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Waste reduction

Mercuria is always looking for opportunities to lessen our impact on the environment. Minimizing creation of waste in the first place is crucial, but recycling is a key component of this effort when elimination is not always possible.

There are 3 main areas where we can focus our efforts to minimize waste:

  1. In our offices
  2. At our manufacturing assets
  3. Via our investment strategy

 

Within our offices our actions have naturally been looking to the practical steps we can take to avoid generation of waste in the first instance.  This includes actions such as the general elimination of single-use containers, or in instances where this isn’t practical ensuring that we have mechanisms to effectively collect and recycle containers.  A larger portion of our efforts can be seen through the ongoing transformation toward electronic forms of communications and continuing to move away from older practices involving physical hard-copy (paper copies) of documents.  Our efforts in this area are fairly well developed, and as an ongoing matter we are concurrently working to strengthen our business security by incorporating technologies such as block-chain.  In this way we look to not only reduce generation of office waste paper (including the related efforts spent in their physical transport and storage of paper documents) while and at the same time strengthening mechanisms to further guard against document tampering or fraud.

As a matter of regular practice, our assets continually review their operational practices searching for opportunities for improvements which naturally includes waste minimization.  In those instances where certain activities generate secondary materials which might otherwise be seen as waste, we look to utilize our market knowledge to find useful markets for these materials.  In this same context as our portfolio of assets continues to develop, some of the newer businesses have as part of their core focus the recovery and reuse of materials in support of circular supply chains.

Reducing impact from offices

Mercuria has a global office environment and sustainability policy that guides its offices around the world on how to minimize their impact on the environment wherever possible.

All new purchases and office improvements are conducted in line with this policy. This policy reflects and reinforces the management team’s commitment to reducing the company’s environmental impact. 

Mercuria is committed to maintaining the dramatic 80% reduction in the consumption of paper and single-use plastic that it recently achieved. All employees have been issued with personalized reusable water bottles, which continues to contribute to the reduction in single-use plastics. Additionally, the move to working with digital documents, without the need for printed versions, is going from strength to strength.

Mercuria has had a sophisticated recycling process in place in its offices for several years now. Some offices now offer single-stream waste recycling, which means all office waste is passed through a multi-stream handling system. These processes first cull out materials that are not well suited for recycling, such as food wastes and plastic bags, and then use various processes to sort and recover aluminium, steel, glass, plastic bottles, and paper/cardboard stocks.

Mercuria is also pleased to report that all of its offices are actively participating in its recycling program. All of its offices have segregated waste receptacles facilitating recycling of office paper, metal cans, and plastic bottles.

With these measures in place globally at Mercuria, the company is confident that it can continue to reduce its environmental impact on these fronts.

Recycling at our assets

Mercuria’s Biofuels Brunsbüttel facility continues to demonstrate the enormous benefit industrial recycling can offer. While the facility is capable of utilizing a wide range of feedstocks to produce bio-diesel, for a number of years the entire feedstock processed through this facility has been comprised entirely of used cooking oils (UCO).

The Brunsbüttel biofuels facility chemically converts this UCO material into a valuable energy commodity, demonstrating an environmentally smart technical solution that is also commercially attractive.

Investments in recycling

Mercuria, in line with our investment strategy, is focused on recycling investments, both in waste to energy technology as well as metal recycling, in particular so-called rare earth technology metals that are critical for the energy transition.

The reuse of materials that would have otherwise been sent to a landfill, contributes to Mercuria’s overarching objective of adding value to the supply chain and acting in a way that is environmentally responsible. Notable examples of this vision are the partnership formed with N+P Group B.V. in the first half of 2021 as well as the investment in US start-up Nth Cycle.

N+P is leading the way with innovations to substitute fossil fuels with non-recyclable paper and plastic waste fractions. The company uses both conventional and proprietary processes to produce fuel materials that can be used in place of some conventional fuels, in particular coal.

N+P Partner Profile

Nth Cycle uses a new electro-extraction technology to break down old cell phones, magnets, circuit boards, and electric vehicles into their component parts so the important technology metals can be recovered. This technology uses only electricity as an alternative to the current hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy technologies that use large, greenhouse gas-emitting furnaces or harsh chemicals. It transforms the outputs of electronics recycling, and waste from existing mines, into high-quality critical minerals ready for use again, thereby supporting battery manufacturers, critical metals recyclers, miners, refiners and electronics manufacturers. 

We are as excited for these innovative companies that we have partnered with and invested in s and is partnership as we are for many of our other efforts to support innovative efforts to develop commercially sensible approaches to global recycling and renewable energy challenges.

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