play in achieving European and national climate targets.

In this context, the climate study was launched with the twofold objective: map the CO2 emissions of the sector in Belgium (covering both emissions caused by the sector and emissions avoided elsewhere in the value chain) and examine the potential to reduce the carbon footprint.

By analysing the data and applying our industry knowledge, we estimated that in 2020, the industry emitted 6,827 ktonnes CO2eq for processing 10 selected waste streams. Our research also showed that through recycling and energy valorisation, the industry avoided 13,297 ktonnes CO2eq elsewhere in the value chain.

"The Denuo climate study is a good example of Deloitte embedding sustainability in all our services and value propositions, to help all our clients move the needle on sustainability."

Paul Delesalle, Partner at Deloitte

Belgium is one of the frontrunners in waste management as 84% of the selected waste tonnages is recycled or recovered, which is more than the European average of 75%.

About Denuo

Denuo was founded in 1991 and is the Belgian federation of the waste and recycling sector. In a world where raw materials are becoming scarcer and companies want to produce sustainably, their more than 300 members are the essential link between used materials and reuse, recycling and final treatment.

Denuo's mission is to inspire and advise government and producers to take the right steps towards a circular economy. They develop an ecosystem in which producers and material processors can jointly develop innovative solutions for material flows. Lastly, they assist their members in formulating and communicating common positions, informing and advising them about new regulations and their implementation.

“Thanks to the help of Deloitte, we are now better equipped to work together as a sector to tackle emissions and create a more sustainable future.”

Marine Ronquetti, Advisor at Denuo

A workshop with impact

The second part of the collaboration involved us hosting a workshop for Denuo members to identify opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint, facilitating several discussions that helped Denuo and its members share their expertise and knowledge. Together, we identified 10 emission reduction opportunities for the industry in four domains:

  1. Taking a more sustainable approach to business management with the adaption of standards such as ISO 14001 and the reporting of CO2 emissions.
  2. Optimising logistics by using battery electric and hydrogen trucks, adopting “white label trucks”, stimulating a modal shift, etc.
  3. Further increasing sorting and recycling rates “(using advanced sorting technologies, further training of staff and incentivizing clients to sort at source).
  4. Maximising energy valorisation through process innovations (including Carbon Capture).

Key contacts

Paul Delesalle

Partner | Sustainability Lead Consulting | EMEA Supply Chain & Network Operations Lead

Maarten Dubois

Director | Consulting | Sustainability & Circular Economy