CleanR Grupa companies avoided more than 40 tonnes of GHG emissions last year

07 Jun 2024

The CleanR Grupa companies last year avoided a total of 41 937 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, which four times exceeds the 11 835 tonnes of CO2 equivalents generated by the group’s own activities, informed Agita Baltbārde, Member of the Board at CleanR Grupa.

According to Baltbārde, the group’s sustainability strategy envisaged devoting 2022 and 2023 to measuring and calculating GHG emissions generated by the group companies. “We have made a great effort to calculate and record scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 GHG emissions. The 2023 data will be used as a baseline against which we will measure our progress,” informs the group’s spokesperson.

In 2023, the group companies generated 6889 tonnes of scope 1 CO2 equivalents and 4946 tonnes of scope 2 CO2 equivalents.

“The next step was to estimate scope 3 emissions that we generate indirectly in our supply chain when receiving and delivering services. When calculating scope 3 emissions, we started by looking at the most significant emission sources. The GHG emissions recording system has to be continuously improved, which we will keep doing also this year. The homework we have done so far will let us set specific GHG emissions targets already this year,” says Baltbārde.

The European Union (EU) aims to become climate neutral by 2050, creating an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the interim targets of the Member States have become tighter. In March last year, the European Parliament decided that by 2030 emissions will have to be reduced by 40% instead of the then existing 30% target. Subsequently, each Member State was set their national GHG emissions target, based on the Gross Domestic Product per capita and cost effectiveness. Compared to 2005, Latvia has to reduce its emissions by 17% instead of the previously set 6% by 2030.

“It is important to reduce emissions generated by the company’s own activities as well as avoid them through the company’s services. The emissions calculation at the CleanR Grupa companies was based on the amount of the reduced land-filled municipal waste through sorting, recycling, and material recovery” says Baltbārde.

For example, by handing over for recycling 137.6 tonnes of damaged plastic containers, we avoided emissions equivalent to 110 tonnes of CO2. Emissions are also avoided by recovering separated waste, which prevents the need for new raw materials. The CleanR Grupa companies have recovered over 25 000 tonnes of packaging waste, turning it into raw materials for production, more than 35 000 tonnes of waste have been turned into power-generating fuel, more than 3300 tonnes of plastic pellets have been produced to make new goods, around 55 000 tonnes of building refuse has been recovered and brought back into circulation as sand, gravel, or broken stone, as well as 14 000 tonnes of compost.

As reported, in 2023, CleanR Grupa was the first company in the environmental services industry to start non-financial reporting and publish the group’s Sustainability Report. Now, to streamline its reporting practice, the group has included the assessment of climate risks in its business risk management practice.

“By assessing climate risks, we see that they not only may produce an adverse effect but also create opportunities to develop the company’s operational activities. That means—uninterrupted provision of services regardless of storms, hail, or flash floods. We may achieve this goal by offering people modern waste-sorting solutions and modern waste management infrastructure, for example, by setting up underground waste container sites in cities, which, thanks to their placement, are less affected by floods or other climate risks. Climate adaptation activities require additional funds, which we see as a long-term investment into our operational resilience,” emphasizes Baltbārde.

The group’s Member of the Board explains that the company has already devised and approved its Climate Risks Mitigation and Prevention Plan. Its key pillars include the modernization of the vehicle fleet, change of energy sources, stakeholder engagement and educating.

We already made significant improvements in 2023—42% of the group’s fleet vehicles were replaced with new all-electric cars, with charging stations put up within the company territory. Also, we purchased urban maintenance and waste removal machinery worth nearly two million euros.

Currently, 12% of the group’s energy sources are renewable.  Last year, we changed our office heating system to use wood pellets, reducing our GHG emissions generated by heating by 80%. Also, we went on with changing lighting and installing sensors, monitoring indoor office climate, and carrying out energy audit.

“Our company’s pursuit of climate neutrality is long-term endeavor, which requires both preparatory works, such as risk analysis, basic calculations, and development of a plan, as well as practical steps afterwards. I encourage Latvian entrepreneurs to see non-financial reporting and “going greener” not as a burden, but an opportunity to reduce costs in the long term, create new services and new sources of income. We are pleased to have managed to avoid four times the emissions we generated; this reflects the company’s mission to manage waste produced by others, recycle, and bring it back into the economy,” states Baltbārde.

For reference: scope 1 GHG emissions are emissions created by the company’s own activities—burning of power-generating fuel and vehicle-generated emissions. Scope 2 emissions are those generated by consuming purchased thermal energy and electricity for running the company’s operations. Scope 3 emissions originate from the company’s upstream and downstream value chain, that is, from suppliers, business partners, etc.

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