Urbaser always takes criteria regarding sustainability, respect, and care for the environment into account when providing any of its services. Its constant innovation policy is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of all the activities it carries out.
An example of the sustainable services provided is the 100% electric Urbaelectric trash collection truck, the first in the world to free itself from combustion engines. This is a completely silent lorry that improves residents’ quality of life without affecting the collection service’s quality or load capacity. The urban services area is one of Urbaser’s most important.
In 2017, Urbaser was chosen as the successful bidder for the first European H2020 project, which is focused on transforming waste treatment plants into bio-refineries. The Group is building a pilot plant at its Research Centre meant to extract the so-called building blocks required by the chemical industry. These building blocks are extracted from products through anaerobic digestion and, thanks to its VALOREGA technology, Urbaser is a leader in this process. Waste treatment is a central theme of the Circular Economy.
Urbaser contributes to the European Union’s circular economy project that, among other things, seeks to increase the percentage of recovered and/or recycled waste, as well as reduce the volume of waste disposed of at dumping sites.
Waste treatment is a central theme of the Circular Economy. Urbaser has an innovation policy that lets it recover the vast majority of waste and minimise the environmental impact of rejected material, all of which in line with its zero waste goal. Waste is only eliminated when it is it not able to be reused, recycled, or recovered for energy purposes.
Renewable energy produced
Renewable steam exported
Lubricating oils used in vehicles and machinery are some of the world’s most common waste, and have the highest polluting potential. The Group works to develop treatments that reduce the impact of these used oils as much as possible through recovery, recycling, and regeneration processes. All phases of the management cycle are handled, from collection and transport to the development of processes of recovery, recycling, energy recovery, regeneration, and elimination of industrial waste.
In 2017, the Group managed 2.4 million tonnes of industrial waste at its 56 waste management centres. In addition, 68.4% of hazardous waste was recovered, and 78,700 Tm of fuel was reintroduced into the market.
Integral water management
Socamex is the division of the Group that is dedicated to integral water cycle management and manages the European “SMART-PLANT”project, which consists of scaling up techniques that have a small carbon footprint so they can be used to recover materials from existing water treatment plants.
Urbaser is committed to goal number 6, which the UN has set in order to obtain sustainable development. Urbaser stands out both for its integral water cycle management, as well as its actions in its various phases: designing, building, and operating potable water treatment plants, purifying wastewater, tertiary treatment for reuse, and desalination plants, providing a greater percentage of the population with access to water (a figure currently equal to 8 million people).
The Group has 176 water purification facilities and 16 drinking water plants. With this infrastructure, Urbaser managed 2,568 kilometers of sewage system and purified 79 million cubic metres of water in 2017.