Client Stories

Waste Experts

How Waste Experts created an ESG strategy worthy of their pioneer status

A unique action plan to help clean up a dirty industry

With a zero-landfill policy underway, Waste Experts are 100% committed to creating a seismic shift in their industry. Rather than simply seeking to rubber stamp existing practices, this innovative company is keen to embed change fundamentally, and be the beacon of light to influence and guide others in the industry.


  • B Corp
Waste Experts
Key Information

B Corp


50+ Employees


We don’t want to be a “me too” business, we want to differentiate ourselves.

Emma Butler
Head of Commercial at Waste Experts


An adaptive approach, appropriate for bespoke service providers

While there has been plenty of bad practice in waste management, this small but nationwide company is taking a stand to clean up a dirty industry. Knowing they would not be the first to become a B Corp, Waste Experts’ ambition is to be the best, the most committed, and to lead the way for the rest. Going over and above is in their DNA and taking care of their people is paramount, with extra annual assessments beyond the legal requirement part of their standard practice, and conducting regular swab, air and health checks to ensure their team aren’t at risk of contamination. Waste Experts go beyond what is expected, doing what they know to be right.

However, certification within any sector is no small task. The sector that collects, sorts, repurposes and recycles waste from business and governmental sites is viewed as environmentally controversial, with standards to meet and factors counting against it. These difficulties extend across the processing of waste within many sectors, from clinical, industrial and electrical, to emerging used materials such as e-cigarettes and solar panelling, with no precedents for disposal in place.

Internally, with a visionary Managing Director, Shaun Donaghey, committed to taking a systemic approach, and clear ethical standards already being lived within the business, buy-in was less of a hurdle than funding. As a relatively small company, though with nationwide reach and substantial partners, they were limited with resources. It was necessary to be nimble-minded and collaborative, adapting the standard approach to ESG to achieve specific ambitions and navigate this industry’s uncharted territory, without wasteful excess.


“We need a root & branch change in everything we do that goes beyond a customer-centric focus. We need a systemic approach, for every employee and every stakeholder, something they work on day in and day out.”

Shaun Donaghey
Managing Director at Waste Experts


Repurposing positive practices in a remodelled ESG strategy

The reality being that there is little precedent for waste management in the world of B Corp certification, it was important to take time to first understand Waste Experts’ business in depth and breadth. While becoming a B Corp was certainly desirable, Shaun was in agreement with Seismic that a solid and sympathetic Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy was the primary goal, to embed and achieve day-to-day, beyond a “simple scoring exercise”. 

With that aim of an effective action plan agreed upon, it was clear a uniquely adaptive approach would be required. Seismic champions using the B Impact Assessment (BIA) as a framework for ESG, being the gold standard for assessing a business as a whole and creating a practical and comprehensive strategy. Waste Experts’ existing positive practices ones that did not fit perfectly the BIA’s criteria and questioning, designed around other industries would need to still be captured and recognised.

Interpreting the operational, social and environmental impact to retrofit responses appropriately was only possible by having holistic knowledge of the company.

Working closely with Jane, Head of ESG & Sustainability at Waste Experts, Seismic analysts utilised their nuts-and-bolts understanding of the business to interpret the BIA’s questions and argue Waste Experts’ case. They also aided the identification of opportunities, which were assessed to decide what would be reasonably achievable, taking in team feedback to deliver an outcome based on Waste Experts’ level of ambition and resources. 

Seismic identified their eligibility for an IBM, or Impact Business Model, for resource conservation, in relation to the recycling and repurposing of the valuable materials they process and prevent going to landfill. This would raise Waste Experts’ potential score to over 100.9 points, well above B Lab’s required point threshold and Seismic’s usually-recommended target.


“We can’t afford not to do this. It’s how we attract and retain the best people.”

Jane Richardson
Head of ESG & Sustainability at Waste Experts


A constant cycle of innovation and improvement

Waste Experts has the vision to be a leader in their industry and promote sustainability, despite the sector’s poor reputation within the field. Seismic sees huge potential for impact in this, with the business uniquely placed to be both enabler and valuable player in the chain for many other organisations. By elevating their practices, a whole range of wider stakeholders, across multiple sectors, will be impacted positively.  Seismic will continue to help keep the momentum going, and to keep them accountable, innovative and confident in creating change.

This desire to seek change in the industry is evidenced by Waste Experts trying to drive better legislation around lithium batteries a dangerous but valuable asset that is being thrown away. Constantly looking to improve their own industry and regulations for hazardous chemicals, they’ve also done further work around mercury, found in TVs and electrical goods. Waste Experts has made efforts to redress the Environment Agency’s acceptance of what can go into landfill, arguing that, from their perspective on the front line, 200 parts per million as the governmentally-accepted level is too high, and should be 50 or below. 

Waste Experts focuses on looking for innovation where others aren’t, and finding ways to highlight and influence what others don’t.

To continue to improve their well-established strength in taking care of their people, Waste Experts extended this to include their community, engaging in the On-Hand civic engagement app to track and measure volunteering hours among their workforce. They have also partnered with a local mental health charity, Andy’s Man Club, to provide a platform and opportunities for plant staff to engage in mental health discussions. While the workforce tends to be very male dominated in the plants, Waste Experts has achieved good gender diversity in their headquarters, including a 50% female Senior Management team. Jane, Head of ESG & Sustainability, was one of the only women in the business and has led on female representation, as well as championing education furtherment by undertaking a Masters degree in Sustainability.

“It was a case of pushing, stretching, challenging and also identifying what Waste Experts had already started to do naturally. When presented with their initial 90 point target, they saw it not as a full stop, but the motivation to keep them moving forward, living and breathing ESG as part of their business. ” 


Mike Wilson, Sustainability Consultant at Seismic


pivotal BIA points identified via ESG strategy


of senior leadership team is now female


tonnes of C02 saved each year


tonnes of waste diverted from landfill

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