The pressure on today’s business world is not solely economic. Increasingly environmental issues are playing a role on the global stage.
South Africa’s legislation reflects this pressure to structure our lives around sustainability.
The triple bottom line (people, planet and profit) has replaced the profit driven approach. In fact these pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic factors – are interrelated. Good environmental practice often has positive social and economic benefits. This will increasingly be the case as legislative and accreditation pressures are brought to bear on the business world.
WastePlan, the largest curb-side recycling collector in South Arica, recently launched a Green Team and invited their clients to send a representative each to join them. Being part of the Waste Plan’s Green Team would provide the opportunity for this business to attend quarterly talks on relevant changes and receive updates in the greening industry. This information may then be incorporated into the greening of their respective businesses.
Full greening strategy offered
Guest were also offered a further level of teaming in greening their world, whereby they could partner with Wasteplan to implement a full greening strategy of environmental management systems, complying with ISO14001 standards.
The Green Team is a Wasteplan initiative of forming partnerships with their clients and business associates to green their world from the corporate to the individual.
At this event Alison Davison from the City of Cape Town’s Solid Waste: Waste Minimisation department gave some interesting information about the impact of the mother city’s Think Twice recycling programmes on the environment.
The following tonnages of waste are saved from going to landfill and sent for recycling in the respective areas per month:
- Atlantic area – 200 tonnes
- Helderberg area – 350 tonnes
- Hout Bay area – 150 tonnes
- Deep South area – 125 tonnes
- Recyclable collections for complexes, flats, hotels & businesses in Sea Point, Green Point, Mouille Point and Three Anchor Bay – saves approx 230 tonnes
In summary, Think Twice is saving approximately 1050 tonnes recyclables per month = 12600 tonnes per year.
What can businesses do to minimise waste?
- Partner with a waste minimisation company, like Wasteplan
- Look into ELIMINATING or REDUCING waste in their internal process
- Put pressure on their suppliers to do the same
- Focus on Green procurement – REFUSE to buy unsustainably
- If they are in Cape Town, make use of the City’s tools to assist with waste re-use, e.g. Integrated Waste Exchange (IWEX) – see http://www.capetown.gov.za/iwex
IWEX is a free online system enabling waste generators and users to exchange waste materials. It is available to businesses, individuals, schools and institutions, industry, NGO’s and community groups. IWEX facilitates the re-use of waste, by connecting waste material generators with waste material users to reduce waste discarded at landfill sites.
For more information go to www.wasteplan.co.za.