- Over 85% of plastic waste produced in Canada ends up in landfills
- Only 9% of plastic waste is destined for recycling
Why We Need to Go Upstream to Reduce Waste
The Globe and Mail article also describes why it’s essential that we don’t simply ship our waste around the world, which produces pollution both in transportation and when the plastics are melted down in other countries.
The only real solution to keeping plastics out of landfills, whether in our backyard or around the world, is to go upstream and reduce the generation of waste altogether. A green effort has to apply both at home and in the office.
3 Ways You Can Reduce Your Office’s Waste
As an executive, there are ways that you can lead the charge on making sure the waste generation is minimized. You can approve procurement of sustainable products and encourage practices that are best for the environment, which has a direct impact on the health and safety of the organization’s employees.
1. Purchase Mugs for Employees Instead of One-Use Cups
A simple change you could start with is replacing all or most of the single use plastics or paper products that you have in cafeterias and kitchens beside the coffee makers and water coolers. Consider purchasing mugs with the company logo on them so that all employees would have their own reusable mug for water, coffee or tea.
You would then reduce waste in the office, and be no longer purchasing products that would potentially end up in landfills. Additionally, the other environmental factors like the energy required to make a ceramic mug and the water required to wash it are less than the total energy required to make a traditional paper cup after 18 uses (a half a month’s worth of coffee).
2. Encourage Electronic Communication As Much As Possible
Instead of using paper for office communication, try promoting electronic communication as a means to use less paper that ends up in recycling bins and garbage cans. You can reduce waste by making these simple changes in your office:
- Eliminate physical bulletin boards for notices and instead institute an electronic notice board on your company’s computer server.
- Institute electronic contract signing and form management systems to keep all important documents online and safely organized.
- Investigate cloud-based invoicing and accounting systems so you can save money and paper in your accounts receivable department.
3. Procure Sustainable Remanufactured Office Furniture
Remanufactured office furniture is an affordable environmentally friendly option. Envirotech office furniture is built from parts/pieces of used high-quality brands. You essentially buy a completely rebuilt piece of quality furniture that has been updated (with modern fabrics or paint) to look as good as new for a fraction of the cost.
Remanufactured furniture is part of the circular economy, which keeps materials out of landfills by reusing them. Envirotech’s office furniture uses 85-95% less energy to produce than new products, and it redirects materials destined for landfills, helping you in your quest to reduce waste.
Join Forces with Employees Passionate About Sustainability
In helping the organization support operations, your procurement decisions can have a big impact on the employees’ performance and wellbeing. But on top of that, if you align your purchases with the social values of the organization and its employees, you’ll be able to cohesively support sustainability and overall environmental wellness.