In times when ‘Go Green’ is the way to go, office waste management has become a focal point in countering environmental pollution as well as cutting down on operational costs by businesses. What’s more, having a green office boosts the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of organizations across the globe, by reducing wastes and recycling them.
In factories, Green Manufacturing is a key to improved business processes, where polluting agents are reduced in emissions and use of key natural resources are optimized. The reduced emission of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases has been at the forefront of green manufacturing. The entire manufacturing lifecycle is being restructured so as to minimize wastage and optimize non-renewable resource usage. An important factor is how the products will be disposed off during the manufacturing process. In office spaces, major pain areas are food wastage and usage of power. Many organizations have adopted the practice of recycling wasted food from the cafeteria and use them as manure for the soil within the office premise to grow plants. Power conservation too, being a major challenge, has been the focal point for the operating of offices. Use of solar powers and switching of machines and computers when not in use are steps taken to save power. Some power suppliers have, in fact, initiated programs to reward enterprises who commit to and conserve power. Waste water management is another area where organizations are focusing on in recent years. Enterprises have hired business water suppliers to optimize their water consumption, reduce water wastage and ensure compliance with regulations on waste management. Consumption of natural resources by large organizations has been monitored closely by agencies, to ensure availability of power, food and water to all. Non-compliance usually results in higher penalties they pay eventually.
The foremost challenge in conserving office waste is to motivate people in participating in the program. Amidst the ever increasing work pressure and upward aspiring career graphs, employees tend to forget their responsibility as a citizen toward the environment holds inside the office too, and not just the headache of the management. Human Resources department have come up with ideas to nominate members for Green Teams in office, who take up the responsibility to educate and empower employees to take up green initiatives like switching off workstations, bringing their own coffee mugs instead of using the paper ones, reduce food wastes in the cafeteria and recycling the wasted food in enhancing the greenery of the premise. Promoting the use of electronic communication instead of prints wherever possible helps a long way to reduce wastage too. Installing recycle bins at strategic locations encourages employees to dump recyclable wastes like wrappers, newspapers and bus tickets. Large organizations use compactors as a repository to collect food wastes. Conducting seminars on waste management in offices and its correlation with the larger goal of a cleaner world will encourage more and more employees to come up and join the movement.
Having a cleaner office space easily translates into having a cleaner society!