This article is the key to saving money and making your business more efficient with waste management.
You will ask, “How? By cutting down on free coffee for the employees?”
No, not this time.
It is dedicated to the notion which you probably hear even more often than the complaints of your employees regarding the quality of this very coffee.
WASTE MANAGEMENT AS COMPANY GOAL
All the talks and fuss about waste management are much more than just hype of millennials. Of course, the main idea is preserving the environment for future generations to come. We all as human beings, carry an ethical responsibility to maintain the well-being of Mother Earth. And businesses, in particular, should be aware of the influence they have on the local environment.
The notorious examples of the oil companies and the Mexican Gulf, plastic soup in the World Ocean remind us that very often it is precisely the companies to blame for the climate crisis we are currently facing.
5 BENEFITS OF RESPONSIBLE WASTE MANAGEMENT
So, all the enterprises have to go green no matter what. Still, we are business professionals which in a way stands for “practical, thinking-about-profit fellows”. Therefore, we as a company are motivated to implement modifications towards waste disposal exactly and only when our cost-benefit analysis proves that it is the right thing to do.
Luckily, reducing waste give you much more than just clear conscience and extra points to karma. With well-thought-out waste management, your company will benefit from the following five benefits in the future:
1. GENERATING EXTRA REVENUE
In business, every cent counts, especially when talking about small enterprises. Instead of throwing away the outdated software, you can quickly sell it to the companies dealing with metal recycling. The same goes about used plastic bottles or paper waste which you can easily exchange for some small fee.
Sounds like a negligent gain but if to consider the number of people working at your firm and the total amount of potential waste they generate; this idea is worth considering.
2. SAVING THE EXISTING REVENUE
Did you know that sometimes 4-5 % of the business’s turnover is attributed to waste disposal? Quite a percentage. In fact, the less you have to throw away, the less you have to pay to waste disposal companies.
Also, providing that you start utilizing packaging and raw materials more efficiently (e.g. using glasses instead of plastic cups, storing documents in e-format instead of printing them out) you won’t have to buy as much. You can save the money for a new coffee machine though.
3. LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
Perhaps, I should have started with this. Actually, in many cases, businesses are obliged to dispose of waste in an environmentally friendly way. Why? Because if they don’t, there is a considerable risk of damages caused by their negligence, and as a result, of legal action being undertaken by dissatisfied customers or local government.
For example, the people living close to your restaurant probably won’t be happy to know that you pour out your cooking oils into the lake where their children swim. Or that you dump all the used packages right next to their house. There is an environmental duty of care that firms have to comply with.
4. EMPLOYEE HEALTH
The duty mentioned above of care is applied to firms also in regard to the working conditions they provide their workers with. Incorrect waste management may result in a failure to maintain the required level of hygiene. Not only is it detrimental for their health, moreover, but there is also a risk of your business processes getting stuck if half of your employees simultaneously call sick.
5. COMPANY REPUTATION
Although as described earlier, waste management is something more than this, but it is still a hype of millennials. With the ecological situation in the world dramatically deteriorating during the last century, people are getting more aware of the impact they make on their environment. Switching to bio-products, veganism, and sustainable materials is a global trend now.
If you position yourself as a sustainable business, there will be much more customers willing to buy your product and companies wishing to cooperate with you. When you are sustainable, it means that you care. It means that you are not afraid to take responsibility for your actions, that you are innovative and adaptive. And these are the qualities helping the enterprises of the 21st century to keep up and thrive.
HOW TO START WITH WASTE MANAGEMENT
It is necessary to develop a specific plan which will help you to create a strategy tailored specifically to your business. First and foremost, you should clarify for all materials, parts, products, and equipment to be disposed of.
For example, pharmaceutical waste may contain hazardous substances. Therefore, it is needed to carefully select the waste management service that will dispose of the trash in this way according to all the regulations.
Possible options include lab packing (collecting smaller containers of chemical waste in larger bins) and secure destruction (protection of sensitive information).
How is it done at Bayer?
According to Bayer’s corporate policies, all production sites have to prevent, recycle and reduce waste and to dispose of it safely and in line with acceptable environmental practices (Bayer, 2019). Their Sustainability Report for the year 2019 states that material-based recycling is essential in Crop Science’s active ingredient and intermediate product manufacture and is handled individually at each production site.
Solvents, catalysts and intermediates are processed and returned to the production process. The utilization of pharmaceutical products is subject to strict safety criteria, so no recycling is possible for the portfolios of the Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Health divisions. Material-based recycling takes place at the Pharmaceuticals site in Bergkamen, Germany, in the form of the recovery of solvents used in production.
As for construction waste, it is better to let the waste management company take over. The criteria for choosing include the ability to handle your concrete, building, roofing, tank removal and HVAC waste, along with any building debris. Since not all waste removal services can comply with those, it is also helpful to implement practical construction planning to prevent waste creation.
How is it done at Skanska?
Skanska focuses on reducing self-generated construction waste by more efficient planning, procurement, transport and storage. The keywords are reuse, recycling and recovery. The company has compiled a colour palette which rates the performance of projects across resource efficiency: energy, carbon, materials and water.
Skanska’s color palette
The Vanilla Zone is the starting point, where construction processes and/or building and infrastructure performance are compliant with laws, regulations, codes and standards. In the Green Zone, they are beyond compliance but do not have a near-zero environmental impact. In the Deep Green Zone, they have a near-zero effect on the environment, ensuring that the project is future-proof.
Turning to manufacturing waste, some of the services to consider include tank management, wastewater treatment, containerized waste collection and oil recovery and recycling. Sometimes it is advised to do facility shutdowns and industrial cleaning.
Apart from this, reusing the production waste for manufacturing products from another production line is a popular option for companies.
How is it done at Unilever?
Unilever is considered to be one of the most environmentally conscious corporations. They actively implement the concept of the circular economy to reuse all the materials used, especially in regards to food waste.
Examples include utilizing the leftover liquid from cans of chickpeas as a base for Fabanaise, the vegan mayonnaise by their Sir Kensington’s brand. Or putting the green tomatoes into ketchup production which resulted in the launch of Hellmann’s Red and Green Tomato Ketchup and prevention of 2.5 mln tomatoes being wasted each year because they are “not red enough for regular kinds of ketchup”.
In case you are dealing with oil waste, you need to bear in mind how environmentally friendly the waste disposal practices are. You might need field service, waste transportation and disposal with an option of wastewater treatment.
How is it done at Shell?
When oil and gas producers end their processes, all the facilities have to be dismantled or in other words “decommissioned”. That’s how the company ensures the sustainability of its mineral extraction procedures.
DIGITAL APPLICATIONS HELP YOUR WASTE MANAGEMENT
Apps like Lumiform can help you structure your waste management better. With the alert notification system, you can inform your employees timely on the respective tasks they need to do. The analytics feature will help you track which issues arise the most while they do it and what corrective measures have to be introduced.
Also, you get the freedom of creating the checklists suitable for your type of business precisely. If you are pressed for time, you can utilize the ready-made ones in the templates section.