Background and challenge

A leading UK-based resource and waste management company was facing a number of market headwinds. They engaged L.E.K. Consulting to undertake an extensive review of current and future market dynamics for each of their major business activities (e.g. collections, recycling, landfill, energy from waste) to help inform long-term strategic planning.

Approach and recommendations

The project addressed a number of macro issues including underlying trends for waste volumes and waste mix, the impact of current and future regulation on the waste management sector and individual business activities, and opportunities created by both technological innovation and structural shifts in the value chain. The work also considered a number of corporate strategy questions including these: Did the company’s portfolio need to change either in terms of size or individual assets? What future capabilities would they need to be successful, and would their operating model need to change?

Recommendations focused on specific growth initiatives and broader strategic development opportunities for sustainability and growth of the business over the short and medium term, including:

  • Introduction of a structured programme to assess and monitor asset performance on a site-by-site basis against a clear performance framework 
  • Development of full business plans to support recommended investments in new/upgraded facilities that participate in segments with attractive market potential in the medium term and beyond
  • Progression of capability development plans, particularly focused on technical capabilities required to support participation in those attractive market segments (e.g. glass)
  • Broader review of group operating model and organisational design, to ensure appropriate accountability and control for key business activities, as well as a robust approach for overall performance and risk management by the senior team


Our analysis helped the company view their business challenges in the context of wider industry trends and apply that perspective to several strategic decisions. For example, our findings provided greater clarity regarding the structure of the company’s existing portfolio and how it could be improved. The company was also better able to understand how market dynamics and trends were likely to affect each of their business areas. We also brought a fresh perspective, introducing new analytical tools to assess the company’s business performance and providing broader insight into how it might adapt to the evolving market landscape through strategic M&A, customer segmentation and asset rationalisation.

Leading Australian Waste Management Company Gets a Profitable Green Strategy
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