How to start recycling

These days, everyone knows deep down that they should recycle. But in a small business where all efforts are diverted into driving the operation forward, how do you go about making sure you are also being frugal with resources and, anyway, what is in it for you?

These days, everyone knows deep down that they should recycle. But in a small business where all efforts are diverted into driving the operation forward, how do you go about making sure you are also being frugal with resources and, anyway, what is in it for you?

These days, everyone knows deep down that they should recycle. But in a growing business where there are plenty of other preoccupations and all efforts are diverted into driving the operation forward, how do you go about making sure you are also being frugal with resources and, anyway, what is in it for you?

Apparently, the average office worker gets through a remarkable 1,584 sheets of paper every month, a figure that is rising by around 20 per cent every year.

If you’re shocked by this paper waste, these are some easy to implement and effective methods for saving paper and money:

  • Set your photocopier to double-sided copying
  • Rely on email rather than memos, letters and faxes
  • Use scrap paper in your fax machine
  • Use scrap paper for printing internal memos and minutes
  • Have recycling bins within easy reach of all employees
  • Make sure the bins are emptied regularly by arranging this in advance

Fancy a BREW?

Earlier this year, a £284 million initiative to help business reduce waste and cut costs was launched by Environment Minister Elliot Morley.

BREW, the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste programme, uses revenues from increased Landfill Tax to fund free services and support for business through a variety of organisations. It has been estimated that around five per cent of turnover can be saved through resource efficiencies requiring little or no investment.

Over the next three years the £284 million will be invested in groups such as WRAP, Envirowise and the Carbon Trust, which claims to be able to help businesses introduce no-cost or low-cost energy-saving measures that can cut costs by 20 per cent
or more.

‘A wide range of industries, from manufacturers to retailers, can save literally billions of pounds a year by cutting waste and improving resource efficiency often with little or no investment,’ enthused Morley. ‘By getting involved, businesses of all sizes are set to boost profits while reducing environmental impacts.’

Useful contacts

  • See this plain guide to reducing waste and environmental legislation.
  • For information on recycling for businesses call WRAP’s helpline on 0808-100 2040 or go to www.wrap.org.uk.
  • To find out about the Carbon Trust Loans or to discover how the Carbon Trust can help your business become more energy efficient call the helpline on 0800-585794 or visit the Carbon Trust website www.thecarbontrust.co.uk.
  • The National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), which finds potential market solutions to waste in all industries, can be found out at NISP.
  • Save-a-Cup is a scheme that collects and recycles used polystyrene cups. For further information call 01494-510167 or visit www.save-a-cup.co.uk.

Majority of SMEs are recycling

Recycling is the main priority for small businesses trying to help the environment, says a new report.

The survey conducted by BT shows that nearly two-thirds of small businesses state recycling as their main green focus, with a third considering flexible and home working to be their most important way of helping the environment.

However, of the 3,000 small businesses surveyed, only one in six claims to have looked at reducing emissions by cutting back on commuting by car, with nearly one in ten admitting to having taken no steps at all.

Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Business, says: ‘Sustainability is no longer a luxury for any business, regardless of its size. Improving your processes and tackling your carbon footprint isn’t just good for the planet – it also makes great business sense.’

Trewin Restorick, chief executive of environmental group Global Action Plan, adds that the total 4.6 million small businesses in the UK could have a significant effect on the environment if they combined forces to implement greener measures.

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