|Since these articles were published, AEA Technology plc’s business, operating assets and employees were acquired on the 8 November 2012 by Ricardo plc and transferred to a new subsidiary, Ricardo-AEA Ltd. All employees were transferred to Ricardo-AEA Ltd as part of the acquisition and remain available for the execution of all projects via the new company, as are the entire capability and resources previously represented by AEA Technology plc. All individuals remained at previous locations with all offices being retained.
A report authored by AEA for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has helped build a greater understanding of how climate change could affect the UK waste sector and the potential for adaptation in the industry.
‘Increasing the climate resilience of waste infrastructure’ was written as part of a two-year cross-Government project set up by Defra to improve the long-term resilience of new and existing infrastructure in the energy, ICT, transport and water sectors.
With climate change in the UK predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, the report identifies the significant challenges this will pose for the country’s waste infrastructure.
“Extreme weather already has the potential to interrupt waste services,” said AEA consultant Sarah Winne. “For example, flooding is a particular concern as the damage caused to property leads to large quantities of waste which can be difficult to transfer due to flooded transport networks.”
While climate change is predicted to bring predominantly negative impacts and increasing costs to the waste sector, the report also highlights some potentially positive outcomes. Many of these are linked to the projected increase in winter temperatures and less snow as these factors can reduce the risk of disruption.
The study includes recommendations to help the UK waste industry build resilience to climate change, some of which could be implemented for little or no cost.
“The report highlights some really innovative solutions which are already being used in a number of waste infrastructure projects,” said Sarah. “Many of these solutions have additional benefits such as the potential to improve resource efficiency.”
The report can be accessed here.
For more information contact Sarah Winne.