Envac and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to transform the world by 2030, calls for resilient infrastructure, inclusivity and sustainable industrialisation and innovation. Of its 17 primary goals the 11th goal – sustainable cities and communities - states that by 2030, cities must be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Achieving Goal 11

Envac has the capacity to transform cities and make waste collection an integral component in achieving Goal 11. By transporting municipal solid waste underground using air, cities can become:


  • Less vehicle movements made by waste collection vehicles means less risk to those who live and work in cities
  • Less vehicle movements creates less carbon emissions, making cities’ air cleaner
  • Less manual handling reduces the physical pressure placed on waste collection teams


  • Climate change continues to generate unusual weather patterns that have caused flooding, storms and hurricanes. With Envac, waste collection remains uninterrupted even in the harshest of conditions
  • When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in October 2013 the Envac system on Roosevelt Island remained operational, collecting waste through its 33 inlets, whilst conventional waste collection vehicles were being used to remove storm-related rubbish from the streets including furniture, abandoned cars and rubble


  • Envac contributes to the growth in social capital - the value of an area based on its low rate of crime, antisocial behaviour and violence. In helping to provide clean environments and by encouraging a ‘little and often’ approach to depositing waste – in tandem with storing and transporting waste underground – Envac can help provide a climate for harmonious living

A global crisis or global opportunity?

Meeting Goal 11 does not need to be left to the eleventh hour. Yet with growing pressure on cities time is running out.

According to the United Nations:

  • Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today.
  • By 2030, almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas
  • The world’s cities occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions
  • Rapid urbanisation is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment and public health.

(Source: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/)

An Envac city is a sustainable city

Attitudes to waste collection and recycling have changed over recent decades. The appetite for recycling has grown and recycling figures have increased.

However, in contemporary urban environments and densely populated cities, the process of waste collection is now as important as the output of waste collection.

Quite simply, we can no longer focus solely on the materials we avoid sending to landfill in order to become sustainable. In a modern world, sustainable waste collection must begin at the planning phase of any modern development.

Envac’s ability to reduce carbon emissions, create cleaner environments and provide continuity of service means that its inclusion in cities’ resilience strategies is inevitable.

More importantly, as we approach 2030, it is clear that Envac is a key contributor to the creation of sustainable communities and a viable route towards achieving one of the 17 goals that the United Nations has committed to reach.