Society needs to be more sustainable. Moving towards sustainability can be achieved by means such as energy efficiencies, lessening how often consumer items are replaced and reducing the amount of non-renewable resource used in products. However, consumption cannot practically be reduced to zero and a complementary approach is to seek renewable alternatives.
Waste is a renewable resource. Reducing the volumes of waste produced by society is desirable but some waste will always be produced. Using this waste as a resource by making more from it provides both renewable materials and energy. This is where Shanks contributes to environmental sustainability.
Providing renewable alternatives by making more from waste requires the development of different technologies and spreading the use of these. Shanks' strategy here is simple: Develop and provide more sustainable waste management capacity and increase the efficiency of our existing activities. This strategy provides the additional benefit of diverting waste from landfill and mass incineration disposal. Shanks' strategy provides renewable resources from waste and avoids the environmental detriment of disposal.
Being a sustainable business also provides us with commercial advantage. By providing what society wants we enhance our commercial success. We believe that more sustainable waste management technologies which make more from waste both satisfy society's sustainability needs and our own business requirements.
In the past year we have brought on line more than 300,000 tonnes of entirely new recycling and recovery capacity. We have also improved the efficiency of our current operations by adding to or modifying the plant. Both have increased our recycling and recovery rate and reduced disposal by landfill or mass incineration.
All our capital investment on wholly new facilities over the past year has been aimed at our recycling and recovery capacity. Examples are spread through this report, from our new recycling facility in Kettering in the UK to the work we do with our customers in the Netherlands.