Working for Tomorrow: Research and Development

As Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is in the business of creating a better future for people, industry and the planet. Reducing its own environmental footprint is an important part of this.
The mission

A complex waste profile

One of the world’s largest and most diverse scientific research organisations, CSIRO delivers real-world research to meet Australia’s current and future challenges and drive national innovation.

With more than 50 sites across the country – ranging from scientific and technical laboratories to corporate offices and remote field sites – CSIRO has a varied waste profile. Its 25 documented individual waste streams include chemical, quarantine, cytotoxic, medical and biological wastes, as well as general waste and paper and cardboard. SUEZ was appointed CSIRO’s national waste management partner through a rigorous tender process in March 2013, forming a partnership focused on meeting CSIRO’s key waste performance targets.

SUEZ helps CSIRO manage 25 waste streams across more than 50 diverse sites

Our answer

Clear objectives

CSIRO had clear objectives for the partnership, including better use of financial and other resources and improved measurability, reporting and governance. It also sought organisation-wide improvement and consistency in waste management and recycling, aiming for 50 per cent reduction in waste to landfill by weight by December 2015.

SUEZ transitioned CSIRO’s sites from 134 different waste services providers to one national contract, conducting comprehensive annual site assessments and developing close, multi-level working relationships with employees at each location. Ensuring each site had the most effective and efficient processes and equipment to meet its needs helped CSIRO to improve its diversion performance and embed a culture of recycling within the organisation.

The big picture

Prior to the national contract with SUEZ, CSIRO had no comprehensive picture of its waste profile and a lack of solid data to shape waste management decisions.

SUEZ’s dedicated account management team and comprehensive environmental and financial reporting systems gave CSIRO clear visibility, measuring waste and recycling according to cost, volume and weight at site, state/territory and national level.

With this data, the organisation is now able to forward-budget more effectively and efficiently and better meet its regulatory and governance responsibilities.
The results


With greater visibility and SUEZ’s processes and infrastructure in place, CSIRO met its targeted 50 per cent reduction in waste to landfill by weight – and an anticipated five-year cost saving of at least 22 per cent.

The partnership is now firmly focused on continuous improvement and striving for even greater diversion, helping reduce CSIRO’s environmental footprint as it works towards a brighter future for Australia.



reduction in waste to landfill (by weight), that SUEZ helped CSIRO to reach