With greater awareness of the environmental issues that we now face, waste management has become a key issue for all businesses across the globe.
That’s why increasing numbers of businesses are taking steps to reduce their waste and become greener, cleaner, and more energy efficient.
However, reducing waste isn’t only about becoming greener and reducing your impact on the planet (although this does play a bit part too). There are numerous additional ways in which it can have a positive effect on your business.
- You’ll save money by cutting costs and becoming more mindful of what you use
- You’ll notice other areas of inefficiency across your business
- You’ll streamline your business activities and potentially have more of an impact in your chosen market sector
- You’ll gain greater credibility and trust as a green business
- You’ll reduce your business’ greenhouse gas emissions
- You’ll conserve natural resources
Here’s some advice on how you can reduce your business’ waste, reduce your carbon emissions, and ease your impact on the environment.
Assess your business’ waste management
Although you could start by reducing your business’ waste on an ad hoc basis, it’s far more effective and efficient to first assess your waste. This allows you to better examine aspects of your business that you might not have previously considered and develop an effective framework and set of goals to reduce your waste.
A great resource that might help is the free, easy-to-use energy tracking tool Energy Star. The UK government is also currently developing tools that can help business track waste and reduce their ecological footprint.
Alternatively, you can create a spreadsheet to cover key data areas, including factors such as energy, water, resources, materials and time. Once you’ve done this and conducted a waste audit, you can develop a plan to reduce your waste and start putting it into action.
Waste reduction for UK businesses
Your waste management strategy will depend on the unique circumstances of your business including your market sector, your team, and so on.
Having said that, there are several steps that every business should take. These include the following.
1. Implement a recycling scheme
Every business should ensure that it has a rock-solid recycling scheme.
Recycling helps to keep materials out of landfill and incinerators, saves energy, uses fewer raw materials and helps to keep your business costs down.
Ensure you have recycling bins through the premises and display clear signs of what to put in each bin. Encourage your staff to use them regularly and ensure that they’re regularly emptied.
2. Get a cardboard baler
Many businesses deal with a significant amount of cardboard which can take up a great deal of space and feel overwhelming to keep under control. That’s why a cardboard baler can be a clever investment.
These machines help keep your waste cardboard manageable so that it can be sent to recycling with much less stress and hassle. There are also many compact models these days that can fit into even the smallest of workspaces.
3. Encourage staff to be more waste-conscious
Effective waste management isn’t only about what you and your staff do with your rubbish. An important step is reducing the resources your business uses in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Only print documents when absolutely essential
- If you must print, use both sides of the paper
- Reuse old printed materials as scrap paper
- Turn lights off when leaving a room
- Ditch the plastic disposable cups and bring real cups and mugs from home
- Use public transport when travelling to work. Consider bus, train, lift sharing or cycling instead
4. Work as a team
No waste management strategy will work if only the management understands its importance. Make sure everyone is on board and understands the reasons why your business is reducing waste by recycling, turning lights off and choosing eco-friendly alternatives.
Hold a meeting to share plans with team members and tell them that they can come to you if they have questions.
Consider gathering a team of eco-focused staff members who can help develop and implement waste reduction strategies in the future. It’s also worth offering incentives to encourage everyone to keep working hard to reduce waste.
When faced with the task of tackling your business waste problem, you might feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. However, by conducting a waste audit then putting basics like recycling and reducing consumption into action then considering a cardboard bailer, you can reduce your waste and help your business become more eco-friendly and energy efficient.