How Businesses Can Save Money on Waste

published Nov 26, 2018
2 min read

Business Waste Management

Waste manifests in many forms. A business owner has to account for their paper records, product packaging, company policies and current programs, addressing unnecessary expenditure when and where they find it. If they don’t, their complacency can have serious consequences.

Fortunately, professionals have certain options when it comes to how they handle waste management. With today’s technology and modern methods of disposal, professionals can turn their focus toward more pressing concerns, like their goals and plans for the future. They only need to make a few adjustments.

In this article, we will detail five money-saving solutions some businesses have employed to meet their bottom line.

1. Digitised Documents

Many companies depend on physical documentation to maintain their records and accounts, which is reasonable. However, with technology, they can have a more reliable method of storing information, using the cloud to manage files. They no longer have to consume reams of paper in order to sustain their operation.

By going completely paperless in one of their locations, CBRE saw a significant difference in their expenditure. They reduced ongoing printing needs by half, and over a 10-year period, the company expects to save 30 per cent on their LA office as compared to a traditional setup.

2. Packaging Evaluation

Packaging accounts for one-third of waste in developed countries. Companies can minimise their contribution through a close evaluation of their current practices, taking note of any discrepancies which might cause undue waste. They should assess their packaging methods and make improvements where necessary.

Pepsi-Cola saved $44 million on their packaging when they made the switch from corrugated cardboard to reusable plastic shipping containers. Smaller businesses, employing single-use containers, have more efficient alternatives and should take advantage of today’s options to streamline their distribution.

3. Improved Policies

A business owner can digitise their documents and evaluate packaging, but much of the waste an office produces is the result of employee behaviour. Employees concerned with the more pressing responsibilities of their job tend to sometimes use disposable silverware for meals or neglect to recycle plastic products.

Companies can save a considerable sum in recycling alone, and this practice has proven value. So much so that the amount of energy saved in recycling 100 cans is enough to power bedroom lights for 14 days. At the large organisation-level, the effects of these improved policies are achieved at a substantially larger scale.

4. Compost Programs

The weight of organic materials makes them expensive to remove and transport. Through the implementation of composting programs, however, companies have found a way to address the issue. They’ve adopted new methods that allow them to dispose of their waste in an inexpensive, eco-friendly manner.

Upper management can designate special receptacles for the collection of organic material. Instead of placing food in the trash, employees can use these receptacles for their intended purpose. This diverts waste which would otherwise have ended up in a landfill, thereby benefiting the environment just as much as the company.

5. Sale of Recyclables

Companies can do more than cut their unnecessary expenditure. With foresight and planning, they can earn a profit off the materials they might otherwise discard. Cardboard and paper waste has value to a recycling organisation, and over time, a business can form a mutually beneficial relationship.

If a business goes through the effort of disassembling their old computers, they can organise the parts into copper wiring, circuit boards and steel cases. They can then sell these individual components to those who need them. This is one example of how companies can easily make money through the sale of scrap.

It Begins With an Assessment

Companies should assess their offices and distribution centres as they make changes to their current practices. They might notice excessive paper waste or the potential for more efficient packaging. They could determine the value of new policies, a compost program or a relationship with a recycling organisation.

It’s a gradual process, but the results are often well worth the time invested.