Shred Station supports the Sustainable Development Goals

Shred Station supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

At Shred Station, minimising our environmental impacts is a key pillar of our ethos. Since our formation in 2008, we’ve operated with the environment in mind. After reducing emissions in many ways and through offsetting, we finally achieved official CarbonNeutral® certification in January 2019. We’ve maintained that certification ever since. We also have a carbon reduction plan to achieve lifetime net-zero by 2030. But offsetting alone isn’t enough.

Carbon offsetting, while very important, should be used after other methods to reduce emissions have already been put in place. At Shred Station, we reduce emissions wherever possible and take considerable measures to develop sustainably in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

What are the SDGs?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 urgent calls for action, first adopted by the United Nations Member States in 2015. The United Nations website says that the goals “recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests”.

How is Shred Station working to support these goals?

Image of thee SDG icons - Goal 8 Decent work and economic growth - Goal 12 Responsible consumption and production - Goal 15 Life on land.

As a waste management provider, the main SDG we work towards is Goal 12. However, we also focus on Goal 15 and Goal 8.

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Reduction.


As part of our sustainability strategy, we aim to reuse and reduce everything we can. This includes the materials we collect for shredding and our own waste.

In 2021, we shredded c.55,000 tonnes of paper, up 14.49% from the year before. We recycled 100% of this paper at UK mills, turning billions of old documents into tissues, feminine hygiene products, and much more. By doing this, last year we saved*:

  • 935,004 trees from deforestation
  • 384,999,996 gallons of water
  • 20,899,848 gallons of oil
  • 219,998,400 kWh energy
  • 165,000 cubic yards of landfill.

*Figures based on average savings from creating new paper products vs recycled.

This year, we furthered our sustainability efforts by implementing a closed-loop process for our confidential waste bins. When our bins are broken or damaged, we granulate them into plastic particles. These particles are used to make brand-new Shred Station bins – an industry first! Our cabinets are also sustainable as they are made from sustainable wood.


We reduce our emissions in many ways.

Firstly, nothing we shred ever goes to landfill. For example, when we shred hard drives, we send all metals to metal refineries. With blended textiles, we can usually send those to rag recycling. The list goes on. We have many connections in the UK waste industry, so if we can’t recycle unusual materials, we will almost always be able to find a company that can. Where recycling isn’t possible, we use Energy from Waste. We use Energy from Waste rather than landfill as landfill produces both CO2 and methane gases, whereas Energy from Waste only produces CO2. Both gases contribute to global warming but methane is around 25x more damaging than CO2.

Secondly, we use renewable power at our Norwich head office. In 2021, our solar panels generated 46,519 kWh of energy.

We’ve also worked hard to reduce our fleet emissions – our biggest emission source. All of our trucks now meet Euro 6 low emission standards. We’ve also been trialling electric trucks, including the DAF LF, the Volvo EFE rigid and soon will be trialling the Volta Truck demo model after lengthy production delays. As the EV market develops, we hope to find fully-electric HGVs that meet our needs regarding range and power. We’re also replacing our company cars with hybrid or fully-electric models, have car charging available at all of our sites and have begun replacing our forklifts with electric models. By replacing six of these forklifts already, we’re saving a massive 1,200 litres of diesel per week.

Goal 15: Life on land.

To do our part to protect life on land, we have supported tree planting projects around the world on top of the carbon offsetting projects we support.

Firstly, we are the only shredding company to offer our customers the option to opt-in to a Shred a Tonne, Plant a Tree scheme. So far, we’ve planted 4,397 new trees as a result of this scheme. The majority of these trees are local to our head office site in Norfolk, England.

In 2021, our internal Charity Challenge team organised a 1,000-mile fitness challenge to raise money for Rainforest Trust UK. As well as covering 1,000 miles in a month, we raised enough to permanently protect 370 acres of tropical rainforest. We also donated to tree-planting projects in Malawi, Mexico, Ethiopia, Australia, Nepal, Ireland and Canada.

In 2022, the Charity Challenge team organised fundraising events with the aim of planting 10,000 new trees by the end of the year. The team organised a company bake-off, a bowling tournament, a 2,000-mile challenge, a raffle, a golf tournament, fancy dress days, and many more events. Our directors even risked a pie in the face to plant trees! By the end of 2022, the team had achieved their goal and planted 10,067 new trees in Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal and Nicaragua.

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth.

Shred Station is an independent business, employing 120+ people across the UK. We are the only major shredding supplier in the UK with a Gangmasters certification.

As key workers, we were fortunate enough to be largely unaffected by the pandemic. This meant we were in a position to help minimise the financial hit our customers were facing during this time, and for many months we offered free suspension of contracted services for customers that needed it.

We have also just closed on some land to build a brand new, bigger and better facility in Norfolk which will create many new jobs both in the construction phase and the recruitment phase when the build is finished.

As mentioned, for the emissions we can’t reduce, we offset by supporting sustainable projects around the world. Each of these projects works towards a minimum of three SDGs, and all work towards Goal 8.

The Carbon Offsetting Projects

2019 – Uganda Community Reforestation

In 2019, we supported the Uganda Community Reforestation Project.

The project allows farmers across four districts in Uganda to volunteer for a reforestation programme. Farmers receive money for trees successfully grown and also receive education around agroforestry, water stewardship, health/wellbeing, economic growth, food security and energy access. This project also aims to improve gender equality. Farming groups must use a rotating leadership structure to involve both men and women in the management of the projects.

This project worked towards 10 SDGs, including:

  • 1 – No Poverty
  • 2 – Zero Hunger
  • 3 – Good Health and Well-being
  • 4 – Quality Education
  • 5 – Gender Equality
  • 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10 – Reduced Inequalities
  • 13 – Climate Action
  • 15 – Life on Land.

2020 – West India Wind Power

In 2020, we supported the West India Wind Power Project, encouraging renewable power in one of the world’s largest polluting countries.

Located across Jaisalmer, Rajkot and Surendranagar, this project boasts 242 wind turbines with a combined capacity of over 190 MW.

This project works towards four SDGs, including:

  • 7 – Affordable and Green Energy
  • 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 13 – Climate Action.

2021 – West India Wind & Gobi Wind Power

For 2021’s offsets, we supported the West India Wind Power Project again, plus the Gobi Wind Power Project in China.

Located in the Gobi Desert, 200 turbines generate 800+ GWh of electricity each year.

Both projects work towards the same four SDGs as above.

2022 – Chinese Wind Portfolio

In 2022, we supported the Chinese Wind Portfolio. The specific site within the portfolio we’ll be supporting is the Fuxin Wind Farm.

The project works to three SDGs, including:

  • 7 – Affordable and Green Energy
  • 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 13 – Climate Action.

2023’s carbon offsetting project will soon be announced. If you want to know more about our sustainability efforts, please visit our Corporate Social Responsibility pages, or feel free to contact our team of shredding specialists.

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