Assessing factors that influence waste management financial sustainability
This article examines the financial sustainability of waste management activities to understand whether and how choices oriented toward environmental protection and contextual factors influence waste management companies’ revenues and costs, which, in turn, affect their financial sustainability and, thus, their ongoing viability.To achieve this purpose, a three-year empirical analysis on 880 Italian municipalities was conducted. Financial sustainability was evaluated with reference to waste management companies working in these territories, and a set of quantitative and qualitative data was considered to investigate possible influencing factors.
The results show that separate waste collection may positively influence companies’ financial performance, while municipalities’ territorial extension negatively impacts profitability. Lastly, there is no evidence of a relationship between companies’ financial sustainability and the potential presence of waste disposal plants or the geographical areas in which they operate. For the analyzed companies, thus, it seems that it would be more convenient to expand business by boosting separate waste collection activities than by enlarging the territories served.
These findings can support firms’ decisions regarding environmental and financial issues, both of which are crucial for long-term sustainability. It can also help policy makers detect appropriate tools to support companies in implementing European Union waste management targets
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