By now, we all know that recycling is good for the environment – it conserves natural resources, protects ecosystems, wildlife and our own health, and helps prevent harmful emissions entering the atmosphere. But, to you as a business or organisation, recycling might feel like yet another task to add to the list, and another cost to factor in. And to what gain? In fact, the reality is very different. In this article, we explain why business recycling is actually a win-win and why you should all be doing it…
For your reputation
These days, showcasing yourself as a sustainable and eco-friendly business or organisation, who recycles their waste, is great PR. And, in the current climate, those who aren’t doing this are easily “named and shamed” on social media. So, for your own reputation, it’s important to recycle. And, by shouting out about your green efforts online and in press materials, you’ll help strengthen this positive image further.
To meet your CSR needs
It’s not just about reputation though. As a business or organisation, you undoubtedly generate waste, and probably quite a lot of it. Just think about how much paper your whole business uses on a daily basis. Because of these volumes, how you decide to dispose of this waste is pretty significant. This is why corporate social responsibility (CSR) exists. It is a mechanism for businesses to ensure they’re socially accountable and conscious of the impact they have on society. By recycling, you’ll be on the right path to meeting your CSR needs.
For your employees
It is a fact that increasing numbers of people are recycling – they know how it benefits the environment and they want to help look after the planet. So, in their own homes, individuals are making an effort to go green. And these same individuals are your employees. So, make them proud. Show them they work for a business that cares about the environment as much as they do, and ensure they can recycle at work. Doing so will avoid frustration and help keep staff members happy – meaning a more content, motivated and productive workforce.
As well as improving your relationship with existing staff members, business recycling can act as a selling point with potential employees. When choosing who to work for, millennials, in particular, want to work for companies that care about making a positive impact on the world. So much so that, according to CONE Communications’ 2016 study, 64% of this generation won’t take a job at a company that doesn’t have strong social responsibility practices. Considering that, by 2025, millennials will make up three-quarters of the workforce (The Deloitte Millennial Survey), they’re worth listening to.
To attract customers
And it’s not just employees you’ll be attracting. According to a Nielsen study, 72% of people aged 15-20, otherwise known as “Generation Z”, were willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. So, being seen as an eco-conscious company can ultimately be the deciding factor for a customer choosing you over your competitors. Studies have also found that consumers believe green businesses to be more trustworthy than non-green ones.
To save money
Recycling is often seen as an added cost to a business, but this is far from the truth. Having a good waste management programme inplace can actually save your business money. Think about it this way – if you aren’t currently recycling, you’re probably producing more general waste. General waste and landfill service costs are higher than recycling ones, so you’re also probably paying out more money. At Printwaste, when we introduce responsible recycling into businesses and organisations, we generally find we can reduce waste by 50% and lower costs significantly.
Legally, businesses and organisations must now meet certain requirements when it comes to waste disposal. These include the Waste Duty of Care, environmental permits, licences to transport waste, plus a whole host of other rules and regulations for specific materials. By responsibly recycling, your business will stay on top of these and remain compliant with the law.
Helping the bigger picture
From a bigger picture perspective, your obligation is as ethical as it is legal. As businesses, we need to all be thinking long-term – not just for now, but for the future too. And we need to remember that the things we manufacture today will become the waste of tomorrow. Only by doing this will we increase the longevity of our businesses and, to be quite frank, the planet too.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to recycle!