Our approach to managing waste is geared around the principle of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Responsible disposal.
Our present goal is to have zero waste to landfill by 2010 across the UK. This will be achieved by reducing waste at source, where this is not possible the priority is to find ways to reuse it or recycle.
As technology and facilities become available, we will explore the use of incineration with energy recovery and other compatible methods to avoid disposal to landfill.
This work is being undertaken by our cross departmental Waste steering group. We also have a specialist engineering waste champions group.
This approach is already working. In 2008 we saw a fall of some 10 per cent across Heathrow and Gatwick of waste to landfill compared to the previous year.
We are also winning awards - in November 2008 we proudly won the Pfm Award for Partners in Sustainability for our work with Amaryllis on the reuse and recycling of our office and lounge furniture.
Waste management continues to be a priority area for our environmental programme. The challenge is to manage a complex range of wastes generated by a variety of business activities.
We are taking steps to reduce the amount of paper we use:
We also recognise water as a valuable resource and we routinely monitor water consumption whenever possible. We managed to achieve a 9% reduction in our water consumption at our main London hubs of Heathrow and Gatwick, compared to the previous year.
Where possible we promote the reuse of products in their current form whether across BA or by third parties. This includes using the item again for the same function it was originally designed for or new-life reuse where it is used for a different function.
This conserves the inbuilt resources and energy and is typically the most environmentally efficient approach.
Examples of where we have re-used our waste includes;
Recycling opportunities come in many different guises. We have set ourselves a target of 50% recycled by 2010. Examples of what we have undertaken include:
Our drive to manage waste responsibly covers less obvious ways of recycling too:
From summer 2009 any waste from our Heathrow and Gatwick operations that can't be reused or recycled will be incinerated at Grundon's state of the art waste incinerator at Colnbrook near Heathrow.
We will capture the heat generated as electricity ensuring our waste brings a benefit rather than simply going to landfill.
Incinerating not only generates valuable electricity but it avoids the use of increasingly scarce landfill space and the production of landfill methane which is 20 times more globally warming than carbon dioxide.
We seek suitable alternatives to landfill around the other airports we serve and will continue to investigate new technologies and methods of managing waste as they are developed.