Making Your Business Waste Efficient
According to global statistics, our world is battling a waste problem; with plastic being the number 1 component contributing to the global pollution problem. Unfortunately, Australia is one of the most wasteful countries in the developed world with statistics such as 10 million plastic bags used every day, 85% of soft plastic and packaging plastic ending up in landfill, and 1 in every 5 food shopping bags being thrown away. 170,000 tonnes of food are sent to landfill each year by Australian supermarkets, and our country is the third largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China and the US. Addressing the issue is a must for each and every one of us, and transitioning your business to become waste efficient can immensely help. In this article we’ll provide ideas on how to make your business waste efficient and we will also highlight the benefits that a business can gain from going “green”.
How your business is affecting the natural environment
The more productive a company, the more waste it can produce, with plastic being the best example. It is undeniable that plastic has changed the world for the better and has enabled technological advances in almost every field, but it has also created a pollution problem on an unimaginable scale.
Reducing pollution may be the last thing you have in mind when running a business, but if you consider consequences on the long term, you will realise that the waste problem already has a negative effect on you as an individual and on your business as well, in numerous direct and indirect ways – and things are expected to get even worse. The good news is that the waste problem is solvable, and there are many things you can start to do right now.
Key approaches to reduce waste generated by your business:
Audit your facility
Before implementing solutions, you need to know what problems you are dealing with. Take a look around your facility, preferably accompanied by an expert, and look at aspects such as waste bin placement, opportunities to switch to recyclable products, labelling and accessibility of recycling containers, the frequency of recycling container pick-ups, etc.
Re-examine your business processes
Simple actions like reducing the number of layers in your product packaging or switching to an eco-friendly version can help you start to reduce the quantity of waste you generate today. The change needs to start at the product design level, so you implement environmentally-friendly solutions throughout your entire business process.
Eliminate materials that become waste
A business needs a large number of physical assets, from furniture to computers. What business owners don’t realise is that someday they will have to dispose of all the stuff in their office and the generated waste can be in significant amounts. Find ways to minimise materials and make your purchasing process more efficient to avoid excess.
Implementing the remote work solution is also one way to reduce materials that become waste because you no longer have to maintain an office for your employees or at least a part of them.
Prevent waste from reaching landfill
Analyse the exit routes of waste and identify the destination of the waste from your company’s operations. Instead of throwing food away, compost leftovers and distribute/sell the compost to local farmers, and send waster paper to a processing facility where it can be recycled.
Reduce supplies and consumables that generate waste
Eliminate bottled water in favour of filters and glasses. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water and there is a lot of petroleum being used to manufacture water bottles. Your company’s break room should undergo some changes and be supplied with glasses and reusable bottles.
Give waste food to animals
If you are in the dining or grocery store industry, or you produce a large amount of food waste, consider collaborating with a pig farm to send the leftovers to animals. There are farms that pick up food waste and heat it for safety purposes then feed it to pigs. It is cheaper than landfill-bound waste hauling and you can rest assured that you don’t waste food.
Nowadays, technology offers cheaper and better alternatives to using paper. Your business can go partially or completely paperless and enjoy benefits such as saving money on real estate required for storage and reducing printing needs by even 50%.
Get expert advice
There are multiple solutions to become waste efficient, more than you can think of. And the lack of knowledge about effective waste management may be the first thing that’s preventing you from doing it. There are companies that provide this service to entrepreneurs, through qualified and competent analysts that examine business processes and determine the type and amount of waste produced. The expert will also advise on the right disposal options and will help business managers to change their mindset to achieve a new way of acting towards waste. The idea is to prevent waste from reaching the environment and instead to transform it into valuable input for someone else’s process.
Benefits of implementing waste management solutions at your business:
Effective waste management can help you save money by reducing costs associated with purchases and packaging, by eliminating the cost of landfill-bound hauling, and by reducing the number of disposals you have to pay for every month.
Improving your reputation
Many customers prefer to buy from companies that have implemented corporate social responsibility programmers. An increasing number of consumers are concerned by the overall environmental footprint of businesses and want companies to care about the way their operations affect the community and the environment. Having a positive public image and positioning your business as a company that is looking to dispose of waste in an environmentally-friendly manner can attract more paying customers as well as investors/business partners – all these translate into higher profits and more business success.
Stimulating the economy
Purchasing re-used or recycled products and selling your waste to recycling companies represent a great way of stimulating markets in the recycling area.
Helping the environment
Everyone benefits from ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment, from you as an individual to every business in the world. The network of indirect positive effects on your business is very complex and intricate, and protecting nature can benefit you in the most unthinkable ways, starting with the satisfaction of running an ethical business.
Gaining a competitive advantage
As more and more consumers prefer to “buy green”, highlighting your environmental performance can attract more customers. You can emphasize your business’s responsibility when it comes to environmental causes by displaying a certificate or window sticker to inform customers you are taking action to reduce environmental impact, using social media to inform your audience on how you are reducing waste, and attending local community events to encourage publicity for your business.
Ensuring workplace safety
Occupational health and safety is extremely important in any workplace – storing rubbish in the right place prevents situations that can be harmful to employees and customers. Special procedures for waste disposal may be necessary if you work with sharp objects or dangerous chemicals.
Complying with legal requirements
According to the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, there are procedures for dealing with various types of waste in order to ensure groundwater and air quality. This information is available in the National Waste Policy which sets out the direction for Australia’s waste management and resource recovery.
Are you looking for ways to make your business waste efficient? Creative Quality Solutions can help. We are your trusted quality expert that will design for your business the systems and processes to ensure compliance with waste management regulations and even more! Contact us today at 1300 776 539 for a FREE Consultation!