Category 18 April 2019

Petra Waste Benchmarking –how much waste does my organisation produce?

The Petra Waste Management Benchmarking is a free service run by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY). It provides support to business and public organisations by means of the Petra online tool, allowing them to track and compare their waste management performance. Comparison with other similar organisations lets them know whether they are producing more than average amounts of waste and allows them to find ways of reducing it. The Petra service also includes a waste-related CO2-emissions calculator.

The challenge

Companies are often not aware if and how their waste production has changed over time. They also have no means to compare themselves with other similar companies and their waste production.

The measure

The Petra Waste Benchmarking tool was first established in 1999 in the Helsinki metropolitan area and in Kirkkonummi by HSY. In 2012 it was expanded to also cover the Lathi and Turku regions, managed by Päijät-Häme Waste Management Ltd (PHJ) and Turun Seudun Jätehuolto Oy (TSJ), respectively. Today around 500 organisations from the public and private sector use the service.

Its main element is a web application designed to follow up and estimate the produced amount of waste in companies and public organisations. The Petra Waste Benchmarking compares the waste amounts of private companies or public organisations with other organisations in the same line of business and in similar kind of premises.

The use of the Petra Waste Benchmarking encourages public authorities, industry and SMEs to reduce waste and put in place better recycling practices. The tool allows companies and organisations to follow up both their total amount of waste and its utilisation rate in relation to the number of personnel, turnover or production volume.

Since 2007, the Petra Waste Benchmarking also assesses the CO2-equivalent emissions caused by companies’ and public institutions’ waste. It furthermore gives an indication of the costs of waste management.

Every other year, a successful Petra Waste Benchmarking participant is awarded from HSY. The winner has the right to use the Petra Award symbol.

The Petra tool has been receiving grant funding from various European sources, among them the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the LIFE+ programme

Lessons learnt (Barriers, Success factors)

Petra is providing incentives to reduce waste as this activity is strongly connected with financial savings that occur as a consequence for the institution. The comparison with other organisations in the same line of business helps to determine if an organisation’s own operations are producing too much waste. This, together with the Petra Award, is raising awareness among the businesses and public agencies and can trigger waste reduction.

Further deployment

Petra Waste Benchmarking is a well-established tool in Finland; the concept can easily be deployed to other regions. It is estimated to be 9 on the GML scale.


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