Procurement 20 October 2017

Five green business tips to reduce waste and encourage recycling

recycling bin
A workplace recycling bin is a simple but effective way to reduce waste

To help you introduce small yet significant changes that could see your business increase its green credentials, marketing head at green waste management firm Countrystyle Recycling, Sonya Cragg, offers readers her five green business tips.

Green business credentials that extend beyond fulfilling obligations to government-imposed schemes are a hot topic in the press for a multitude of good reasons.

There are many advantages small business owners can take from operating in a more environmentally-conscious way. Here are five small green business tips that your small firm can adopt to begin enjoying these benefits.

(1) Go paperless

Reducing the use of paper in the workplace is a good place to start. Ability to do this depends very much on the type of business being operated, but many paper documents can be substituted with digital counterparts, from sending correspondences by email to using payroll software to eliminate physical pay slips.

Many office documents can be produced and exchanged via online platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox, which have the added benefit of being easier to keep updated. Look at how your workplace uses paper, and see where you can minimise it.

(2) Go virtual

It may not be an arrangement suitable to every kind of workplace, but one of the best green business tips, and a significant way of reducing waste and minimising outgoing costs, is to go virtual.

If staff can work from home or remotely, work can be assigned and collected online, as a result, a considerable reduction in expenses can be achieved, such as rent on the premises, heating and lighting, and the amount of energy utilised.

(3) Rethink your supply chain

Do you make a point of regularly examining your supply chain for weaknesses and seeing if it can be strengthened? It is worth going back to every now and then (particularly if you weren’t too selective when you put it together) and consider the support it provides to the business.

Have you been overlooking opportunities to source supplies more locally, and reduce the associated transportation fees? Is there anything on your supply chain that could be swapped for a more environmentally-friendly substitute?

(4) Recycling bin

A recycling bin is a simple but effective way to reduce waste in the workplace, and one that is often overlooked. Astounding amounts of recyclable waste is produced in the workplace, from junk mail and shredded documents to empty cans and food cartons.

Taking steps to ensure that these are more responsibly disposed of, and diverted from landfill, puts a significant dent in the cost of collections generated by the workplace.

(5) Scrap paper

If doing away with paper all together isn’t practical for your company, you can still make a difference with the introduction of a scrap paper tray. This old-school technique saves vast amounts of fresh paper.

Note-taking to job lists, can be carried out just as efficiently on sheets of scrap paper, saving new paper for important and formal documents, eliminating excessive waste from the workplace.

In order to minimise the amount of waste generated in the workplace and reduce carbon footprint, your workplace needn’t do a complete 180-degree turn in order to achieve significant reductions in waste.

Sonya Cragg is head of sales and marketing at Countrystyle Recycling, a resource management and waste recycling business in Kent.

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