LIPOR has a history of almost 40 years in waste management in Portugal, treating about 500 thousand tons of urban waste every year, produced by about 1 million inhabitants.
1. LIPOR makes a clear commitment to modernizing waste management concepts to minimize the deposition of waste in landfills. What are the results of this strategy?
The LIPOR’s corporate strategy is based on modern concepts of sustainability of the organization's business.
Thus, the technical model that we use to develop our core business, is based on the basic principle that “a waste is a resource”. Then our main objectives are to prevent the production of waste and minimize the deposition of recoverable waste in landfills.
To achieve these goals, we have relied on 3 modern factories and platforms to support industrial activity and strong public awareness campaigns for sustainable consumption and a way of life that protects theplanet from pollution by waste.
LIPOR, in the last 5 years, only deposited in landfill about 3% of the 500,000 tons of waste that are generated in the region.
2. There is a strong trend in the growth of the waste recovery market and the circular economy. Is the company prepared to respond to this growing demand?
As I mentioned before, the corporate strategy of the organization incorporates all aspects of a circular business model.
To take advantage of all the potential that this model provides us, it is essential for LIPOR to have a competent and active Innovation, Development and Research Unit. This is the fundamental pillar for our objective at this moment, which is to stop “managing waste, to be a producer of goods and a provider of services ”, that is, to be focused on the domain of “tradable goods” and to leave traditional models of low value.
3. LIPOR, in addition to waste management, also works to raise the population's and companies' awareness of the waste they generate. What challenges do you face in this area?
The challenges for LIPOR are excellent opportunities for continuous improvement of our business.
It is true that in some organizations (Companies / Public Services) and in many sections of the population, waste is waste, it is garbage, it is something that we must get rid of.
But this perspective results in a cost and never a profit for these organizations. That is why LIPOR today has 3 units prepared for technical and organizational support to third parties, a division with 12 senior technicians only for technical support to Municipalities, a unit with 5 elements that supports and designs projects tailored to Public Administration companies and services (SIAC - Customized Environmental Intervention Service) for correct waste management and an International Business Unit, focused on exporting all of our know-how to other countries.
All of this is complemented by the work that the Department of Education, Communication and Marketing develops, focusing on changing citizens' behaviors towards waste and building a new lifestyle that better preserves the future of our planet.
4. LIPOR is one of the main partners of Fibrenamics – University of Minho. What advantages do you find in this collaborative work?
LIPOR is very fond of working in networks, taking advantage of synergies with partners of excellence and hence identifying Fibrenamics to develop together projects that intends to materialize the change of the business model we want to have.
Enterviwed: Fernando Leite, Manager – LIPOR