Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024

Cory reports strong financial performance and advances decarbonisation plans in 2023

  • 936,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill
  • 75,000 tonnes of recyclable waste sorted
  • 240,000 tonnes of carbon saved by diverting waste from landfill
  • Revenue increases by 9%

Cory has published its 2023 Annual Report and Sustainability Report, which outline the company’s strategy for future growth and achieving net zero by 2040 or sooner.

Operational highlights include diverting 936,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfill, sorting 75,000 tonnes of recyclable waste, and generating 476GWh of electricity – enough to power 176,000 homes. Revenue grew by 9% to £199.5 million.

The company made significant progress in its strategic growth plans in 2023. The two key elements of these plans are growing operations and increasing the amount of waste diverted from landfill, and investing in the technology to cut carbon emissions. Cory is delivering on this through the construction of Riverside 2, which will displace a further 650,000 tonnes of waste from landfill, and the development of a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project which will capture CO2 emissions from both its EfW facilities.

Central to both these key elements is the River Thames. Cory has been operating on the Thames for over 200 years, and plans to draw on this maritime heritage as the business grows and adapts to the pressing challenge of climate change.

This includes using the river as a way of transporting the CO2 captured by Cory’s planned CCS project. As the project is located on the banks of the River Thames, Cory plans to ship the captured CO2 to the Port of Immingham, which is owned and operated by Associated British Ports (ABP). From there it will be piped and permanently stored in the Viking depleted gas fields just off the Humber coast. In 2023, Cory signed an exclusive commercial agreement with the Viking CCS transportation and storage network to explore the potential of CO2 shipping further. 

The business has also continued to invest in its river operations; in January 2023 Cory placed an order for two new Damen Shoalbuster workboats and has continued to add new barges to its fleet. Not only will this give the capacity needed to divert further volumes of waste from landfill, it also marks a significant investment in the UK’s shipbuilding industry through Cory’s partnership with Harland & Wolff. In August 2023, the contract between Cory and Harland & Wolff resulted in the completion of the first barge at Harland & Wolff's yard in Methil, Fife, since 1856.

Dougie Sutherland, CEO of Cory, said: “It is a fact that not all waste can be recycled. As a waste management business we have a responsibility to process residual waste in a way which is environmentally responsible, and which extracts as much value as possible from the materials we receive. We are uniquely located on the River Thames, and have ambitious plans to maximise its potential as a means to deliver our decarbonisation plans.

“Getting to net zero will not be easy, and not possible unless ambition is translated into action. That is why Cory has a business strategy which is centred around sustainability and designed to deliver on our commitment to be net zero by 2040 – or even sooner. 2023 was a vital year for turning our vision into action, and I am proud that we are one of the leaders in the sector with plans that are well-advanced and deliverable.”

The 2023 Annual Report can be found here.

The 2023 Sustainability Report can be found here.