Reducing waste in your small business is not just good for the environment, it’s also good for cutting down costs.When it comes to running a business, there’s no escaping the huge amounts of waste that comes with it. Whether you are involved in the manufacturing of physical products or providing services from an office, trash and trade go hand in hand. Zero Waste is a goal we should all be striving for.
Reducing waste not only saves money on costly waste hauling, but also demonstrates industry leadership and contributes to corporate social responsibility by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the global hazards to human health caused by our waste streams.
Waste reduction has many tangible benefits for businesses that go beyond simply listing figures on your sustainability report. These include cleaner working environments, reduced overheads relating to collection and disposal, improved brand image in the eyes of today’s eco conscious consumer and employee, and even the creation of jobs.
Where are some ways you can adopt in order to reduce the amount of waste your business makes;
First and foremost audit your facility, Take a look around your facility and evaluate the supply chain of items that become waste. What consumables do you stock? Can you switch to recyclable products? When all those things are taken into consideration, then the various steps to achieving a zero waste business environment can be rolled out.
Paper has been one of the major headaches to a lot of businesses all around. Another way is to go paperless. Technology offers cheaper and better alternatives to using paper. Emails should be encouraged, both internally or externally,so as to reduce the amount of paper used in the office.Emails do not belong in a physical file cabinet, they belong in the cloud, so while vying for the option of emails, we should remember not to print them out.
If paper must be used default to double- sided printing. While at it, go ahead and set the ink default to Black/White and whatever eco-efficient option your printer has.Ink is expensive, particularly color ink, and ink cartridges can be difficult to recycle. All in all, the less paper you use the better, and the same rule applies to ink.
Plastic bottles take up unnecessary space in waste and recycling bins, resulting in more frequent pick-ups. Most employees drink water at work and if every employee drinks more than 1 bottle of water a day, you’re looking at a lot of plastic waste. Consider putting a water filter on your sink faucet or getting a water cooler instead.
If you’re not already recycling, it’s time to start. Recycling is another major factor in achieving a zero waste environment. Make sure Recycle bins are prominent and next to trash cans; Make sure you know WHAT can be recycled.
For all this to be achievable it is important to ensure employees are following your waste reduction policies. A basic training on the why/how/where will help employees and help your company. Recycle bins are just trash bins if no one knows to use them.