Mobilize the company

The zero waste approach can be applied not only to your house or your territory, but also to your workplace. Here is a small glimpse of concrete actions that you can spread and start implementing to mobilize the company.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

The stakes of waste management for the company

Regardless of size or activity of a company, it creates waste since it is a workplace (office waste, packaging, furniture or equipment…). According to the Ademe (Agency of the Environment and the Control of Energy), each office worker produces an average of 120 to 140 kg of waste a year on his/her workplace.

Apart from the environmental emergency to act on this waste (due to the pressure our activities exert on resources), companies have an interest in being committed to a waste reducing approach. First of all, for the responsibility that is associated with their image : an ambitious policy of reducing waste is a gratifying element, and most of all, it is increasingly expected by customers, employees and partners of the company. It is also a wonderful means to mobilize your team around a common project, which will contribute to make the premises a better place to live in.

Waste management in the workplace is thus becoming an increasingly crucial issue in companies. According to a survey conducted in 2017 by Riposte Verte, 83% of co-workers think waste management is not optimal in the office, and 96% of them state that they are ready to change some work processes to improve the sorting system.

What regulations says

Companies have from now on a general obligation of sorting their waste with the « 5 flux decree » of 10 March 2016, which concerns 5 waste flows (woods, plastics, metals, glass, paper/cardboard). This obligation concerns all firms using a removal private provider, and companies producing more than 1100 L of waste by week (for those who use public services). About organic waste, all producers of more than 10 tons of bio waste by year have to sort at the root to insure their matter valorisation.

Key actions to reduce waste

Zero Waste France, in its guide book « Zero waste at work » published in 2018, offers 12 key actions that can be carried out in your workplace, by all people wishing to engage their company in a Zero Waste process (employee, direction, services…). The approach has to be collective in all cases, but can be launched at various levels.

Examples of actions:

  • Equip your premises with reusable crockery: to avoid overconsumption of disposable products (and the cost associated with it), there are a lot of reusable alternatives (mugs, metal cutlery, plates and Tupperwares…).
  • Organize Zero waste meetings : in the same vein, removing single doses (coffee capsule, tea bags, water bottles…) and substituting them with big packaging purchases of bulk products allow to limit waste.
  • For purchases, promote second-hand or re-employment: recycled furniture, donation of your old electronic devices and computer equipment…
  • Make people aware of cigarette butt’s impact: during breaks, the presence of ashtrays associated with awareness allows to limit cigarette butt’s pollution.