Key Issues

IRM explained

Integrated Resource Management

We believe that if you're sincere about managing waste environmentally and financially, you have to use Integrated Resource Management or "IRM."

An IRM plan for the Township of Esquimalt included strategic options analysis supported by over 700 cash flows; and over 150 years' GHG emissions projections for each option.  With over 85% community and unanimous Council support, the plan set a path for Esquimalt to achieve 90% diversion and exceed Esquimalt's corporate GHG reduction commitments under the declared Climate Emergency, without increasing taxpayer costs and potentially being profitable, while generating clean energy.

IRM helps move towards zero waste because it plans for recycling, reuse and landfill diversion to be maximized.  IRM plans can include strategic options analysis to compare waste management options, allowing the best, transparent and defensible choices of systems, approach and technologies, accountable both financially and environmentally.  It's the best way to plan resilient waste management solutions.

By contrast, traditional waste planning is typically linear, selecting a specific solution for a defined purpose, but lacking a strategic options analysis to fully compare options' life cycle financial and environmental costs/benefits.  These are often single-purpose plans, and lack holistic assessment of the entire waste stream and options.  Linear plans are as a result, not truly defensible because wider and long term impacts are rarely priced, and may fail to properly integrate risk management and procurement options - a potentially critical omission.
Do plans and tipping fees include the full financial and environmental cost of landfill closure?
Does your analysis rely on DCFs?  Do you realize they could distort sustainable options massively?
Do you want to pay $21m and take on all the risk of waste management; or pay $0 with no risk?

These are actual examples from recent plans and illustrate the substantial difference that IRM makes.
For business this approach reduces cost and risk, maximizing profit and adding to the bottom line;
For communities, IRM creates a justifiable and resilient long term plan that's better for both the environment and taxpayers.

To understand more about IRM and see how it works, please contact Pivotal.  Some example plans are in our library.

IRM is as much a philosophy as a process, because in nature there is no waste, just resources.  Waste not, want not.

The original driver behind IRM was to be consistent with the UN's Brundtland Commission definition of sustainable development.  IRM was reviewed by Dr. Charles McNeill, Manager of the United Nations Development Programme's Environmental Program Team, who concluded:

"I conclude that this IRM plan is conceptually sound and on the right track, and if implemented it would likely provide a model of great value to countless municipalities throughout the world."

Gothenburg, Sweden implemented IRM.  See the short interview with Mr Kaj Anderson, Manager of Gothenburg's combined water and waste management division explaining how they did this.  Gothenburg subsequently implemented an Advanced Gasification system using a fluidized bed reactor.  For more detail see the summary, read more in the library or contact Pivotal.



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Pivotal IRM Inc., 2021