There is a general increase in environmental awareness and businesses are expected to play a part in the drive for reduced emissions. Environmental issues have moved to the top of the agenda since recent climate change demonstrations by people across the world as part of the “extinction rebellion”.
All businesses, regardless of their size, have a part to play when it comes to reducing emissions, recycling and reducing waste. Society is becoming increasingly focused on environmental issues and if businesses want to attract and retain the best talent, they need to move with the times and get involved.
Do a waste audit
Before you start creating plans to reduce waste, you need to get a sense of what’s in your firm’s waste stream. By conducting a simple audit of waste across your business, you can identify the main areas that need attention and create a strategy to start tackling the biggest issues. Some waste management companies offer a service where they will assess your firm’s waste output and create a report, which you can use as a starting point for your waste-reduction strategy.
We use Cheltenham-based Printwaste who offer a total waste management recycling service including confidential waste destruction, recycling, and general waste disposal including Waste-to-Energy. This is the energy recovery of waste that can’t be re-used, reduced or recycled. The process is a hygienic, cost effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly way of handling waste material which transforms waste into a renewable energy source, such as electricity.
Most businesses produce a lot of paper from their printers and often, this ends up being shredded. To reduce your paper-related waste, start by encouraging your team to read emails on screen rather than print them. Where documents do need to be printed, we have set our printer’s default settings to double-sided to eliminate as much waste as possible. We also use FSC approved recycled paper for our branded stationery.
Plastic or paper cups are another culprit in the office environment. We provide water fountains for staff and encourage use of refillable bottles or ceramic cups and glasses. For our meeting rooms we have refillable glass bottles. Rather than paper plates, we use ceramic plates and bowls. We also have food-waste bins in the kitchen areas for tea bags and fruit peels etc.
Introduce recycling bins to your office and make sure you label them clearly! We have taken this one step further and have taken away bins from each desk so staff have to use the designated recycling bins in the kitchen area.
Cut your electricity usage
Cutting your electricity usage not only reduces the firm’s electricity bills but has the added benefit of being good for the environment. Simple changes like switching to low voltage LED light bulbs throughout your office and using sensors and timers to switch lights off when they are not in use can all contribute significantly to reducing your firm’s carbon footprint.
We also provide a bank of rechargeable batteries to power our infra red mice!
Once you have created your waste reduction strategy, it’s important to invest time in sharing the strategy with your team in order to reduce waste company-wide.
Tim Watkins is Managing Partner and his specialism is agriculture so he looks after our farming clients – you can contact him on 01242 776000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat over a coffee.