Are our Social Choices with regards to Landfill/Greenhouse Gasses causing a detrimental effect on our Companys balance Sheet?
What is E.S.G:
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments.
A key strategy of sustainable and responsible investing is incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria into investment analysis and portfolio construction across a range of asset classes. … This also includes avoiding companies that do not meet certain ESG performance thresholds.
With the rise in concern for the welfare of the environment ESG has become a major talking point when assessing the true worth of a company.
Threat of climate change and the depletion of resources has grown, so investors may choose to factor sustainability issues into their investment choices. The issues often represent externalities, such as influences on the functioning and revenues of the company that are not exclusively affected by market mechanisms. As with all areas of ESG, the breadth of possible concerns is vast (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, waste management, water management, …) but some of the chief areas are listed below:
The body of research providing evidence of global trends in climate change has led investors—pension funds, holders of insurance reserves—to begin to screen investments in terms of their impact on the perceived factors of climate change. Fossil fuel reliant industries are less attractive. In the UK, investment policies were particularly affected by the conclusions of the Stern Review in 2006, a report commissioned by the British government to provide an economic analysis of the issues associated with climate change. Its conclusions pointed towards the necessity of including considerations of climate change and environmental issues in all financial calculations and that the benefits of early action on climate change would outweigh its costs.
What are Greenhouse Gases Etc..
By trapping heat from the sun, greenhouse gases have kept Earth’s climate habitable for humans and millions of other species. But those gases are now out of balance and threaten to change drastically which living things can survive on this planet—and where.
Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide—the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas—are at the highest levels ever recorded. Greenhouse gas levels are so high, primarily because humans have released them into the air by burning fossil fuels. The gases absorb solar energy and keep heat close to Earth’s surface, rather than letting it escape into space. That trapping of heat is known as the greenhouse effect.
Today, climate change is the term scientists use to describe the complex shifts, driven by greenhouse gas concentrations, that are now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only the rising average temperatures we refer to as global warming but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts.
What is a major contributor to Greenhouse Gases: Landfills.
The three main problems with landfill are toxins, leachate and greenhouse gases. Organic waste produces bacteria which break the rubbish down. The decaying rubbish produces weak acidic chemicals which combine with liquids in the waste to form leachate and landfill gas.
There are some secondary side effects as well: nauseous odors, unpleasant views, rat and seagull infestations, which create their own waste problems.
Many materials that end up as waste contain toxic substances. Electronic waste is an example. Waste such as televisions, computers and other electronic appliances contain a long list of hazardous substances, including mercury, arsenic, cadmium, PVC, solvents, acids and lead. Over time, these toxins leach into our soil and groundwater, and become environmental hazards for years.
Why is CC Matting Concerned about these issues:
CC Matting supply and install contamination control flooring which removes up to 99.9% of harmful particulate & contaminants from the feet or wheels of trolleys. But most importantly our product is 100% recyclable.
An alternative product to a CC Matting Polymer Mat system which is currently used on the market is called Tacky / Peel Off Mats. These Mats are not only less microbially effective and more expensive but most worrying of all they are disposed of to landfill.
In today’s climate conscious world this is unacceptable.
Table 1 below details a cost/Eco balance study comparing polymeric flooring and peel-off mats. Basis for comparison: US plant with installation of polymeric flooring replacing peel-off mats at 10 locations over two years
|Item||Polymeric flooring Ft2||Tacky Mat Ft2|
|• Material cost||$50,310||$251,550|
|• Maintenance cost||$15,090||$125,656|
|• Total cost||$65,390||$402,110|
|• Total materials||735||19,000|
|Energy used in manufacture (per kg):||MJ||MJ|
|• Total energy per kg||150||188|
|• Total energy/2 yrs||105,000||3,500,000|
|Greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions:||KG CO2||KG CO2|
|• Disposal (incineration)*||1120||55,000|
Table 1: Cost / Eco Balance Comparison
Cc Matting polymer mats avoid the waste of resources associated with the manufacture and disposal of adhesive peel-off mats, since on completion of their service life, the polymeric flooring products may be readily recycled into less critical uses.
While the balance of cost and environmental impact will clearly vary significantly between different industrial applications, broad conclusions can be drawn from the case study of a large US installation in which polymeric flooring at full-floor coverage replaced peel-off mats at 10 control points (Table 1). It is recognised that these data are from a single source, albeit a reputable one. Further research is necessary to confirm the validity of the information.
In summary it is demonstrated that in this large installation:
- Cost savings of as much as $300,000
can be achieved over a two-year period by the use of polymeric flooring over the full floor area in place of the ten peel-off mats;
- The installed area of the flooring is 35 times greater than that of the ten mats combined, representing a substantially larger barrier
- Over the period, the use of the recyclable flooring saves approximately 18 tonnes of raw material;
- Over the period some 3-4 million MJ of energy used in the manufacture of the peel-off mats is saved.
- Assuming that the peel-off mats are subsequently disposed of
by incineration, the emission of greenhouse gases (CO2) in manufacture and disposal is reduced by over 120 tonnes.
A further consideration, with an environmental impact, is the disposal
of the discarded peel-off mats if they are not incinerated. Most of these contain acrylic adhesives and polyethylene film. The cost of removal of the acrylic adhesives is substantial, and should be effected before disposal in landfill of the remainder of the used “peel-off” materials. Contamination peel-off mats from hospitals are required to be “de-contaminated” before being sent to landfill.
Currently there is a requirement for a four log10 reduction in microbial contamination before clinical waste can be consigned to landfill. This can lead to the risk of serious infection from waste thus disposed. Polymeric flooring, on the other hand, can be disinfected using antimicrobial disinfectants and therefore poses no health hazard to humans or the environment.
A series of tests and studies has demonstrated that polymeric contamination-control flooring is more effective than peel-off mats at preventing foot- and wheel-borne viable and non-viable particulate contamination from tracking into cleanrooms. In addition very substantial cost savings can be made by replacing peel-off mats with polymeric contamination-control flooring, even taking into account that the polymeric flooring covers a much larger area of the floor which in itself is an advantage.
In summation our world is a beautiful place but in order to maintain this we need to be more environmentally conscious. From a financial standpoint we need to be conscious off the effects of landfill and greenhouse gases which lead to a detrimental impact on any major corporations ESG rating.
CC matting have a microbially/environmentally & financially improved solution to help with your contamination control needs.
Get in touch with us to learn more!