Waste management

Circle garden

Following circular economy principles

This new production and consumption model encourages the use of waste as new resources, which promotes sustainable development over time as opposed to the linear economy's traditional models based on the processes of extraction, manufacture, and disposal.

We apply the circular economy principles throughout the entire life cycle of our operations and in all the countries where we operate. We currently have more than 270 circular projects.

Our management tools 

At Repsol, we actively manage waste according to the waste hierarchy principles: we give priority to prevention, followed by minimisation, we prioritise reuse and recycling and, where this is not possible, we try to recover or send it for disposal as the last possible option. 

  1. PREVENT: we design our processes and products to minimise the impacts derived from our activity.
  2. REDUCE: we optimise our operations to be more efficient and minimise waste generation.
  3. REUSE: we extend the useful life of our products by repairing and reusing them whenever possible.
  4. RECYCLE: we prioritise the recycling of our waste, as opposed to more traditional waste management alternatives.
  5. RECOVER: we prioritise the recovery of our waste as a preferable option to landfill.
  6. DISPOSAL: as a last resort when it comes to managing our waste, we take it to landfill in safe conditions.

In addition, we regularly draw up a detailed waste inventory which, together with the associated indicators, helps us to measure our performance, analyse areas for improvement, and propose specific actions focused on complying with the waste hierarchy and minimising the impact of waste on the environment. We also share experiences and lessons learned among our industrial sites to ensure that best available management practices are always used.

Industrial Facility

Waste recovery at our Puertollano Complex

The project consists in the recovery of waste from the floor of the vinyl acetate distillation column from which we recover isododecane and vinyl acetate, which are then put through a purification process and reincorporated into the EVA/LDPE plant as raw materials. The regenerated isododecane makes up approximately 50% of the complex's total consumption and the recovered vinyl acetate 0.3%.

This project, which has just completed the certification process, boosts the circular economy and reduces the consumption of virgin raw materials and our carbon footprint.

Plastic in a machine

Zero Pellets Project

Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is an international program aimed at preventing the loss of plastic pellets, flakes, and dust from ending up in the environment. OCS was initiated by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) more than 25 years ago and now has hundreds of partners around the world. 

In this context, companies belonging to the plastics value chain (manufacturers, processors, logistics operators, distributors, waste managers, etc.) join forces by committing themselves to the implementation of cleaning and containment practices in order to achieve the goal of zero pellet loss.

As part of the program since 2015, we have developed specific measures based on six pillars: improve worksite set-up to prevent and address spills, create internal procedures, provide employee training and accountability, auditing, legal compliance, and awareness raising with partners.

Woman working in a refinery

Repsol Polidux (Huesca, Spain)

The Repsol Polidux facility launched a project to carry out an inventory and classification of idle assets at its facilities with the aim of reusing, as much as possible, and prioritising the recycling and recovery of those things that could not be reused. In total, around 60 tons of assets and equipment were managed, allowing their reuse and avoiding their disposal in landfills.

This initiative has prevented the emission of more than 220 tons of CO2, and it has reduced the energy demand and the water footprint associated with the management of these assets in case they had to be declared as waste.