Business in Brief – 12/10/21

SUEZ given green light to fill and restore 400,000m3 of landfill in Dorset

In a unanimous vote, the Strategic Planning Committee for Dorset Council has recommended that SUEZ UK be granted planning permission for an additional 10 years in which to fill Beacon Hill landfill and complete an extensive restoration project.

Beacon Hill restoration
A SUEZ worker completing restoration work on Beacon Hill landfill
Formerly known as the Beacon Hill Brickworks, SUEZ began landfill operations on the site in 1998, and has since filled and capped over 90 per cent of the site. In recent years, the amount of waste sent to landfill has reduced to the point where the site was temporarily closed in 2017, leaving one section of the landfill unfilled. The proposal will allow additional time to fill the available space and restore the land by 2029.

Over this period, SUEZ will not accept waste for the site, which will instead remain closed. Current planning permission allows for the delivery of 200,000m3 of waste each year, so, once reopened, the final space could be filled in as little as two years. Once the remaining space has been filled, the site will be restored to a mix of habitats, including grassland and lowland heathland. The latter is of particular importance in the UK, as it has declined by over 80 per cent over the last century and has been designated as a priority habitat by the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Restoration plans have been developed with special consultants and, according to SUEZ, have taken careful consideration of the surrounding area. SUEZ also states that it has worked closely with Dorset Council and Natural England officers to develop mitigation to ensure that the landfill does not have adverse effects on the neighbouring heathlands.

Tim Otley, Regional Director of Energy South for SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, said: “Although we remain focussed on moving waste up the hierarchy, there are still some end-of-life materials that are not suitable for recycling or recovery. Preserving this existing disposal capacity at  Beacon Hill will help avoid the need for new landfill space and, once the remaining space is full, will allow  us to create a sustainable final landform that complements the nearby Special Area of Conservation.”

Veolia announces that it has ‘completed financing’ for SUEZ merger

Veolia recently announced its share capital increase of €2.5 billion, which the company says ‘marks a critical milestone on the path to the combination of Veolia and SUEZ’.

The capital increase scheme was launched on 16 September, and, according to Veolia, saw a strong uptake, with a subscription rate of 175.4 per cent from its shareholders. The scheme is expected to close by January 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

The total demand, Veolia says, amounted to more than 193 million shares. The gross proceeds of the share capital increase amounted to €2,506,007,269.20, representing more than 110,000 new shares at a subscription price of €22.70.

Antoine Frérot, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veolia, said: “I am glad to announce the success of our €2.5 billion capital increase, which is part of the financing of the acquisition of SUEZ. Most of our shareholders have decided to increase their investment in Veolia, which is a testimony of their confidence in our growth prospects in very supportive environmental markets, as well as in our successful integration of SUEZ.

“I am very grateful to our shareholders and to all of our stakeholders for their faithfulness and their long-lasting support, especially since the beginning of this historical project, creating the world champion of ecological transformation.”

Recresco achieves ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 accreditation

UK glass recycling and reprocessing company Recresco recently achieved ISO 14001 and 45001 accreditation. The international standards, which relate to Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and Occupational Health and Safety, are part of a voluntary international standard aimed at improving workplace safety.

ISO 140001 provides a framework for establishing an effective EMS to measure and improve environmental impact, whilst ISO 45001 focuses on the prevention of occupational injury and protection of physical and mental health.

ISO certification represents a proactive and ongoing commitment to health and safety standards above and beyond legal requirements within an organisation. Certified businesses are subject to annual review audits, which test the ongoing effectiveness of the established Management System, ensuring the process remains compliant.

Head of Recresco HR Janice Kempin said, “Operating within a high-risk industry, it is extremely important we take measures to prioritise the health and safety of our people. This accreditation not only provides reassurance to our customers and staff, but also helps to instil a robust safety culture within the business.

“We are extremely proud of our dedicated team and have made a strong commitment to their health, safety, and welfare by gaining this accreditation and through a number of other initiatives, including improved facilities onsite and the provision of mental health first aid training. Achieving accreditation will help us to proactively identify and minimise environmental, physical, and mental health risks within the business.”

Recresco Director Tim Gent added “As a business, we firmly believe that our people are at the heart of our organisation. I am proud that Recresco has been awarded these accreditations which recognise our investment in the business and the hard work of our dedicated team of people.”