Many people think that the sole purpose of a business is to make money for its owners, and that anything that gets in the way of this goal, such as spending money on non-compulsory workplace recycling efforts, should be ignored.
If that sounds like the attitude of your boss, here are some tips on how to convince them that recycling at work is actually good for business.
1. Appeal to their better nature
Yes, bosses are human too, with concerns for their future and for their children and grandchildren. So, one place to start is by explaining the consequences of not recycling. Fluorescent tubes and globes provide a good example. When they are sent off to landfill they often break and release mercury. That mercury can be converted into a potent neurotoxin that can leak into the ocean and get taken up by the fish that end up on our dinner plates.
There are many other dangerous materials that workplaces can safely recycle, from everyday batteries to e-waste that just about every office generates, through to mining wastes and sludges. It’s all stuff we don’t want coming back to damage us, so workplace recycling really does have an element of self-preservation about it.
2. Explain how companies that recycle attract better employees
The fact is good employees are hard to find and hard to retain. These are the people who take pride in their work, understand how the way a company treats the environment reflects how it treats its employees, and want to work for companies with organisational values that align with their personal values.
Setting up an office recycling program is one of the simplest (and often cheapest) ways to get onto the sustainability track. And to really get employee buy-in, ask your boss to open up relevant workplace recycling programs, such as for batteries, tubes/globes and e-waste, so everyone can bring waste from home to recycle at work.
3. Show them that recycling boosts product pricing
More than half of the people surveyed in a wide range of countries said they would pay more for the products and services supplied by companies that are committed to delivering a positive environmental outcome. That means office recycling can improve the bottom line.
4. Reveal that sustainable companies deliver better financial results
Still meeting a frosty response from your boss? This should clinch it.
A study by Harvard Business School looked at the performance of 180 companies over an 18-year period. The “high sustainability” firms dramatically outperformed the “low sustainability” companies based on stock market performance and accounting measures.
Of course, creating a sustainable business involves more than just workplace recycling, but given that businesses are major generators of waste, recycling in the workplace can deliver big improvements for the environment. For example, it takes much less energy to recycle materials than to make them from scratch.
Find the right partners
Different companies generate different types of waste, and it may be difficult to find one recycling company that can handle everything. Ecocycle is a specialist in recycling mercury-containing waste such as fluorescent lighting, dental and medical waste, and industrial wastes. We also handle a range of e-waste, including batteries.
Our lighting and battery recycling solutions are particularly suited to workplace recycling schemes. Simply order an appropriately sized lighting box or battery bucket, get your workmates to fill ‘em up, and we’ll take care of the rest.
To find out more call us on 1300 32 62 92 or fill out the form below and we will be in touch.