Continuing with our series exploring the One Planet Living principles, the principle of “Zero Waste” takes the spotlight this month. This principle focuses on reducing consumption (thereby reducing waste), reusing and recycling to achieve zero waste to landfill. Businesses, suppliers and customers should be encouraged and supported to do the same.
To achieve zero waste to landfill, businesses need to understand and implement the waste hierarchy, illustrated below:
The waste hierarchy prioritizes reduced consumption, with waste being sent to landfill as an absolute last resort.
Global production is currently linear in design leading to wasted resources. What businesses do not realize is that there is value in waste and should be considered a resource within their operations, supporting the shift to a more circular economy. Businesses committed to One Planet Living ensure that products are not wasted and retained in circulation for as long as possible by investigating alternative business models such as sharing, rental, re-manufacturing, repair and take back. Collaboration with suppliers and customers is essential for this process to be a success.
If this isn’t attainable for your business yet, why not start your business’ zero waste journey by implementing a recycling programme. To do this, we suggest that you conduct a waste audit at your business. A waste audit is an analysis of your business’ waste stream – they identify what types of recyclable materials and waste your business generates as well as the volumes generated by each waste stream, the volume recovered for recycling, and the volume disposed to landfill. The data collected will allow your business to determine the feasibility of enhancing its recycling efforts and potential cost savings by identifying the various types of waste your business generates.
The benefits of conducting a waste audit includes:
- Increasing recycling in your business diverts materials from landfill, reducing pollution and carbon emissions.
- Your business may reduce the volume and/or frequency of solid waste transport and disposal, thus saving costs.
- Recognize the value in waste – your business will receive a healthy rebate on your recyclables, depending on waste type and volume.
- Diverting waste from landfill saves landfill space.
In this day and age, the goal towards zero waste should be a non-negotiable for all businesses. At Green Office we strive to assist companies on their journey in becoming more Efficient and Sustainable.
If you would like a waste audit conducted at your business, contact us to have our Sustainability Officer give you a call – we would be glad to assist.