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Section 02

Waste and recycling and environmental impact

Rubicon’s commitment to environmental innovation

In December 2020, Rubicon signed The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism, committing to regular reporting and measuring of greenhouse gas emissions, carbon elimination, and neutralizing any remaining emissions to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.26 Since its creation in 2019, a growing number of major companies and organizations have signed on to join The Climate Pledge. These businesses are committed to improving our environment and will play a critical role in stimulating investment in the development of low-carbon products and services.27

The Climate Pledge Commitments

Regular Reporting

Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.

Carbon Elimination

Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through business change and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.

Credible Offsets

Take action to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Net zero

Our goal: achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

In order to be in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a 2030 goal, Rubicon must decrease its Scope 1, 2, and 3 (operations) emissions by 46.2 percent from a 2019 baseline by 2030.28 We are committed to achieving these cuts.

Rubicon’s business, by definition, is not carbon intensive since we do not own landfills or vehicles. However, it is important to Rubicon to measure our impact and to reduce our emissions where we can.

Rubicon conducted our first greenhouse gas emissions inventory in 2020, with 2019 as our baseline. We used the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol and operational approach to track our Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.29

In looking at the emissions impact of our business, there is a single category that is most critical—Scope 3 Category 1 emissions from transporting, processing, and disposing of our customers’ waste.30  These categories of emissions constitutes nearly all of our total emissions. We include these emissions in this category because our business is focused on working with our customers to evaluate their service needs, arrange for payment, hire haulers, and arrange for appropriate disposal of waste. By 2025, we are going to develop a credible plan to achieve net zero emissions including Scope 3 Category 1 emissions. This will require close partnership with our customers, many of whom have their own emissions reduction goals. In addition, we will continue to innovate and promote low- and no-emissions practices in the waste hauling industry.

Scope 3 Standard Reporting

Customers are also asking us to help them understand their environmental footprint in relation to their Scope 3 Category 5 emissions from waste generated in operations—often one of the most challenging hurdles to achieving net zero emissions and therefore an area where Rubicon can play an important role. The GHG Protocol provides an internationally accepted method for companies to account for emissions that occur from sources owned or controlled by other entities in a value chain, such as materials suppliers, third-party logistics providers, or waste management suppliers.31 The majority of total corporate emissions typically originates from Scope 3 sources, so it is crucial that companies are able to accurately report them. These also happen to be the most complex to accurately track and are scrutinized closely by stakeholders. We are therefore working to make sure that the data we collect is accurate, credible, and compatible with the reporting needs of our customers.

Our efforts to support our customers helps them meet stakeholder and regulatory requirements for waste reduction and better understand how their efforts translate into reducing carbon emissions.

GHG emissions inventory

GHG Protocol using operational control approach 32

Scope 33 2019 GHG Emissions (MTCO2e) 2020 ghg Emissions (mtco2e)
Scope 1 Natural Gas Usage734892
Scope 2 Electricity Usage (Location Based)464388
Scope 2 Electricity Usage (Market Based)532284
Scope 3 Purchased Goods and Services2,578
Scope 3 Purchased Goods and Services - Transportation, processing, and disposal of waste2,678,0382,336,776
Scope 3 Fuel and Energy Related Activities276301
Scope 3 Employee Commute755161
Scope 3 Employee Teleworking262
Scope 3 Business Travel1,355261
Scope 3 Waste Generated in Operations51
Total (Location-based) 2,681,627 2,339,042
Total (MARKET-based) 2,682,227 2,341,513