zero waste

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After centuries of industrialization and technological advances, the challenges that the current economy is facing require a paradigm shift, able to combine progress with respect for the environment. Thus the new concept of sustainable development was born, based on a circular economy model through a more responsible management of waste, which allows us to advance towards the goal of zero waste.

What is the so-called Zero Waste?

Zero waste is a management system that happens to be one of the bases of the circular economy. This model imitates nature, using the resources available in the most efficient way, extending the useful life of products and reintegrating them into the system for reuse.

The Zero Waste movement represents an alternative model to the consumption society, able to combine efficiency and sustainability through the common commitment of all social agents. Its basic principles are explained through those known as the 5 Rs of zero waste:

  1. Refuse
  2. Reduce
  3. Reuse 
  4. Recycle
  5. Rot

Currently, these premises have been expanded by adding concepts such as redesigning products, using fewer raw materials for their production, and generating less waste or products that are easier to recycle.

Zero waste and the circular economy

circular economy scheme

Two key concepts of sustainable development

The circular economy is a transversal model that affects both individual consumers and companies, production agents, and public entities and institutions, key from the communication and awareness point of view. This philosophy is committed to a more responsible consumption pattern and a simpler lifestyle, acquiring only those things we really need and prioritizing objects that have several uses. In addition, the ecological footprint is considerably reduced. 

With regards to waste management, recycling is fundamental within a circular strategy, for which it is necessary to have an appropriate classification and processing system. Thanks to that, it is possible to transform rubbish into raw materials for the manufacture of new products, giving them a second life.

AENOR Zero Waste Certification

To promote an environmentally-friendly waste management, the AENOR Zero Waste certificate recognizes the effort of those organizations capable of recovering the waste they generate, preventing it ending up in a landfill. It is important to note that a zero waste production model doesn't imply the complete absence of waste, but “an organized management that allows its generation, preparing it to be reused and/ transforming the remains into raw materials, reintroducing it into the value chain,” according to AENOR.

AENOR zero waste label

How is the Zero Waste certification obtained?

Companies who wish to obtain this certificate can make their application online through the AENOR website. Then, they must pass a verification process, after which AENOR will deliver a report on the deviations, observations, and possible improvements to be applied. If this report is positive, the applicant organization will obtain the Zero Waste mark and the Verification Statement indicating the percentage of recovery of each waste fraction produced.

Repsol and waste management

Aware that conserving and looking after the environment is committing to the future, at Repsol we have set the goal of reducing our waste by three million tons annually, advancing towards zero waste. To this end, at the company we have integrated the principles of the circular economy into our production model, covering the entire value chain: from the production of energy and raw materials to the design and marketing of our products and services.

Thanks to ecodesign and the use of renewable sources and alternative raw materials of residual origin, it is possible to considerably extend the life cycle of products. On the other hand, the optimization of the use of resources and production processes allows us to encourage recycling, one of the big priorities of the circular economy. Furthermore, at Repsol we also support initiatives that encourage new responsible consumption patterns with the planet.

a countryside free of waste

Towards zero waste

We care for the design of our products to minimize their environmental impact

We optimize processes to use energy and raw materials in the most efficient way

We extend the useful life of our products, recycling and reusing whenever possible

We internally revalue the waste of third parties by converting it into raw materials, for a more sustainable manufacturing

a laboratory of biofuels

Zero emission biofuels

In line with our zero waste circular strategy, at Repsol we are committed to becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050. Together with different types of renewable energies, new renewable fuels also represent a fundamental tool to reach this target. Biofuels are considered zero emission fuels, as the carbon dioxide emissions generated during their production are balanced by that absorbed by the renewable energy sources used in the process. As a result, their net emissions are zero.

The incorporation of renewable fuels within our fuels allowed Repsol to reduce carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere by 2.8 million tons in 2019. Furthermore, this type of fuel may be used in any vehicle with traditional engines, which represents an interesting opportunity to reduce sector emissions such as heavy, maritime, or air transport. 

In short, science and technology put at the reach of companies and individuals an infinite number of resources to advance towards a zero waste circular economy, sharing responsibilities within a firm commitment to sustainable development.