Our core divisional strategies are:
- Improve the profitability of Commercial Waste. Our Commercial Waste business is focused on the Benelux region where it is a clear market leader with the scale and position to win. Our strategy is focused on driving this business to attractive profitability and asset return levels. We continue to improve efficiency through the structural cost programme, increasing route density, and delivering new procurement and continuous improvement initiatives. We are investing in optimising our commercial effectiveness to take advantage of market opportunities and have also streamlined the portfolio to increase returns.
- Broaden the scope of Hazardous Waste. Our Hazardous Waste business delivers superior returns through its symbiotic range of treatments and operational excellence. We are building on this profitable base by investing in more treatment capacity and further environmental protection capability. In parallel, we will expand the range of waste inputs that we treat with our existing assets and will broaden our commercial coverage in international markets.
- Grow the Municipal long-term contract business in the UK and North America. We have strong expertise in long-term project-financed municipal contracts. This includes successfully bidding for such opportunities, designing and building the associated plants, and then operating them in partnership with local authorities. This is further supported by market leadership in organic waste treatment and residual waste treatment by Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT). We will deliver growth from building and commissioning new assets from long-term contracts already won in the UK and Canada. Given the increasing need for diversion from landfill in North America, we also plan to win more new contracts by selective and disciplined contract bidding. While we are clear about the actions needed to deliver growth in each division, we will continue to deliver value by leveraging our Group capabilities and scale. Our three divisional strategies therefore remain underpinned by three key Group strategies that span all our businesses.
- Drive margin expansion across the Group. This strategy comprises the increase of operating margins through the introduction of enhanced capabilities (often brought from outside the waste management industry) such as commercial effectiveness, continuous improvement and talent development. In parallel, it includes leveraging our established skills and knowledge both within and between the divisions, facilitated by our new organisational structure. Overall, our aim remains to create defensible competitive advantage through the combination of our deep ‘waste to product’ experience coupled with implementing world-class practices from other industries.
- Invest in infrastructure to deliver high quality earnings growth. We have continued to invest through this challenged economic cycle in order to deliver attractive returns and high quality earnings growth. Our focus on capital discipline means that we deploy capital where we are strategically advantaged or where we can secure long-term contracts. We are well-placed to grow in the UK PFI/PPP market with established contracts, together with over £300m of capital committed to projects in construction for completion in the coming two years.
- Actively manage the Group’s portfolio. We are actively managing our portfolio to improve the quality of our earnings and to increase the return on capital employed. We have sold underperforming assets that we do not believe will be able to generate attractive returns. In parallel, we seek to deploy our capital to deliver growth in areas where we are confident of sustainable advantage, attractive returns and higher growth. We are increasingly active in reviewing the market for appropriate acquisition opportunities given the financial pressures in some markets, such as the Benelux solid waste market in particular, and are making efforts to ensure we are well positioned to act.