Zero waste for companies: 10 simple actions that you can take

It’s possible to promote zero waste and reduce your environment impact. There could even be advantages for you in the end. This is what should interest you.

10 ways that your company can move towards zero waste

As business manager, it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard of environmental causes. The government or your colleagues are pushing for more and more initiatives that will safeguard the planet.

But how to do it? Follow our recommendations. It’s possible that you already use some of them.

  1. Adopt new practices: have you considered replacing your disposable cups with mugs or glasses? Or removed plastic silverware, dishware or straws? In France, plastic will be prohibited in shops and restaurants starting in 2020. What about at your company?
  2. Recycle your waste: recycle and look into reducing your waste. You can even become a collection point. For example, Bebat makes free battery collection boxes available to companies and then will come pick them up. Or you can become a Yoyo company (French-speaking website), a collection point for plastic battles (a concept that doesn’t exist yet in Belgium).
  3. Plan company events that are less wasteful. Look at each area of your organization: energy, waste, food, communication, investments. Can you do better or cleaner? What do you consume? What’s the collateral damage?
  4. Avoid food waste: offer your employees to take home any leftovers from your events, like food or drinks. Even plastic containers can be reused instead of being thrown out.
  5. Change your way of consuming: consider renting, borrowing, or exchanging items, tools, decoration, dishware… instead of buying, using, storing and then tossing.
  6. Choose zero waste suppliers: some office supply, event organizers or food delivery suppliers have policies in place for reducing their environmental impact. Ask them: What do they do with their waste? Where do they buy their raw materials? What transportation methods do they use?
  7. Join the fight against planned obsolescence: ask for sustainability criteria from your suppliers or if they have an after-sales service for repairing the items they sell. Similarly, if you sell goods that are affected by obsolescence, what do you offer in terms of repair or recycling service?
  8. Repair: when an item breaks, ask yourself if your maintenance service can fix it. You could also call your supplier’s after-sales service or visit a Repair Café.
  9. Promote the idea of buying local: your company, for example, can get baskets of fruits or veg delivered from nearby farms. Local products that aren’t pre-packaged. The Lecliclocal (French-speaking site) platform lists 383 local producers that deliver in Wallonia and, soon, in Brussels.
  10. Promote zero waste among your employees: at the office or at home, insist that colleagues join in. Suggest that they exchange ideas and then recommend what changes you could make to your behaviors.

8 reasons to go zero waste at your company

But why jump on the zero waste bandwagon? To do as others do or to be up to speed? There are plenty of reasons in your position as business owner:

  1. To save money: recycle, repair, no waste, secondhand… these are all ways to save money.
  2. It’s required: companies have environmental obligations in regards to waste management and, specifically, energy usage. .
  3. It pays off: your environmental efforts pay off in premiums and tax cuts. Some examples? EEAwards gives out “Environment and Energy Awards” to companies that adopt sustainable practices. Be Circular financially supports companies that develop activities with a circular economy approach. At the federal and regional level, tax benefits and subsidies support you in your investments for more sustainable activities.
  4. This appeals to candidates: as an employer, speak to your sustainability efforts on your “careers” page. Such an interest in the planet says a lot about your values. A point that could have weight if a candidate is choosing between your company or your competitor. Between a company with values and one that is less committed.
  5. It’s inspirational: you’ll inspire those around you with your initiatives and steps towards reducing waste. It’s possible that your employees, clients or suppliers will want to mimic your new practices.
  6. It could be fun: why not have a competition for the best anti-waste idea? Or the most eco-friendly department? Or consider participating in no-impact week.
  7. It’s good for both your internal and external image. By highlighting your business as zero waste, you take one step closer towards having an eco-responsible corporate image. Employees and external partners will appreciate your efforts.
  8. It’s consistent to implement actions at the office that many employees already practice at home. Recycling, the fight against food waste, energy savings: these are all concepts that speak to them.

There is no lack of ideas and reasons was to why you shouldn’t go zero waste or reduce your waste. What do you need to get started? Nothing if not a little time, goodwill and communication for a call to action throughout the company. It’s a transformation that should be taken just as seriously as any other strategic project.

Committing your company or municipality to the circular economy is made possible with our B2B solutions. Specifically, there are 3 options available to your company: reward your employees, rent equipment for the company and employees, become a player in the circular economy as a means to boost your CSR.

Our catalogue is full of items that you can rent for your company: everything you need for eventsteam building exercises or holiday parties.

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