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 contribute to the conservation of raw materials, ensure economic sustainability and have a positive effect on both natural resources and ecosystems.
The CIRCULAR ECONOMY model aims to invert the current waste management pyramid by maximising actions to prevent and recover waste (reuse, recycling or energy recovery). The Zero Waste certification is in keeping with the activities of the OECD, UNEP, G20, PEMAR, 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 orderly handling of waste so as to reduce its generation, prepare it for reuse and/or transform the waste into raw materials and reintroduce it into the value chain.
This certification scheme is intended for any type of organisation that is able to guarantee that it will use (reuse, recycle or energy recovery) the waste it generates in order to prevent it from being sent to landfill.
Once an organisation is certified, it receives a verification report that details any deviations, 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 Declaration of Verification that indicates the recovery percent for each waste fraction included in the scope.
One of the prime benefits of this certification system is the optimisation of the waste management processes, which lowers the costs of handling waste and provides additional income for the processing of these materials. Furthermore, for companies certified under ISO
14001 it provides added value as regards specific actions to manage waste.
The first AENOR Zero Waste certificates have been awarded to companies in the Retail and Agri-food sector and in the automotive industry.