SMART CITIES: Building a cleaner
world with green innovation

Today, around 55% of the world’s population, 4.2 billion inhabitants, live in cities and this figure is only expected to increase in the coming decades. At the same time, we know that cities are a key contributor to climate change and the most affected by it. Therefore, as the world continues to urbanise, the sustainable development of cities will be vital to ensure that the opportunities of urbanisation outweigh the costs.

Innovative waste management solutions create a more sustainable world, helping tackle some of the challenges we see from rapid urbanisation. However, waste management has long been a complex field, with an unclear division of responsibility. The outcome depends on users, producers, and districts to achieve reduced quantities of waste and meet the recycling objectives. That is where Envac steps in.

Envac’s innovative waste collection system makes urban environments cleaner, healthier, and safer. A market leader in sustainable waste handling, with their cutting-edge solution, brings many environmental benefits. By reducing the use of heavy transport compared to traditional waste management, they can ensure lower gas emissions, reduce the risk of potential accidents and reduce traffic flow issues, whilst ensuring the fewer employees required are less exposed to risks from waste or lifting – now that is a smarter city.

Read on to hear more about Envac’s mission and journey from Sweden to the international markets.

Exporting the Envac system
to the world

The waste handling company was established in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1961, part of the Stena Sphere. Envac has a strong market position in Scandinavia and had in recent years sought further growth from international markets resulting in the Envac system can be found on most continents over the globe. By gaining the first milestone client in the UK, the flagship project of Wembley Stadium, Envac, 2008, made the decision to expand overseas to the UK.

Envac quickly realised they could not maximise the UK market entry remotely from Gothenburg, Sweden. They, therefore, decided to establish a project team in the UK focusing on its core business, sales, and marketing whilst ensuring the compliance and regulatory requirements were handled by Goodwille.

“During our infancy, it was critical to control our overheads whilst we were building our sales pipeline and looking for the initial projects to implement. The Goodwille model was perfect for our expansion, putting the foundations in place to ensure we were ready to support our growth when projects commenced.” – Dave Buckley, Managing Director at Envac UK.

Envac’s innovative, sustainable waste handling solution now exists at hospitals in Singapore, airports in the United Arab Emirates, cities in Kenya and over 800 other cities or building spaces around the world.

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“During our infancy, it was critical to control our overheads whilst we were building our sales pipeline and looking for the initial projects to implement. The Goodwille model was perfect for our expansion, putting the foundations in place to ensure we were ready to support our growth when projects commenced.”

Dave Buckley, Managing Director at Envac UK

The challenge of selling:
changing people’s perspective

The old saying ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ can ring true when trying to change people’s perspectives on waste management. Whilst the current, traditional waste collection methods have many challenges as mentioned previously, many people still see it as the only viable solution. The Envac system is revolutionary, and they are driving change in an industry that has worked the same way for decades. For it to be successful, they need to influence key decision-makers & change their perception of how waste should be handled in next-generation Cities.

“Our strategy is to promote the clear benefits and return on investment from the Envac system compared to traditional processes”, says Dave Buckley. And whilst the initial investment can be more expensive than traditional methods, they believe the benefits are significant longer-term. The Envac system is growing in popularity, and when people commit, see, and use the system, they become an advocate for it – recommending it in future construction projects.

An Envac system can be responsible for handling the waste of millions of people when it is implemented. Dave Buckley means that for people to commit to the system, they need to have key personnel in the room – from architects to councils – in an environment that is focused solely on waste management. Doing this over Zoom during a global pandemic became significantly more complicated, and with most regions putting a hold on construction projects across the UK, the pandemic was detrimental to their growth.

Barking Riverside: Delivering 21st
Century Waste Management

Located along the banks of the River Thames, the 180 hectares, Barking Riverside Development in London is expected to become one of the largest automated waste collection systems in Europe, handling the waste of over 10.000 homes. The system will transform residents’ approach to waste, virtually eradicating the need for waste disposal vehicles on site.

“Barking riverside will see 460 waste inlets instead of the 19.000 traditional bins that would be required had the Envac solution not been selected – a reduction of almost 98 % in containers” – Dave Buckley.

The system will automatically collect both residual and mixed recycling via the automated system, which involves fans at the collection station turning to create a negative airflow at specific collection times, effectively ‘absorbing’ the waste through a system of underground pipes. Each collection cycle will take minutes, which contrasts the lengthy and environmentally toxic process of using collection vehicles and will reduce carbon emissions by at least 90 %. Another driver to adopt the underground system for Barking Riverside was aesthetic.

What’s next
for Envac?

There is no doubt 2020 was a troublesome year for everyone as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As mentioned previously, the Covid-19 outbreak became detrimental to Envac’s growth as most regions put a hold on construction projects in the United Kingdom. However, considering Envac is around 18 months behind their initial project plan due to the national lockdowns, Dave Buckley sees opportunities in 2021.

The world’s population and cities keep growing; therefore, safeguarding sustainable urban development are more critical than ever. Although we still have a long way to go, Dave Buckley thinks there has been a shift in people and governments mindsets about the importance of green solutions. It has been realised that words are no longer enough, but concrete action is needed to build a greener and carbon-neutral future. And in this shift, Envac will be in an excellent position to show others the way by continuing to create smarter cities, improve the quality of life today, and help secure a greener planet for future generations.

You can keep track of the latest news of Envac here.

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