Investing in your company’s plastic footprint has become more than an ethical thing to do; it’s a prudent business decision.
We’ve seen this through the rise of regulatory ideas like Extended Producer Responsibility as well as the push by customers to limit their support to sustainability-minded companies. Furthermore, green, ethical, and socially responsible investing means that companies need to keep their environmental footprint in mind if they want to receive financial support. Now, the CDP has announced its plastic disclosure program, which will be launched in 2023. This means that your company’s plastic footprint is more essential now than ever before.
Let’s take a look at plastic footprint reporting and what your company can do to thrive in a world of environmental responsibility.
What is the CDP?
The CDP is a not-for-profit charitable organization that runs global environmental disclosure systems for both cities and companies. They have become the gold standard of environmental reporting; their grading system is heeded by investors, supply chains, and regulators all over the world. Following the Brundtland definition of sustainability, they seek to incentivize environmental leadership while encouraging economic growth.
Companies disclose their environmental information to the CDP for a number of reasons:
- They can track their progress toward environmental goals
- It helps them to uncover any risks and/or opportunities within the company.
- They can meet the demands of sustainability-minded investors and consumers.
- It allows them to protect and improve their reputation in regard to sustainability.
- It helps them to get ahead of environmental regulations.
Companies receive their rating by providing information to the CDP, which is then analyzed and scored based on independent methodology. A top score is internationally recognized and prized, incentivizing companies to work toward environmental goals that will ultimately benefit all. Their areas of focus include the climate, water, and forests. In 2023, they will begin the pilot program to track plastic pollution and its impacts, too.
What plastic pollution tracking means for your company
Transparency regarding environmental impacts has multiple benefits for your company. Sustainability-minded customers and investors look to these scores to determine the companies that they want to support. A high score will improve your company’s reputation surrounding sustainability.
According to the CDP, 81% of capital markets and supply chains said that the CDP’s score played into their financial decisions. Furthermore, over 680 investors with over US$130 trillion in assets already request thousands of companies to disclose their information to the CDP. It’s clear, then, that the CDP score matters.
Companies committed to their sustainability strategies will welcome the opportunity to track and measure their progress and ensure that their current practices are effective. They can then adjust their strategies to help reach certain targets, like those laid out by the sustainable development goals, to join the global push toward a healthier planet.
Companies that have not yet created sustainability goals should also take this news into consideration. Already, nearly 1,000 global investors request CDP disclosure before they make financial decisions, and a low score can impact your company’s value. Furthermore, the CDP score will allow companies to ascertain where they are in terms of sustainability so that they can anticipate how they might be affected by any upcoming environmental regulations.
How to get a high CDP plastic score
Because the plastic pilot program does not launch until 2023, we do not yet know the exact metrics behind their plastic score. However, we do know that it will follow current best practices and existing approaches to reducing plastic pollution, so it’s easy to determine what your company might need to do in order to achieve a high CDP score.
One of the frameworks that the CDP’s plastic disclosure system is based on is The Global Commitment by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UN Environment Programme. According to the commitment, companies should:
- Reduce plastic packaging
- Increase the use of recycled materials
- Increase the use of recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable plastics and other packaging
- Move toward a circular approach to plastic
- Minimize plastic use overall, especially virgin plastic
While companies that have already started implementing strategies and goals to reduce their plastic footprint will be excited at the prospect of tracking their progress through the CDP, companies that have not yet taken this step should start moving in this direction, especially if they have global ambitions.
How plastic credits can help your CDP score
Although eliminating plastic waste is the overall goal, it’s a process; no one is expected to stop their plastic use overnight. Even leaders in plastic pollution reduction have created targets that will be attained over the next decade or two, slowly reducing their plastic consumption and production over time. Although your company may be moving toward better practices surrounding plastic, there are likely ways that it cannot yet eliminate its plastic use. That’s where plastic credits come in.
Plastic credits allow companies to take responsibility for the plastic waste that it produces and consumes that it can’t yet eliminate from its processes. Whether it’s the plastic packaging used by supply chains, plastic used internally, or plastic products that do not yet have a viable substitute, there will be some forms of plastic waste accrued that cannot be removed at this time. In these cases, plastic credits can be used to address plastic pollution.
It works like this: companies purchase plastic credits equalling the amount of plastic that they want to take responsibility for, and the plastic credit agency uses the funding from the credits to remove plastic waste from the environment. Effective plastic credit systems will also take social responsibility into consideration, creating jobs for the local economy and supporting the members of the communities in which they work.
Companies who invest in such systems are not only able to take responsibility for the plastic waste that they cannot eliminate, but they are also able to help support people in vulnerable communities all across the world. And, now that the CDP includes plastic in its environmental disclosure systems, it can help businesses attain a higher CDP score and improve their
Invest in plastic credits with TONTOTON
TONTOTON offers a certified plastic credit system that supports vulnerable communities and eliminates low-value, post-consumer plastic in a zero-waste manner.
While non-recyclable waste was previously ignored and left to waste away in the environment, we fill in a gap by rescuing that plastic waste, addressing the selective waste issue which only removes valuable plastic from the environment. In this way, our methods are additional; without our solution, vast amounts of plastic waste would continue to be ignored.
Once the plastic is collected, it is brought to TONTOTON’s Material Recovery Facility for segregation into different sorting lines where HDPE, LDPE, PP, and PE that are in good condition are reformed into new products through heat-processing techniques. PET is directed to a bottle-to-bottle factory, and degraded plastic is sent for co-processing. In order to treat all types of plastic material, it is either upcycled, recycled, or utilized as an alternative energy source for a fully circular solution.
Beyond collecting plastic waste, we also work with community leaders and schools to provide education and encourage the local population to participate in waste management endeavors. In these areas, there are no formal waste management systems, so the responsibility falls to the private sector. Because of this, education surrounding plastic waste is of utmost importance.
In lieu of a formal waste management system, we also provide receptacles to households so that they can sort their plastic waste at home before it enters the environment.
Due to our efforts, we have already rescued almost 2,000 tons of plastic waste before it reached our oceans. Furthermore, hundreds of people have enjoyed additional income through our projects, and communities that were drowning in plastic waste are finally seeing cleaner streets and waterways after years of living among plastic pollution.
Partnering with companies like yours will help us rescue more plastic and support more communities. Ready to continue your plastic reduction journey by partnering with TONTOTON? Contact us today!