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Reducing Waste In The Workplace

A Focus On Corporate Social Responsibility

How can your company reduce office waste? From reducing paper to examining your supply chain, there are numerous areas to tackle.

The UK’s waste mountain is growing. Although we are sending as much as 71.4% of waste to recycling, unfortunately the amount dumped in landfill has also increased by 15% over a five-year period, according to Defra. As individual households tackle their own personal waste loads, employers should also take significant action to move towards a waste-free workplace.

This begins by setting a positive impression across your organisation for your employees to follow. Companies should liaise with ISO consultants to meet quality standards which demonstrate how environmentally-friendly their work practices are. ISO 14001 certification proves your commitment to sustainability by taking control over the environmental impact of your business. The following steps will support your goals by dramatically reducing your output of workplace waste.

Go Paperless

Offices stacked with filing cabinets should be confined to the past, as online collaborative tools can make document sharing easy amongst colleagues. You can use digital note-taking apps instead of using pads of paper, accept digital instead of handwritten signatures and use online payment systems instead of invoices. Along with the environmental benefits of going paperless, you’ll also notice some organisational advantages too. Your office will be much tidier, with more space available for your employees. You should also find it easier to search for documentation by using online search functions rather than physically trawling through boxes of paperwork.


If you do need to print something off, then be aware of some waste-reducing tricks you can use. These include changing the margins within Word to ensure that you’re making the most of the space available on the page. You should also change your printer settings so that you’re using both sides of the paper and choose ‘fast’ or ‘draft’ settings to focus only on the important parts of the document.
Refillable ink cartridges prevent waste, as you simply refill them instead of throwing the cartridge away and replacing with new.

Save Your Incoming Paper

Instead of throwing out your incoming paper, put aside packaging such as padded envelopes. After you’ve applied your own labels, you can reuse these or just cut them up to be used as scrap paper, instead of buying wasteful post-it notes.

Ban On Single Use Plastics

Setting an impression across your workplace can include a policy on what your employees are allowed to bring into the communal kitchen. You can request that they steer clear of single use plastics such as water bottles – instead, you should provide chilled, filtered water which they can use by refilling their own individual bottles.

Choose Your Suppliers With Care

When promoting eco-conscious work practices, it’s worth checking how your suppliers feel about the environment and whether they’re as committed to sustainability as you. By working only with those who can demonstrate their own corporate social responsibility, you can be assured that your entire supply chain is taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment.

Reducing waste in the workplace must begin from a top level. By changing policies and creating sustainable company goals, your employees will follow suit. You will also be rewarded by the loyalty of consumers who are drawn to brands actioning positive change.

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