Grundon Waste Management has committed to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions from its vehicles to net zero for 2017.
By extending its three-year Carbon Neutral fleet certification programme, the company has reconfirmed its strong environmental credentials and commitment to supporting rural community projects in East Africa.
The certification has been awarded by Natural Capital Partners, in line with the requirements of The Carbon Neutral Protocol – the global standard for carbon neutral programmes.
It means every mile travelled by Grundon vehicles, whether on waste collection rounds or when staff visit customers in company cars, the journey is officially carbon neutral.
Neil Grundon, deputy chairman, said: “We are delighted to have been able to extend our commitment through 2017. We know that vehicle emissions are a major source of greenhouse gases and, with an extensive road-going fleet, it is very important for us to consider how we can make a difference, both for our own benefit and that of our customers.
“By investing in a Carbon Neutral programme alongside other internal initiatives, such as purchasing environmentally-friendly vehicles and improving driver training, we are very pleased to have achieved our target of net zero emissions. By partnering with Natural Capital Partners, we also know that the programme is making a real difference to the lives of rural communities in Uganda.”
Each year, Grundon independently measures the carbon footprint of all of its vehicles, reducing these as much as possible through internal measures. Remaining unavoidable emissions are then offset through the purchase of high-quality carbon credits through Natural Capital Partners.
Simon Brown, European managing director at Natural Capital Partners, said: “Grundon led the way four years ago through its Carbon Neutral fleet and this continued commitment is a prime example of how a great business can make a difference to the environment and to communities.
“Grundon has connected the dots between building a better business, reducing carbon emissions and helping communities build a better future.”
Grundon’s involvement in the programme began in 2014, when it became the first of the major waste industry players to be awarded a Carbon Neutral fleet certification.
Since then, its vehicle fleet has travelled an estimated 21.5 million miles - equivalent to travelling from the UK to Uganda more than 5,300 times. Emissions from these journeys would be equivalent to those produced from powering more than 15,000 UK homes for a year.
Through its purchase of carbon credits, Grundon has supported an innovative community reforestation project in Uganda, which organises hundreds of small community-based tree planting initiatives on land owned by subsistence farmers.
Figures show that since 2014, with Grundon’s support, more than 1,180 farmers have joined the community reforestation project and well over a million trees have been planted.
The project provides training on improved farming techniques and alternative crops and products to improve food security and offer alternative sources of income. Women participate in group leadership roles and, through seminars and sharing best practice, there is greater awareness of health and hygiene issues. In addition, farmers are paid for each successfully planted tree and receive additional income as the trees grow and sequester carbon.
Grundon continued: “We are thrilled to hear how our support is making such a difference to families and making the planet a greener place to live in the future.
“For us, this isn’t just about our environmental behaviour, it is about helping our customers to improve their green credentials. Thanks to positive feedback, we know that our commitment has struck a very positive chord in helping many of them to meet their own environmental goals and we are proud of our contribution to such a worthwhile programme.”
During 2017, Grundon will continue to support the reforestation project and will also support an improved cookstoves project which delivers financial savings to Ugandan families and reduces the incidence of respiratory illness through a reduction in indoor air pollution.
Both projects follow a comprehensive set of validation and verification procedures, and are monitored on a regular basis by independent third parties to ensure they are generating emission reductions.
Photo caption: Quadruple celebrations (l-r) Vivian Frost, client relationship manager, Natural Capital Partners; Shaun Wormald, lead driver Colnbrook, Grundon Waste Management; Neil Grundon, deputy chairman, Grundon Waste Management; and Toni Robinson, compliance manager, Grundon Waste Management.