Increasing population and higher standards of living are pressurising our resources, many of which are finite. Businesses must conserve these resources as well as use them more wisely.
Recycling is the method by which we recover valuable resources to be re-used again and again. While recycling is only one part to healing the environment it is a practical action that individuals in all businesses take part in every day.
It has been estimated that more than 30,000 tonnes of waste paper is still going to landfill in Auckland every year. Most of this is bulky cardboard and lightweight bags of office paper that on average costs $300.00 per tonne to landfill (figure based on 150kg per 4 cubic metre front loader bin at $45.00 per empty).
This equates to a staggering $9 million cost to those businesses not currently recycling. It is little wonder that paper recycling is so popular when people understand its significance. How much more competitive would those businesses be if they were saving that $9 million every year?
There are a number of reasons for building owners, property managers and tenants to work together to implement building-wide recycling systems.
Organisations can achieve a better marketplace image through demonstrated responsibility toward the environment. Customers, clients and the general public are increasingly demanding that organisations ‘do the right thing’. Promoting your efforts in the local media can attract new customers and enhance relationships with existing customers.
Recycling isn’t expensive. In fact there are financial benefits in waste minimisation and recycling. Recycling services are often priced at such a level that they are competitive or cheaper than sending material to landfill. For example, the Royal & Sun Alliance Centre in Auckland is saving $6,000 per annum on landfill fees through implementing a recycling system.
Staff morale and team building
There are positive social aspects to recycling, such as improved staff morale from knowing they are looking after the environment, and as a vehicle for team building by providing a common project for staff to work on outside of their everyday roles.
Reduced environmental impact
Removing recyclables from the waste stream lowers the environmental ‘footprint’ of the building through reducing waste to landfill. In addition, the production of goods made out of the material recycled will generally use less water, electricity and other resources than making products from virgin materials. This further reduces resource use.
A recycling project can be the initial project in a larger programme to improve the resource efficiency of the building. Other areas of resource use that might be addressed include looking at reducing energy and paper use, and sustainable purchasing.
Working together to minimise waste
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) make up a large proportion of Auckland's businesses. In SMEs one person often takes on a variety of roles within the organisation, so the time and resources available to address environmental issues can be very limited. The big advantage for businesses involved in a building-wide project is that tasks can be shared, minimising the input required by each individual business and avoiding duplication. A shared project also reduces the number of collection companies coming into the building and simplifies security issues.
Our Sustainability Policy is listed under Company Documents within the Downloads section of our Help Desk.
Contact Reclaim to help your business be more sustainable, it makes good business sense and good environmental sense.