Despite the rise of recycling and recent high-profile debates in Government and the media about plastic use, 90% of businesses still do not have a green policy, it has been revealed.
UK waste management agency BusinessWaste.co.uk, says that the overwhelming majority of businesses are still behind the times on green policy. The times when it comes to reducing their environmental impact.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, explained:
“Households are expected to recycle their waste as a matter of due course now. So we are seeing much more media coverage of environmentally unfriendly items. That’s such as plastic water bottles or straws. However many businesses have been slow to implement changes into their day-to-day operations.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk conducted a survey with 700 companies and found;
80% Had no green policy regarding separate recycling bins (internally or external)
96% Did not use recycled paper
59% Used plastic cups at the water fountain
20% Had an written green policy
6% Used green cleaning products
36% Used an fridge not AA+ rated
Johnny who works in marketing said “Mel in accounts is always asking for a paper recycling bin. I don’t know why we don’t have one to be honest!”
Hall from BusinessWaste.co.uk added:
“It isn’t just about recycling their waste – although this is, of course, very important – there are small changes which can be made each day which add up. Paper cups instead of plastic at the water cooler and encouraging employees to turn off lights in unused meeting rooms are two seemingly small ways to improve a business’s green credentials – and each of these actions has real benefits.”
However, failing to address environmental impact – or even consider a green policy – isn’t just bad for a firm’s impact on the environment. A study reported in the Guardian in 2015 showed that young people were increasingly more likely to consider a company’s ethical standing when applying for a jobs – including its approach to sustainability, which suggests that businesses may be damaging their own desirability as employers, too.
Environmental experts recommend including employees and management. They should create new green policies in the workplace. Not only does engaging with employees create a sense of ownership over the workplace. As well as its collective environmental impact. Then it can also help generate broader discussions about policies. All which are most relevant to their daily routines. For example, teams working in paper-heavy departments may be more likely to suggest moving to paperless systems. All while employees who frequently travel to meetings. Meetings then might be more inclined to suggest conference calling. That’s an alternative to cut the firm’s carbon footprint.
Creating an environmental policy is an opportunity. One for businesses to review whether its operations are environmentally responsible. It can also help lower cost through reduced consumption and waste. Thereby providing a real incentive for firms to look at all aspects of their day-to-day running. That’s including their suppliers, energy use, and use of consumables.
“Some businesses, especially smaller companies, may feel daunted by the idea of creating a green policy – but it doesn’t have to be War and Peace. Simply looking at your current use of energy and consumable items and setting some goals for reducing waste (alongside small, easily-implemented actions such as buying recycling bins for break areas) go a long way.
“Not only does this have a measurable effect on both your environmental impact and your overheads, it can also be a positive reflection on your business for clients, suppliers, and potential employees. Considering how urgent and crucial the issue of environmental damage, particularly waste going to landfill, has become, businesses cannot afford to ignore it any longer – and the good news is that companies can begin make a huge difference with just some small changes.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk is a leading expert in recycling and waste disposal for businesses of all kinds. We manage waste and recycling collections for companies in and around major towns at the best possible prices.
Our company is committed to reducing wasteful landfill, and works to help companies increase their recycling targets.
BusinessWaste.co.uk campaigns for tighter laws to discourage littering, wasteful behavior, and to encourage greater recycling. We’re the waste company that hates waste.