Managing waste can easily be forgotten about in an organisation when there are a million jobs to do. But effective waste management can help organisations achieve greater sustainability and success.
According to the UK Government, England alone created 33.8 million tonnes of waste in 2020. The average employee produces around 500kg of waste per year in an office setting, and this all adds to an organisation’s carbon footprint. In an age when sustainability is key, effectively dealing with commercial waste is essential to long-term business success.
Businesses must improve their waste management in order to help the environment and boost their own status within their industry. We’re going to take a closer look at what makes waste management so essential for modern companies, and what benefits businesses can enjoy.
The importance of waste management
It’s important for businesses to handle the waste produced by its employees, supply chain and services. This includes the collection, transportation, monitoring, disposal and recycling of waste. From production through to disposal, waste must be carefully managed to ensure that as little harm as possible to made to the environment and people.
If not managed properly, dealing with waste can be a timely and expensive headache for businesses, yet many organisations let it slip down their to-do list. By prioritising waste management, businesses can save money, meet guidelines and enjoy greater sustainability.
What are the benefits of waste management?
Many materials and products purchased by a business will go to waste, even if they haven’t been used. Being more conscious about where your waste is coming from and why it’s being wasted can help businesses save on unnecessary costs. Completing a waste audit of your organisation allows you to take active steps towards a more effective and sustainable supply chain, improving order, reducing waste materials and ultimately saving money.
Waste is bad for the environment, human health and the economy. When landfill sites are filled, air and water become polluted and the local biodiversity is impacted, and businesses who rely heavily on landfills have to contend with the knowledge that they are operating with a substantial carbon footprint.
Managing your waste effectively can reduce the amount of waste you’re sending to landfills, relying more heavily on recycling and reuse.
Not all waste needs to go to, well, waste. When applied correctly, used materials can have great value through reuse, recycling or even incineration for energy recovery. Scrap metal, for example, can be sold at competitive rates, adding that little bit more to your business earnings.
Proper waste management helps to support and preserve natural resources, as you aren’t relying on fossil fuels to power the production of a constant stream of new or replacement items. Recycling and reusing waste items reduces your reliance on virgin materials, preserving vital and finite natural resources.
Modern businesses must work alongside the many green measures and guidelines in place, designed to ensure that organisations support sustainability and reduce their harm to the planet. Net Zero, for example, supports all businesses in the effort to be carbon neutral by 2050. Waste management is a vital component in corporate sustainability, and can therefore help businesses avoid costly repercussions by ensuring they tick the necessary environmental boxes set out by government initiatives.
Climate change is a growing global concern, and today’s customers care about the sustainability of the businesses they work with. Demonstrating a strong environmental commitment through effective waste management can let your customers know that you are serious about sustainability, improving your reputation within your field.