How to Educate Your Staff on the Impact of Waste in Your Business

Waste doesn’t just have a huge impact on our environment; it can also negatively affect your business. If your organisation is producing too much waste, this will increase your business’s costs, and give the impression that you’re not concerned about issues such as sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint.

People (including your employees) are becoming increasingly passionate about protecting the environment, and many will take this into consideration when choosing a company to do business with. Additionally, as fit out and refurbishment specialist Morgan Lovell found from a OnePulse survey: “73% of UK office workers believe that a sustainable workplace aids productivity, with 72% saying that it was important to them to work in a sustainable environment.”

business owner in a chequed shirt opening a recycling waste bin as to put in some recycling

According to WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme), businesses currently generate a quarter of England’s waste. Waste disposal can be very expensive for businesses, with landfill tax and gate fees to consider.

In addition to the financial costs, there is also the negative effect on your brand image. Many people like to work with companies that make an effort to care for the environment, and if you are not taking steps to reduce waste, this could hurt your image.

The Environmental Impact of Large-Scale Waste Disposal

Besides the costs for businesses of disposing of large amounts of waste, there are also environmental costs to consider.

Most waste is sent to landfill sites to be buried, and here it generates harmful landfill gas, comprised mainly of methane, which adds to the greenhouse effect. Chemicals can also contaminate the soil, causing damage to plants and animals, and it can get into local lakes and rivers.

Incineration is another way of dealing with waste, but plastics produce dioxins when they burn, and it can cause air pollution.

There is also the effect on natural resources to consider when you produce too much waste.

If you throw things away rather than recycling, you are wasting raw materials, and more energy is required to manufacture new products.

Educate Your Staff to Help Lower Your Waste

Because of the amount of damage that excess waste can cause, both to the environment and to your bottom line, it makes sense to reduce your environmental impact. The best way to do this is to introduce policies in the workplace and educate your staff, and you can do this in a number of ways.

Ask them what they want to do. Many employees will probably want to work in a more eco-friendly environment and they will be happy to help. Do they want a recycling scheme in place? To reduce waste by investing in recycling compactors and cardboard balers? Get feedback on their ideas, hold meetings and ask them to get involved.

Put up posters and signs around the workplace. For example, you could put up a note next to the printer reminding them of the eco-costs of printing unnecessarily and encouraging them to only print when absolutely necessary. Or you could put up posters reminding staff of the need to turn off lights and computers when not in use.

Introduce new tools. Start using apps like Slack that make it easy to share documents electronically rather than printing off paper documents.

Make it easy for them to recycle. Introduce a recycling scheme for paper as well as other materials so you can start recycling more.

Create a compost heap. If you have some outside space, a small compost heap is an easy way to reduce your waste. Keep a compost bin in the staff kitchen for tea bags, fruit and other organic waste.

Reduce Waste and Boost Your Eco-Friendly Credentials

Too much waste is bad news for businesses. As you can see, there are some simple steps that you can take to do change things around and get your staff involved. So, start making positive changes, and you could easily end up boosting your brand image, saving energy and saving money.

To find out more about how phs Wastekit can reduce your business’s waste costs, contact us!

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