The generation of waste is one of the most complicated environmental challenges currently faced by society. As societies develop, the volume of waste generated on a global scale continues to increase. Neglecting or failing to manage waste properly causes a noticeable impact on collection mechanisms and may lead to the contamination of water systems, soil and air, contribute to climate change and affect ecosystems and human health. However, when waste is properly managed, it can be converted into resources that help preserve raw materials, ensure economic sustainability and have a positive effect on both natural resources and ecosystems.
Circular Economy model aims to invert the current waste management hierarchy by introducing measures to prepare for the re-use and the recycling of waste materials (reuse, recycling and energy recovery). The Zero Waste certification lies within the framework of the measures of the OECD, UNEP, G20, PEMAR, the European Union and Spain, with regard to the Circular Economy.
The AENOR Zero Waste certification recognises organisations that recover the various waste fractions they generate, within the defined scope, thereby avoiding the landfill as their ultimate destination.
This system does not imply generating zero waste, but rather the appropriate handling of waste in order to reduce the generation of waste, prepare it for reuse and/or transform it into raw materials to reintroduce it into the value chain.
Food waste is a global problem that, apart from generating environmental, social and economic problems, also raises ethical challenges, as 9% of the world's population suffers from hunger.
Given this situation, organisations and agents belonging to the agri-food chain need to highlight their food waste prevention and reduction programmes.
In response to this need, as part of the trust platform "Combating Food Waste", AENOR offers the new Certification of the AENOR Zero Food Waste Model, which will help organizations to:
This certification scheme is intended for any type of organisation that can guarantee the recovery (reuse, recycling and energy recovery) of the waste it generates, this way diverting all wastes from landfill disposal.
Once an organisation has passed the verification process, it will receive a confirmation statement detailing any non-conformities, observations and opportunities to improve the result of the process. Similarly, if the result is satisfactory, the client is awarded the Zero Waste mark, along with a Verification statement specifying the percentage of recovery of each waste fraction within the scope of the process.
Once the evaluation process has been successfully completed in accordance with the established requirements, the organisation obtains the AENOR Zero Food Waste mark, together with the verification statement specifying the percentage of product intended for each category of waste minimising measures.
One of the prime benefits of this certification system is the optimisation of waste management processes, which lowers the costs of waste processing and provides additional income from this processing. It also provides companies certified with the ISO 14001 added value thanks to their specific processing or disposal technologies in waste management.
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