With the world’s largest recyclers such as China and India, tightening waste regulations to restrict the entry of poor quality, non-recyclable waste, countries such as the UK that relied heavily on exporting waste had to respond very quickly. Across the UK and Europe we are seeing stricker waste regulation including the introduction of bans and taxes on low quality plastics.
Such changes to waste regulations have compelled businesses to move waste to the top of their agenda.
By not addressing waste, businesses risk failing to comply with the new and evolving waste regulations, incur additional charges & taxes due to poor waste management or the procurement of low quality plastics & packaging.
Office waste in the form of food and food containers, paper and some electronics is a massive contributor to waste produced. In general, for every 1,000 employees, an office generates 240 tonnes of waste in a year, which is the equivalent to 24 buses. If your offices have onsite catering operations, host events, procure a number of goods and services as well as regularly refresh the spaces then these numbers may be significantly higher.
Tackling waste, is no easy feat.bWaste data is often poor quality and difficult to attain. Many businesses have little understanding of how much or what waste they are generating, where it is going and what impact it is having on the environment. Multi-contracted sites are particularly challenging due to varying operating procedures across the different contractors. Moreover, regional variances in legal requirements, infrastructure and technology make the role-out of global strategies even more challenging.
Drive out all non-recyclable waste
Businesses should aim to achieve zero waste operations, by driving out all non-recyclable waste. This means that all avoidable waste is eliminated and that the rest can and is recycled. By achieving this, your business will benefit from the following:
Many businesses try to tackle waste by simply focusing on their own operations by ensuring recycling bins are available across the sites for staff to recycle their own waste. However, to effectively tackle operational waste efforts must go beyond your own operations and engage with vendors, partners and supply chain.
For example, it is important to stop low-quality non-recyclable materials entering your site in the first place. This starts by working with procurement and design teams, contractors and suppliers to review and improve the materials that are entering the site. Leaving your operations you will need to understand where your waste is actually going and whether better alternative diversion streams can be used. Tapping into circularity solutions such as sending your coffee ground waste to cosmetic companies to make new products or turning them into pellets for fuel are all exciting and innovative business opportunities.
Road to zero waste
To help your business on your zero-waste journey, we can help you establish a zero-waste programme. Our expert team will work alongside your teams to map the materials entering your site to understand what matters and what materials, products or services you need to tackle first. We will work with you to identify the best solution for the materials - what can be eliminated, what can be avoided, reused and recycled. Depending on your level of ambition we will develop a programme that will give you quick wins through to that will help your business stand-out.
Take a practical step in the transition to a circular business model and ensure your business improves its resource disposal habits. To find out how we can help.
Seasalt is a Cornwall based fashion brand that, for over three decades, has been known for its quality clothing and unique collections. Inspired by coastal culture and creativity, the company has a growing customer following and over 60 stores across the UK and Ireland.Learn More
Project background Johnson Matthey is a global speciality chemicals company and a leader in sustainable technology. It reports its global…Learn More
I was impressed with the thoroughness and level of detail that our data set was analysed in. Presenting an extensive data set in an easy to use format was of great value in communicating the outcome of the work internally, and prioritising areas of the supply chain for future action.
Alan Sweeting, Global Health, Safety and Environment Senior Manager, Allen & Overy LLP
Avieco supported us in collating and organising data to develop a robust risk assessment process. They have been easy to work with, responsive to our requirements and pragmatic in their solutions.
Gijs Voskuilen, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Bunzl
Avieco have helped us increase our transparency and identify areas where we can have the greatest impacts for carbon emissions reduction. They have always tailored their approach to suit our business needs and made time for us so it has never felt like we are ‘one of many’.
Jess Blincow, Corporate Responsibility Advisor, ASOS
Avieco has been the preferred environmental consultant since the beginning of our journey to become a sustainable company. Dentsu Aegis has worked with Avieco’s experts on various areas, such as carbon footprint reporting and assurance support, and recently also advised us how to switch our global network to renewable electricity. The team’s expertise on environmental sustainability is impressive, and the work delivered is always of highest standard.
Lars Holm, Global Senior Manager CSR, Dentsu Aegis Network
Avieco informatively led us through the processes needed to reduce our carbon footprint. With their clear and concise advice we have been able to effectively reduce our energy and waste levels. Avieco made the complex notion of energy efficiency into a manageable and achievable reality
Nigel Pink, Group Engineering Manager, Dominos UK & Ireland Ltd
Avieco delivered exactly the workshop we needed to get our sustainability team and regional leads on the same page when it comes to ‘market-based’ reporting. It’s a challenging area to tackle for a global business – particularly when we operate in a number of markets where there is little or no choice in terms of energy purchasing. Avieco has given us the knowledge and tools to ensure we get our disclosures right – they really exceeded my expectations for what we could achieve in one afternoon!
Dr Julia Rowe, Group Sustainability Advisor, Johnson Matthey
We get that change is not easy. But we must be brave, challenge old ways, set new habits, embrace new thinking.
we get it.