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Environment Waste management

Waste Management

We work to improve waste management throughout the entire product life cycle and to minimize our impact on the environment.
A new production and consumption model based on a circular economy which converts waste into new resources is gradually replacing the traditional linear economy based on extracting, manufacturing, and eliminating. The current scenario demands that we cut the link between economic growth and the use of natural resources and at Repsol, we promote projects that focus on making waste play a greater role in the production process.
The waste we generate may come from production activities, maintenance operations, special operations, or could be a result of soil remediation, drilling operations, or from building and dismantling facilities. We classify this waste as either hazardous or non-hazardous depending on certain criteria such as toxicity and flammability, and we take measures to internally manage that waste, focusing on every phase of our work. Our main priority is to minimize waste generation and reduce waste disposal at dumping sites by reusing and recycling, in line with the hierarchy established in the best practices for waste.

Our commitment is demonstrated by our objective to reduce waste by 50 kilotons for the 2015-2020 period. In addition to this quantitative objective, we have defined qualitative actions to improve our waste management, reflected in the implementation of Environmental Performance Practices (EPP), Company guidelines that lay down a set of common standards, regardless of the geographical region we are operating in and the specific laws of each country. 

To reach our goals, we implement actions to reduce both hazardous and non-hazardous waste across all Company areas, and we have improved how we manage it. For example, at Refining and Chemicals, we have made tank bottom cleaning more efficient and we have increased the drying of waste thanks to improvements in the use of centrifuges. In Exploration and Production, we have come up with ways of reducing the amount of waste transported to dumps by either recovering it ourselves, or through third parties. In the Lubricants area, we participate in the Ecoembes Integrated Management System (SIG in Spanish), aimed at selective collection and retrieval of packaging waste for subsequent treatment, recycling, and recovery. 

The European Commission’s Circular Economy Package is an opportunity for us, not only to improve our waste management, but also to create new business models which bring about greater diversification and generate new recurring revenue. With this in mind, we have established several lines of work:
  • Improve waste management by transforming internal waste into raw materials and/or secondary products for our own processes or to be used by third parties.
  • Encourage recycling and reusing through projects, for example by recycling lubricant containers or recovering oil from the pyrolysis of plastics that cannot be mechanically recycled. 
  • Use new technologies to develop new materials that help to reduce the use of resources and waste generation. 
  • Use renewable and bio raw materials. 
  • Analyze opportunities, challenges, and new business models, as well as the potential treatment of external waste. 
  • Ecodesign new products to enhance their environmental performance.

A fundamental factor in achieving all of this is to collaborate with partners in search of initiatives and projects that are related to the circular economy, resulting in shared benefits.