Waste is directly linked to human development, both technologically and socially. Nevertheless, waste is a subjective concept, because items that some people discard may have value to others. It is widely recognised that waste materials are a valuable resource, whilst there is debate as to how this value is best realised.

Despite this potential value of waste, the large majority of waste generated globally continues to be disposed of without any pre-treatment by means of landfill. Not only is landfill waste an inefficient use of resources (the waste and the land), but it is also related with potentially harmful environmental aspects such as: Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, odours, bio aerosols and other emissions to soil and water (leaching pollutants) by point source and diffuse pollution.

Consequently, disposal of waste in landfill is becoming more tightly regulated and more costly in most locations where we operate. On the other hand, good waste management can reduce environment impacts and be more cost effective for businesses as it avoids landfill tax and waste disposal costs.


Proper waste management must abide with the following principles: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, and only then should waste be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. We follow these principles and are focused on seeking new ways to increase our recycling rates and reduce waste sent to landfill in order to achieve our goals.

This begins in the design phase where we incorporate waste collection and separation facilities into shopping centre designs as set out in our Safety, Health and Environment Development Standards.

During construction works we encourage contractors to operate Waste Management Plans. We are committed to gradually designing-out waste produced during construction (for example through off-site pre-fabrication). Where possible, we specify end of life recycling for building components, which is particularly relevant for our refurbishment activities. In addition, construction companies are required to report back to us the results of their waste management.

During the operations phase, the waste handled by Sonae Sierra is largely generated by tenants’ activities. Therefore, our waste management efforts are focused on waste segregation, management and disposal, as well as engagement with tenants. Beyond legal requirements, we aim to progressively improve each shopping centre’s waste recycling rate, and over the past years, we have successfully achieved significant reductions in the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Please click here to see more information on what Sonae Sierra is doing about Waste.


  • Increase the proportion of total waste (by weight) that is recycled, recovered or reused and obtain a minimum recycling rate of 65% across our Sonae Sierra owned shopping centres, by 2020.
  • Reduce the proportion of waste (by weight) that is sent to landfill below a maximum limit of 18% across Sonae Sierra owned shopping centres, by 2020.
  • Increase the proportion of total waste (by weight) that is recycled, recovered or reused and obtain a minimum recycling rate of 90% across our main corporate offices, by 2020.
  • Maintain a high level of performance in terms of waste recycling in construction projects and aim to increase the proportion of construction materials with recycled content.

To see our historical performance and further performance indicators related to Waste click here.

For examples of our Waste initiatives in action, see Case Studies.

Note: At the “Sustainability” all information is comprehensive and refer to the Sierra and its shopping centers in the various countries in which it operates, including Brazil.