Methods to reduce waste at your company.
  • Category:
    Small Business Energy Savings
  • Published:
    October 31, 2022

8 Ways to Reduce Waste at Your Business

Looking for ways to reduce waste at your business makes sense. Growing public awareness of companies caring for the environment and growing waste management are some of the drivers for reducing waste in your workplace. We’ll cover the reasons for adopting waste reduction strategies here and offer ideas for putting them into action.

Why reducing waste is important for small businesses

For companies, reducing waste can achieve benefits that generally fall into three categories.

  • Environmental benefits. Pursuing ways to reduce waste cuts the volume of material going to landfills. Processing waste creates greenhouse gasses, so cutting waste also cuts your carbon footprint and helps your small business go green. Reusing and recycling removes material from the waste stream and maximizes the value of the inputs for creating those items.
  • Economical benefits. With the adoption of various methods to reduce waste, your company can cut costs. With careful use and reuse, you can wring more value out of items your company buys. With a reputation for caring for the environment, you will build the value of your brand.
  • Social responsibility for a business. Social responsibility includes caring for waste, water, and energy use more efficiently. Businesses often have an out-size impact on the environmental health of their communities. When you reduce waste in your business, you make a well-appreciated impact. Waste reduction strategies are one of the most powerful ways to achieve small business sustainability goals.

Waste reduction strategies for your business

Now that you know why reducing waste is important for your business, let’s explore strategies used by companies reducing waste to capture the benefits of running an environmentally friendly business.

1. Identify and measure the waste

Conduct an audit of the amount and types of waste produced by your business. You must measure something to manage it. When you know more about your business’s waste, you can then figure out ways to reduce it, recycle it or cut costs for hauling it away. You may also find ways to employ energy savings tips, too.

2. Create a waste reduction management plan

Creating a formal plan turns goals into action. With your objectives in hand and the information about your business waste, you can lay out practical steps. Your plan will cover how waste will be handled, how to reduce the amount of waste produced, and what to recycle. It can be part of your more comprehensive small business sustainability plan.

3. Educate your employees about reducing waste in the workplace

Involve staff in the planning process. With their frontline perspectives, they may have some high-impact ideas. Their active involvement will be necessary for executing the plan, so involving and training them is vital. Bring employees into idea generation, education, and incentives.

4. Create a budget, timeline, and success metrics

Some methods to reduce waste may require an initial investment. Do the cost benefit analysis and budget the right amount to spend. Set timelines for specific milestones for your waste reduction strategies. Be sure to define what success looks like. Celebrate and publicize your achievements.

8 ways to reduce waste in the workplace

8 ways to reduce waste in the workplace.

Ways to reduce waste at your business include the 3 Rs: reducing, reusing, and recycling. You may want to add a fourth R for rethinking. In any case, here are some specific examples for reducing waste that fall into those categories.

1. Go paperless

Many businesses use more paper than you might imagine. With digital technology you may find many ways to go paperless in your small business. Besides reducing waste, going paperless can make your business more efficient. There will be less paperwork to push, documents to store, and important records to get lost.

2. Set up recycling bins

Your business can save energy with circular economy practices like reusing and recycling. Setting up bins to collect recyclables and keep them out of landfills is a good place to start. Make sure to provide signage to remind people what can and cannot be recycled and where each type of material should be placed.

3. Buy appliances that help reduce waste

Get rid of paper plates and plastic cutlery by installing a dishwasher. Choose the best coffee maker for your office, such as a drip coffee maker, which is more efficient than the small cups making individual servings. Install a water filter to eliminate bottled water. Add a countertop composter that turns food waste into a soil additive for your landscaping.

4. Recycle or refurbish your office equipment

Office equipment and electronics contain materials that can be toxic if thrown in with the regular trash. Unused or outdated equipment may be welcomed by charities. Many municipalities have collection points and special days for gathering old office equipment for recycling.

5. Donate surplus products or materials

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That is a truism that applies to businesses. You may find that there is demand for your surplus materials among local charities. Giving away these materials gives them a second life and helps worthy causes in your community.

6. Conserve energy in the office

Putting energy saving tips into action can reduce waste. Switching to long-lasting and energy-efficient LED bulbs means you won’t have to replace the bulbs as often. Look for ways to save water in your business to further conserve energy.

7. Rethink and reduce packaging

You may be able to work with suppliers to reduce the cardboard and plastic used in packaging materials. Consider reusing their boxes for shipping out products. Examine your own product packaging and look for ways to reduce it or make it easier to recycle.

8. Purchase reusable products when possible

Instead of bottled water, buy employees reusable bottles with your company logo and offer unlimited filtered water. Replace paper plates and plastic cutlery with washable plates, forks, knives and spoons. Hemp coffee filters can be used again. Put a stack of washable towels in bathrooms. Office supplies such as old binders, paper clips, interoffice folders, and shipping supplies can be repurposed.

Minimize waste and lower energy costs with Constellation

Minimizing waste and slashing your energy costs are good for business. Constellation is a resource that can help you explore ways to lower small business energy bills and offers innovative energy solutions for small businesses. You can evaluate your small business energy options at the same time. Working together, we can cut waste, cut costs, and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment.

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