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We’ve all seen it, or heard of it – Blue Planet II.   If you’ve not seen it here’s a quick overview.  It makes for a shocking view and as Sir David Attenborough said himself, it’s now clear our actions are having a significant impact on our oceans.

Unless you’ve been on another planet (hopefully, one less populated than this one), you’ve seen the widespread outcry that something has to be done.

“It’s now clear our actions are having a significant impact on our oceans”. Sir David Attenborough

This is all well and good, we know we need to do something, we know our employees and stakeholders expect us to but how do we justify the monetary investment?

The solution/s are simple and, in most cases, inexpensive.  But let’s summarise 5 reasons why your business should recycle, and we’ll cover the simple and inexpensive solutions later.

#1 – Promotes Economic Growth

By simply following the Hierarchy of Waste, reducing and/or re-using materials within the workplace reduces expenditure allowing businesses to divert that budget to investment that fosters growth – employment, training etc.  Consider how much potential profit is thrown away each day via:

Food Waste –  Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.

Office Waste – According to a recent report, office waste costs UK business £15bn 

Naturally, there are many more areas of any business (production, warehouse, logistics etc) where waste is produced.

Another reason way recycling promotes economic growth is it creates jobs.  This may, may not, directly impact your business but will certainly impact the wider community and further afield.  One study, details of which were published this month, estimate that recycling of plastic (alone) can create six million additional jobs annually. 

#2 – Supports your Corporate Sustainability and/or Corporate Social Responsibility Goals

You don’t have to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, officially listed in a European Economic Area or admit to dealing on either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ to care about sustainability.  But you do need to care about sustainability if you want to keep ahead.  Stakeholders from all sides (employees, your local community, shareholders, contractors, the general public and all other forms of internal/external stakeholders) demand it.

Without the above stakeholders, you are putting yourself at risk of losing sales, losing credibility and potentially losing your business.

Recycling or caring about waste is central to many Corporate Sustainability goals from businesses great and small.

#3 – Brand Perception

We work with many business that are now on the ‘recycling bus’ simply because they want to be seen to be doing the right thing.  Regardless of whether the solution reduces costs or adheres to legislation, their brand (and how it is perceived) is their greatest asset and they will do almost anything to protect it.   

Let’s take a fast food chain.  Can you name those that appear to care?   I can, and I tend to find I frequent them much more than those I perceive not to care. 

#4 – Legislation 

In May 2018, the European Council adopted the waste package which sets out new rules for waste management and establishes legally binding targets for recycling.  These new targets for recycling are set out in The Waste Framework Directive (WFD), which has already been placed into National Law in Scotland.

But what about National Law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland post Brexit?  Government ministers, in March, confirmed that the ‘whole body’ of existing environmental laws derived from EU legislation will be safeguarded in UK law prior to Brexit.  

Member states will have to meet the following targets as they increase the reuse and recycling of municipal waste:  A more detailed review of recycling targets, by waste type, can be found in another recent blog of ours. Reasons for implementing recycling at work and on the go. 

By 2025

By 2030

By 2035

Municipal waste

55%

60%

65%

 

#5 – Waste Management

All waste has a value.  The better it’s quality, the more value it holds.  Encouraging correct waste segregation (recycling) at source therefore directly impacts the quality (value) of your waste.  This, is turn, directly impacts the bottom line of your business a.k.a financial profit.

By the way, there isn’t just one bottom line anymore, there are three (the triple bottom line).  Social, environmental (or ecological) and financial therefore binding waste management firmly with business success. 

So, what are the simple and, in most cases, inexpensive solutions for effective recycling at work (with the Triple Bottom Line) in mind?

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Here at Unisan UK we help businesses achieve environmental sustainability goals and make recycling easier.  Via innovation, we have developed a wide range of solutions.  Here are just two.

    1. Deposit Return:  CafeCrush™, an on-site reverse vending / deposit return solution for cups, cans and bottles.   Featured by HubbubUK in their recent #DriveDownLitter campaign.
    2. Recycling Hubs or Stations:   Off the shelf or bespoke recycling solutions to make recycling easier and more cost effective. Proven to reduce waste management costs, encourage positive recycling behaviours and drive positive brand perception.

Keen to learn more?