It’s Zero Waste Week – a nationwide event that this year encourages people to reuse items that they would ordinarily bin or preferably recycle. For many this means making an effort to carry a reusable bag for the week, partly to save the planet and partly to prepare for oncoming legislation which will introduce compulsory charges for plastic bags – bringing England up to date with the rest of the United Kingdom. But for businesses learning to reuse more effectively can have a whole host of other benefits, reducing costs, generating positive PR, and encouraging creativity.
It’s clear to see that consumers and supply chain managers are becoming more environmentally conscious with the increased appearance of standards such as Carbon Smart accreditation amongst B2B organisations and major sustainability pushes from retail business as successful as Marks & Spencer who not only have internal commitments to carbon neutrality and 100% recycling but they make a large effort to shout about it through their ‘Plan A’ programme promotion. According to a 2014 report conducted by Cardiff University British belief in man-made climate change is on the rise with 84% of adults now accepting the theory as fact. With all of this in mind it is easy to see why making choices that are kinder on the planet can help to boost your business too.
This afternoon as I look across at the office water cooler with its funnel of disposable plastic cups I wonder why we need these cups at all – would it not be cheaper, more sustainable and indeed nicer to drink out of one of the ordinary glasses that are stocked in our kitchen for networking events? Frequently cutting waste can be as simple as noticing situations such as this, the way we have always done it mentality is causing us to send tonnes of waste to landfill every year without good reason. Is there an element of your business that could streamline its waste production? Why print 2015 on collateral if it isn’t relevant preventing yourself from reusing those elements in 2016? Why print out that meeting agenda when you plan on taking your i-Pad along anyway?
One of Winchester BID’s key points of action is to ensure that Winchester becomes a ‘greener’ city – our main delivery channel for this program is the recycling scheme that we operate in partnership with Southern Waste Management. If you are interested in signing up to this scheme then be sure to come along to our advisory event on September 24th where representatives from SWM and other BID partner organisations will be on hand on answer your questions. We are also currently working alongside 360 Integrated PR & Marketing to explore a sustainable office supplies buying group for members of the Winchester BID – interested BID members can complete the exploratory survey here.
In the meantime why not get involved with #zerowasteweek and do your little bit for the planet.