Circularity is a logical solution in a resource constrained world. Creating a more circular office can bring a wide range of financial, environmental and social benefits to your organisation. Without a good office recycling program in place, your firm could be throwing away thousands of dollars every year. So, how will your organisation benefit from creating a circular office, and is it worth it? If you want to pitch your boss on the importance of starting an office recycling program, (or improving your existing ‘binfastructure’) here are 6 compelling points to put forward on how your company can benefit….
1. Cost savings
Not only saving money, but companies can actually profit from sustainability, according to this research. With constantly evolving government legislations, you are likely to save money by recycling, or be heavily taxed for sending ‘general waste’ to landfill and incineration. General waste collections can cost twice as much as recycling collections and is looking to rise, so by increasing your recycling rates, you can significantly reduce your waste collection costs. A circular office offers the opportunity to turn what would be waste into income streams.
As we have already mentioned, recycling in the workplace can increase profitability. Businesses that find alternative uses for their waste have a greater increase in profits, by saving waste collection fees. Recyclable waste is actually a commodity and has value. Typically, organizations will pay a waste collection company to collect all the waste on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly schedule depending on how much waste is generated. However, waste collection companies for example Biffa, Veolia or Suez will offer rebates or reduced hauling fees for recyclable materials. The value of the rebate will be on a case by case basis, and may vary by region, market rates, and on the contamination levels. Contamination is when waste is placed in the incorrect waste stream, for example unrecyclable materials being placed in the mixed recycling stream. If contamination rates exceed the waste company’s limit, then the whole load will be rendered ‘unrecyclable’ and go to landfill waste or incineration and you’ll be charged for the collection.
If your organisation generates a large volume of a particular recyclable waste, for example cardboard, or even pallet wrap, you could invest in machinery like a baler or compactor. You could then sell those materials directly to a recycling processors and make money.
Traditionally, organisations have a small waste bin beside each desk. By implementing an internal recycling station that collects all streams in an area that’s easy for people to access, you reduce the number of bins that your facilities team need to empty, saving you labour costs. By reducing the number of bins needed, it reduces the number of liners used which further decreases your costs. Also, when people sort their own waste it makes them accountable for the waste they generate and helps reduce contamination levels.
Investing in good quality recycling bins with engaging, clear signage is a wise investment your organisation will not regret, as it will help your organisation move ahead in many ways, including cost savings. Choosing a recycling station with engaging signage has been shown to increase your recycling rates and reduce contamination – which will further save you money. Click here to see some inspiration on stylish, modern recycling solutions we have provided to clients like Microsoft, Adobe, Adidas, HSBC and more.
2. Environmental value
Optimising the use of materials by keeping them in closed loops greatly reduces environmental impacts associated with resource extraction, manufacturing and waste generation. Better circularity will also significantly reduce your CO2 emissions. The more your company can recycle, the more waste you are diverting from landfill or incineration. This means you are not only contributing to reducing the harmful greenhouse gases these landfill sites emit, but you’re also reducing the need for extracting and processing raw materials for new goods to be made, which is an extremely high-energy process. Find out more on why landfills are bad for the environment here.
3. Reduce plastic and carbon footprint
If you purchase your new recycling stations from Unisan, like the Aspire recycling station, or the Multi-bin recycling station, they will include a unique continuous bin liner system called Longopac. Longopac continuous liners will reduce your plastic usage by 70%. This is because with Longopac, every bag is 100% full, so only the exact amount of liner needed is used. Also, because the waste is compacted, there is less wasted space due to liners being full of air, meaning a further reduction in plastic. The way the liner material is constructed means they use 55% less plastic than standard bin liners, but are 4x stronger. Being 4 x stronger means they won’t split or tear, meaning no need for double bagging.
If that isn’t cool enough, Longopac will also Reduce labour costs by 38%, Reduce plastic usage by 70%, Reduce collection costs by 35%, and Increase recycling rates by 58%. Find out more by downloading the brochure here, or visiting the Longopac website page here.
4. Improve your company culture and boost employee engagement
Introducing circularity into offices requires bringing together a range of stakeholders – from senior management and employees to clients and visitors, and can even extend to suppliers. This engagement creates a sense of a common purpose, engenders a sense of pride and can help build relationships. It’s been proven many times that a good corporate responsibility scheme can actually boost employee
engagement. Studies have shown that by empowering your employees to be able to make a positive impact on the environment, you can not only improve your organisation’s sustainability, but
also have more engaged employees and a better company culture.
Having an effective recycling program has even been said to attracts higher quality recruits and improve employee retention. With so much press and awareness campaigns on sustainability and circular economy, employees are now more motivated to work for a company that recycles responsibly.
5. Demonstrating that you are a responsible business
Studies show that sustainable brands are important to consumers: 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. Sustainability is also very important to the predominantly young, socially-conscious consumer looking for products that align with their values. Demonstrating you are a sustainable business by having a successful recycling programme, meaning you are more circular, provides huge benefits to your brand. It also helps you achieve your CSR (corporate sustainability responsibility) goals.
In today’s world, the pressure is on large corporations to improve their environmental footprint. Not only the general public but your customers, stakeholders & staff are demanding more action to support the environment, reduce your carbon footprint, and contribute towards a circular economy in order to protect our one planet. Implementing an effective recycling system can be a great way to show that your company cares about sustainability and the environment. Contributing to the circular economy by recycling shows that a company assumes responsibility for the resources it uses and demonstrates
leadership and forward-thinking
A key driver behind moving towards a circular office is to reduce organisational dependence on non-renewable natural resources. Organisations whose operations are not jeopardised by the volatility in price and availability of resources will be more resilient and fare better longer term. In other words, you are more prepared for what may come in the future, like sustainable changes to government legislation, and you are also helping to preserve the worlds resources and be mindful of the oncoming generations.
A circular economy is a welcome, essential, sustainable alternative to a traditional linear economy, where resources have a long life value within the economy system, by being designed for longer lifetimes, repair, recovery, reuse and recycling. Until now, our global economy has largely depended on a linear ‘take-make-use-dispose’ system in which valuable natural resources are extracted, turned into products and then discarded at the end of their service life. As the limitations and damaging consequences of this system become glaringly apparent, so too does the urgent need to rethink it. The economy of the future must meet the needs of a growing population within the confines of diminishing critical resources.
For more useful information, to help convince your manager to start a recycling programme, download our recycling guide here.
Already have a recycling programme in place, but not successful? Do these images look familiar? These examples are messy and confusing, leading people to throw waste in the wrong hole. We would love to help you increase your recycling rates, with our tried and proven solutions. Need more help to convince your manager to start a recycling programme or revamp your existing recycling programme…? Contact us today!
We provide ‘bins that don’t look like bins’! To further convince your manager, you can vouch for the fact that we can design a tailored recycling station for your office that perfectly suits your interior design… looking like a stunning piece of furniture instead of an ugly bin, which will further encourage your team to buy into the programme.
Click here to see our inspiration gallery to see how we have helped other clients increase their recycling rates
Click here for all your questions answered on recycling stations