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Posted by Glenn Cleaning, October 25, 2018
A staggering fact: Every eight months in the UK, we produce enough waste to fill Lake Windermere – the largest and deepest lake in England! And a sizeable proportion of this comes from business. In fact, poor waste practices cost British industry £15bn per year with more than 80m tonnes of printing and writing paper thrown out in the UK annually.
In the 1980s, the motto of business was ‘greed is good’. We’ve come a long way. Today, it could be said, green is good. For an environmentally-conscious company isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for profits and performance too.
For example, in 2016, a group of Fortune 500 companies agreed to increase renewable energy and instigate efficiency initiatives within their businesses. Collectively, they achieved savings of $3.7bn.
To be effective, green behaviours need to be embraced at every level in a business. And with its focus on waste disposal and its extensive use of water and powerful chemicals, cleaning is definitely on the front line of vital functions.
In a recent survey, it was revealed that businesses persisted in over-estimating their recycling rate, and lacked the appropriate systems for managing waste.
Which is where we come in.
In the area of waste disposal alone, we help our clients to reduce their carbon footprints dramatically by separating waste into its various categories and by recycling each category in the correct manner.
Our cleaning regimes employ the most ecologically-friendly products available, as identified in our programme of continuous research.
And we instruct our staff to monitor their water consumption closely, using the bare minimum for effective cleaning.
Achieving greener waste disposal is largely an attitude of mind – many offices even lack designated places to recycle. Yet an office staff of 100 people produces an average of 20 bags of waste per week – that is, one 1,100 litre waste bin per week.
The average office worker can get through 50 sheets of paper daily and although about 70 per cent of office waste is recyclable, only about 10 per cent goes for recycling.
So, when you introduce a new recycling facility, make sure that it is properly communicated to staff and that the recycling facility is highly visible.
When we talk about recycling, we tend to think in terms of plastic, glass, paper and metal, rather than consumables such as ink and toner cartridges.
In the UK, it’s been estimated that we dispose of 55 million ink cartridges a year. But all of these could all be recycled if suitable facilities were provided for their disposal. At Glenn, we work with our clients to come up with and implement such initiatives for better recycling.
Combining food waste and recyclable materials is a recipe for environmental chaos. It means that the contents of a bin cannot be separated out and recycled – including the food waste, which would otherwise be compostable or turned into biogas to generate electricity and heat.
We have worked with clients to create intelligent, practical solutions for efficiently treating food waste – including, in one case, by developing and building an on-site wormery.
A successful recycling scheme requires support from all staff. So why not nominate a recycling champion, or set up an environmental committee?
The committee should spearhead the company’s initiatives. It could start with an assessment of how current processes impact upon the environment, and providing a strategy to improve everyone’s habits and their operations in the workplace.
Involving workers in company-wide green initiatives is a morale booster. The knowledge that you’re working for a considerate, ethical organisation becomes a subject for personal pride and this is soon reflected in your working performance. Besides, employees feel safer working for green businesses – a company that cares about the environment is more likely to be mindful of their staff’s health and well-being.
If you’re looking to improve your waste management – and a vast number of UK companies could and should be – contact our Glenn Cleaning team today, who will provide you with details on this vital service.
Set up your cleaning contract or simply ask a question. We’re here to help.
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