How can your business save money and the environment through sustainability and waste recycling practice?
In such uncertain times, especially with the looming issue of Brexit, businesses are increasingly looking to make themselves leaner and streamline their business costs. At the same time the protection of the environment is becoming an increasingly large issue for businesses with new legislation and the spotlight on corporate responsibility.
Perhaps there is a way to cover both bases in one go?
An area where most will be able to make a change, but few seriously consider looking into, is via waste management and recycling. Through sustainability initiatives businesses often find that savings can be made through adopting proven practices. Being involved in business waste consultancy there are two key questions I am often asked:
- How can we improve our sustainability whilst educating our people and increase the bottom line?
- How do we create organisational value through good environmental performance?
The following four topics are a cornerstone for good sustainability and can contribute to an organisations growth through resource efficiencies, differentiation, competitive advantage, better planning and risk management:
Information obtained through a review of resources consumed
Measurement to quantify impact on the environment
Environmental Management System
Procedures, Documents and Policies
Evaluating the impact of a product or service throughout the lifecycle
Whilst we have built our business on the back of waste management and recycling we recognise that good sustainability starts well before this. In order for any organisation to improve it’s sustainability they should take note of the waste hierarchy. This looks at removing any unnecessary packaging, reducing the amount of material used that will end up as waste, re-evaluation of raw material and reuse of material where possible.
Although an element of waste is unavoidable, these four major principles can help organisations reduce it’s waste burden. After these steps the next options are limited but include recycling, which provides the best possible outcome. With our industry-leading recycling rates we are able to ensure the bulk of waste material is recycled, protecting the use of further valuable new resources being taken from the planet. The next steps are to recover energy from waste, anaerobic digestion or composting.
The last and final option is the dreaded landfill. Whilst the number of landfill sites are reducing in the UK, some do still exist.
For businesses the segregation of waste material onsite remains an overhead. The main way to tackle this is through education via the workshops we run for our customers. By increasing your staff’s awareness of the environmental cost and financial benefits to the business by undertaking proper recycling and segregation at source, we find that recycling figures do increase.
We support these workshops by offering site visits to our recycling centre at our head office in Wallsend. Visitors are able to see every aspect of the recycling process from segregation of the mixed waste materials via a combination of manual picking, magnets, eddy currents and size-sorting equipment. The facility has proved very popular and is used by local schools, residents and businesses. We work with a number of local authorities and councils on education programmes for residents with a view of reducing the contamination of the waste we collect, which in turn raises recycling rates.