The Impact of ESG on Waste-to-Energy: Part 2 of 4

February 28th, 2022

In our last post in this series, we began exploring the impact of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework on the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) industry.

Specifically, we defined what ESG is, broke down each of the three pillars of ESG, and how EnMass Energy can help support your ESG goals related to your WTE projects.

In Part 2 of this series, we will explore the connection between Waste-to-Energy initiatives and ESG. We’ll share how the benefits of WTE projects can align with ESG initiatives to create a more purpose-driven, productive approach to meeting ESG goals.

How Does Waste-to-Energy Support ESG Goals?

The growing WTE initiative aligns well with the current trend of supporting ESG goals.

Deriving energy from waste is primarily a net positive for the environment. With reuse, recycle, and resource recovery practices, we can create a circular economy that makes a sustainable energy source out of materials that would have otherwise contributed to the detriment of the environment.

But how exactly does WTE support ESG goals? Here’s a rundown of WTE’s critical potential in relation to ESG.

Improves Traditional Waste Management Practices

Current waste management practices for solid waste leave plenty to be desired.

Landfilling is simply not a sustainable solution to waste management. Meanwhile, current incineration practices are also wasteful since they create enormous amounts of energy that aren’t captured and eventually dissipate.

The central proposition of the waste-to-energy model is that it promotes energy recovery from the heat created during the incineration process and repurposes solid waste into sustainable energy.

Minimizes Landfill Reliance

Landfilling, along with all of its associated problems, should be the last resort for waste management. However, this practice is quickly becoming more prevalent because of explosive population growth and changing legislature over the last few decades.

One possible solution is the productive incineration process of WTE. Unlike typical incineration, where the benefits are diluted and difficult to perceive, WTE creates immediate and tangible incentives.

According to the Energy Information Administration, WTE power plants accounted for 12% of about 292 million tons of municipal solid waste produced by the United States last 2020, generating 13.5 billion kWh of clean energy.

Material Recovery

Lastly, one of the little-known benefits of WTE is its ability to recover valuable materials from incineration.

Solid waste is usually disposed of with bits and pieces of metals and other materials still attached to it. These materials burn away when processed in large quantities but leave the metals behind. 

These recovered materials can then be recycled and reused, extending their lifecycle.

How EnMass Energy Can Help You Connect ESG Goals to Your WTE Projects

Waste-to-Energy projects, and the sustainable energy industry as a whole, share many common threads with enterprise Environmental, Social, and Governance initiatives.

However, true ESG success lies in your ability to gather, track, and analyze data from your WTE projects in a way that validates progress toward meeting ESG goals such as carbon reduction and legislative compliance mandates. 

To do this, sustainable energy companies must embrace digital solutions that can help them identify and measure baseline metrics within their WTE procurement workflows and track progressive change.

Here at EnMass Energy, we’re in the business of helping WTE producers achieve their ESG goals faster by streamlining their WTE projects while also incorporating the measurement and tracking of ESG goals over time.

See our platform in action by scheduling a demo today!


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