The numbers make it clear- moving to renewable energy in our Circular Centers is critical in reducing Sims Lifecycle Services’ (SLS) emissions.
Electricity is one of the largest sources of SLS’ carbon emissions, so moving to renewable energy contracts is a critical part of our carbon reduction plan. In 2021, we used about 6,500 MWh of electricity globally, roughly the equivalent to 2,660 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2e). As of July 2022, five of our Circular Centers are operating with 100% certified renewable energy. These include those in Ireland, Germany and three United Kingdom. With these contracts in place we can expect to avoid 234 tonnes of CO2e annually.
We have a way to go to achieve our goals of establishing 100% renewable electricity and achieving carbon neutrality at all SLS owned Circular Centers by 2025, and we are proud of our progress. The latest addition to our geographic footprint is in the United States. There, our seven Circular Centers account for more than two-thirds of electricity consumption. We are actively working to convert these centers to renewable contracts, matching our electricity usage to renewable sources using power purchase agreements and utility green power products.
One challenge we face is that at many Circular Centers SLS cannot choose our own electricity suppliers. This is either because landlords are responsible for electricity agreements, or, in the US, buildings are in locally regulated markets. Here, our size and parent company give us an advantage. Where we are in proximity to other Sims Limited sites, including Sims Metal in the US, we are assessing the options for leveraging our combined electricity usage to find optimal solutions.
The equipment used inside of our Circular Centers also contributes to SLS’ emissions. Our energy use fluctuates according to our business activities. Assets being reused need to be powered up to complete digital data destruction and asset diagnostics. When more assets are powered up, our energy consumption increases. During recycling, different shredders and downstream separation processes use varying amounts of power.
Because we’re processing larger volumes each year and growing our global footprint we expect that our electricity use will grow over time, but using renewable electricity means that even though consumption might grow, our Scope 2 emissions will not.. SLS’ industry leading asset repurposing services also provide us with a unique advantage. Reusing assets requires around two-thirds less electricity than manual recycling. This is another great reason for clients to choose to extend an asset’s lifecycle and reuse instead of recycling.
To learn more about the role renewable energy plays in SLS’ carbon reduction goals, read SLS Carbon Reduction Goals Overview.