Assessment of the waste management reporting in the electricity sector
Rodrigo Maia a,* , Marianna Ottoni a , Joelma Barros b , Marco Aurelio dos Santos a
a Energy Planning Program (PPE/COPPE), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Av. Athos da Silveira Ramos, 149, Block C-213 - Rio de Janeiro, - 21941-909, Brazil
b Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (PEMM/COPPE), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Av. Horacio Macedo, 2030 - Block F, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 21941-598, Brazil
Keywords: Waste management Electricity sector Global reporting initiative (GRI) Sustainability reports Circular economy (CE) Urban mining
The urban advances of the last decades have enabled the expansion of the electric sector globally, hence increasing the waste generated by such activities. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards have been adopted worldwide by the electricity sector and corroborate for sustainable planning of these companies. However, a gap in studies that specifically address the waste management strategies in such sustainability reports for this sector can be highlighted. Therefore, the present study aimed at identifying and analyzing quantities, typologies, and disposal options for waste generated in the electricity sector through declared information of a sample of companies worldwide in GRI reports from 2017 to 2019, besides discussing the results under the sustainability and circularity approaches. The adopted methodology considered the selection of the electricity sector's companies in the GRI database and the evaluation, according to sustainability criteria, of the collected data related to waste management. The results pointed to 26 holding companies, 15 of them reported waste management, but, in general, nonstandard. During the analyzed period, approximately 51.2 Mt of waste were declared, 99.2% of which refer to non-hazardous waste, and a fraction of 55% of the total generated waste sent to landfills, even though a large part of it was recyclable. Nonetheless, the sample pointed to a 17% reduction in the total waste generation and a decrease of 56% on landfilling in the two-year analysis, which might constitute a trend in internal policies for increasing the sustainability and circularity levels in the electricity sector concerning waste management. This study innovated by highlighting the current practices on waste management and its evolution towards more sustainable patterns in the electricity sector, which are, to the best of our knowledge, still incipient themes discussed by the recent literature.
To read the full article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clrc.2021.100031