Climate issues have been a game-changer for companies as they imposed a newer and better way of managing waste. This was a necessary approach because, according to a recent UN report, climate change impacts have worsened rapidly, leading to some people being “disproportionately affected”. Developing countries, for example, are the most troubled by climate issues, although they are the least to have contributed to this problem.
The challenge of managing waste stands in the hands of bigger companies, such as Google, Amazon or Apple. A few years ago, it was believed that only 100 worldwide companies were responsible for more than half of global emissions, and this might’ve not changed. As corporations produce more, they generate vast amounts of waste, contributing to smaller industries.
The only solution to fight against climate change is to minimise waste and try innovative approaches to using more environmentally-friendly materials and processes. So, here’s how to plan an efficient waste management strategy.
Understand the importance of a waste management strategy
Before planning a waste management approach, you must understand and establish its importance in your company. You may start with what you should avoid― greenwashing. Many companies are only becoming greener to appeal more to a certain target audience. Still, as every one of them has been revealed to have fabricated their strategies, you must be serious about it.
Of course, many benefits of a good waste management strategy can boost your company’s sales and increase the brand’s recognition. But that’s only a side advantage of waste management. Therefore, you must provide a good reason why the business needs such a plan so that it can be integrated into its company culture. This makes the difference between an organisation superficially recycling and one whose waste strategies carry some weight.
Create a waste policy
The next step is to create a waste policy that can help your company follow guidelines and stay within the recommendations. This set of rules should include the following:
- Duty of care for business waste, where you accurately describe your waste;
- The business practices or processes you’ll use to minimise waste;
- Following the waste hierarchy when choosing a waste option;
- Finding ways to reuse and recycle waste;
When implementing such a plan, your staff must understand these policies and their importance. An excellent tip to minimise their efforts and maximise productivity is to train staff who can handle different types of waste. This means ensuring they’re provided with all necessary information and protected with proper equipment.
The benefits of a zero-waste policy for businesses are numerous and include more than the environmental implications. Complying with these guidelines ensures new income streams since waste can be transformed into something else. This is also an efficient method of contributing to and helping the community grow.
Use more automation
Automation in waste management can be a lifesaver for many companies, and many technologies are useful in properly handling waste and implementing good practices. Still, companies can also choose to use the services and products of other waste management businesses, such as Miltek. Nowadays, sorting waste effectively can be done with compactors and balers, which are the perfect solution for companies where processes consume a lot of materials.
At the same time, some of the technologies that can help your business in waste management include the following:
- Automated waste sorter that uses artificial intelligence to pick and sort recycled waste;
- RFID tags are used to identify the tags under different tags so they can be sorted more efficiently;
- IoT sensors and AI programs are used in intelligent trash cans that measure the waste and send the information to processing systems;
- Computer vision programs are systems that can separate different types of waste;
Of course, this solution might fit more prominent companies that need to manage more waste, but their utility has no doubt. Using automation in managing trash eliminates the risk of people getting injured and is also more organised.
Provide accurate aggregation
Aggregate recycling is the only way of doing things right. It implies your business knows what can be recycled and what needs more complex processing of management, which is a vital step into becoming more sustainably friendly. For example, if your company is active in the construction sector, you need to know what are the materials derived from construction waste, such as the following:
- Bricks and masonry;
- Concrete waste;
- Demolition and excavation waste;
- Trench arisings;
Hazardous waste is also a challenge for many businesses. Here are some examples:
- Electrical equipment (computer monitors);
- Fluorescent light tubes;
- Engine oils;
You can check the European Waste Catalogue (EWC), which provides a six-digit code for all types of waste―the hazardous one is usually marked with an asterisk. Two main types of hazardous waste can be identified: the absolute one, which is always dangerous, and the mirror one, which is considered a risk only if they contain certain hazardous components.
Embrace a sustainable approach
Besides the strategies of making your inboard business greener, you may also consider modifying your products and services so they can be as environmentally friendly as possible. This step can mean reducing packaging waste or choosing biodegradable materials instead of plastic and other standard packing options. Some of these include cardboard, paper, cornstarch, bamboo and organic fabric.
This green option can reduce carbon footprint by eliminating the need for harmful plastic in products, but they’re also providing more convenient disposal for both consumers and other businesses. Choosing sustainable products allows for more versatility and innovation in a company. You can also participate in events related to the environment and bring greener practices into your company as a way to completely engage with the guidelines you’ve provided.
Being more sustainable as a business can be a challenge. Still, as we’ve overcome most of the issues related to this approach, we believe that many firms can adopt some of these strategies and change the course of their development processes. New technologies and better guidelines will help organisations take action and contribute to a better world.