As we continue to dump a combined 2.12 billion tons of waste each year, showing your customers that you take a keen interest in recycling and protecting the environment is a good way to show you are a business that people can trust.
While there are some quick and easy ways you ca make your office greener, taking a more long-term approach to sustainability should be a key part of your business plan. Making recycling a priority is an effective way to boost your brand as an eco-startup and encourage people to be invested in your business.
Your Corporate and Social Responsibility
Overall, we are a very wasteful population, producing at least 3.5 million tons of plastic waste a day, 10 times the amount generated a year ago. The U.S. is the worst offender, producing as much as 250 million tons every year, equivalent to 4.4 pounds of waste per person every day.
Recycling is crucial in helping to reduce the world’s reliance on unsustainable energy sources. Recycling is also important in helping to minimize the amount of waste going to landfill, which also has a knock-on effect of cutting pollutive and potentially explosive landfill gas.
Carry out a waste audit across your business to get a good understanding of what materials are being thrown out and if any could be recycled instead.
Collect More Recyclables
If you believe your business lacks the resources to increase its recycling program, there are some easy ways to help boost your existing recycling program and save you money. While recycling paper uses around 65% less energy than producing new paper products, there are other items that your office or workplace could divert from landfills.
In fact, recycling goes far beyond paper, bottles and glass. Today, there are facilities for scrap metal recycling, which reduces pollution, saves resources, and prevents the destruction of habitats from mining new ore. Scrap metal can be re-melted and reshaped into brand new products over and over again.
Likewise, there are also companies that repurpose a variety of e-waste items, such as cell phones and computers, along with batteries and lightbulbs.
Workplace Recycling Initiatives
Collecting food waste is a crucial stream to any office recycling program that businesses can’t afford to miss out on. By collecting food waste, you can significantly increase your waste diversion rate, and could even reach zero-waste.
Introducing centralized recycling bins instead of employees having their own individual bins will also help your staff become more aware of what they are throwing out. They will also quickly learn what can and cannot be recycled or composted.
Reduce Waste Coming Into Your Business
One of the key factors in creating a successful recycling program is to reduce what comes into your business. By actively controlling what’s coming into your business and what resources are being used, you will be more successful in diverting more waste away from landfills.
Aim to only use recyclable or compostable items across your business, which will in turn be the type of waste your business produces. You can also limit the need to buy items in, and instead re-use what you will likely already have. For instance, reuse incoming boxes, packaging and envelopes for all outgoing deliveries, use rechargeable batteries and refillable printer cartridges, and consider converting scrap paper into notebooks before you make your next stationery order.
The Business Benefits of Recycling
Being able to demonstrate to your partners, workforce and potential customers that you have a sound recycling program is great PR. On the other hand, not having one can also do great damage to your business.
A sustainable business model creates a foundation on which you can build positive relationships with your existing and future customers, and recycling is the key. It can help to save money while also boosting those valuable green credentials and making a positive difference to the environment.
As a start-up business, you need to play your part in ensuring we are living in a sustainable world. But there are also business benefits too. A sustainable business model is a unique selling point that can help you extend the reach of your marketing initiatives to a continuously growing audience of environmentally conscious consumers and present yourself as green business.