Today, more than 30 years after the first eco-label appeared, there are more than 400 different eco-labels that can be found on various products and in almost every industry.
Getting an eco-label is beneficial not only for the producers but also for the consumers that are buying products with these labels.
When company puts an eco-label on its products it makes a statement about controlling the impact of its business on the environment. Also, these labels can improve their business reputation in the marketplace and differentiate them from the competitors.
Nowadays, when consumers are more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment, they more often choose to buy eco-friendly products. By using an eco-label on their products, companies raise awareness about the environmental issues and help consumers make a greener choice. Products with these labels are more appealing to consumers, since they can easily spot the eco-label symbols and find the product they’ve been looking for.
See this infographic from Custom Labels and learn about the most popular eco-labels around the world.
When entrepreneurs start planning their company, the last thing they think about is waste management. However, this can be costly if not done correctly and prove to be a challenge to business owners across the country who have no experience with waste disposal.
Waste management is one area that business owners must consider when starting out, as it can account for 4-5% of a company’s overall turnover — businesses could experience highs of 10% of gross profits.
If employers do not want to act appropriately and ethically when disposing waste, these fees can be detrimental to their business. With rising landfill taxes, as well as recycling and sustainability becoming a main concern within ethical business principles, creating a reliable waste management solution is more important than ever for any forward-thinking business that is looking to make a change.
A business’ duty of care
Organisations throughout the UK have a responsibility to effectively dispose their waste — staying in line with guidelines set out in UK legislation. The requirements that you should meet are broadly as follows:
- Adopt the Waste Hierarchy principles in order to keep waste to a minimum by preventing, reusing, recycling, and recovering waste where possible.
- Store or sort waste securely in a safe environment.
- Complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that leaves the premises.
- Check to establish whether your waste carrier is registered. This can be done by visiting the official Environment Agency
- Do not let your waste carrier dispose of waste illegally. As a producer of waste, the legal responsibility for safe and correct disposal falls on you, and not the waste carrier. You have a responsibility to ensure safe disposal through an auditable document trail.
Securing waste as a business
Businesses are responsible for storing waste to ensure public safety, they should:
- Use suitable and EU-approved containers to prevent leakage.
- Label containers in a way which clearly stipulates what type of waste they contain.
- Use waterproof covers — where appropriate — so that no contaminated run-offs are created.
- Use lockable containers to safeguard your waste.
Removing waste from your business site
Businesses that want to remove the non-hazardous waste that they produce must complete a waste transfer note — an alternative that could be used is an invoice that holds the same information.
To fill out a transfer note, whether this is a singular or a series which allows you to account for many loads in the future, you must register with the correct authorities.
Your organisation and any sub-contracts must:
- Fill in the sections of the note that applies to them.
- Sign it.
- Keep a copy for two years.
- Be able to present it to an enforcement officer from the local council or the Environment Agency, if requested.
How to reduce the costly removal of waste
Reducing external cost for waste management is a goal that businesses should have. However, this can be a leap in the dark if business owners are uncertain of how to do this effectively.
To discover how much material and what type of material you’re using, start segregating and monitoring regularly. From this, you can set your strategy, highlighting your own targets and goals to ensure the best results possible when it comes to disposal.
Businesses that produce waste must be aware of TEEP — technically, environmentally and economically practicable. This determines whether a business should segregate and store various types of produced waste within the business premises prior to its collection by a waste management contractor you have teamed up with.
Businesses in Britain, which produces commercial and municipal waste, is required to manage its waste responsibly — according to the Waste Framework set out by the EU. It can use a third party to achieve this, but businesses will continue to remain responsible. There are many reasons as to why a business may need to separate the waste that they have produced, and one which stands with the highest ethical standard is whether there will be an environmental benefit or reduce a negative that currently exists.
How much waste are you producing?
Teaming up with a waste management company will allow your business to have a greater insight on the waste you produce, showing the volumes and cost. Through waste management portals, each business can have tailored permissions that help provide them with an overview of waste statistics and management information.
To test the waters of how much waste your business is producing, and before going down the route of using a waste management contractor, it might be worth visually assessing how much waste your organisation is disposing on a regular basis. Monitor the bins over a week until they are collected by noting how much waste a bin holds and how full it is before the collection date.
It’s important for businesses to test the waters by reducing the amount of waste collections and see how much time it takes until there is too much waste in your bins — this can lead executives to make better decisions when disposing. They will have to deal with the limited bin space they have for waste, ensuring that every decision is important.
Landfill tax over the years has been increasing, so carrying out these assessments are essential to ensure a smooth business process in terms of waste management strategies.
By 1st of April 2018, landfill tax will raise to £88.95. With the cost of landfill waste rising year or year, it’s clear that businesses need to ensure that their waste solution systems are driven towards recyclable methods to keep the costs of landfill waste to a minimum.
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Anyone who’s worked in construction will tell you that when you’re on the job, you’re always thinking about the finished product. Taking a concept from blueprints and transforming it into an actual, physical building is an amazing accomplishment. It’s an achievement that takes devotion and single-mindedness to achieve. Unfortunately, perfecting your project can lead to a whole lot of waste as well as an impressive building. If not handled properly, that waste can hurt both the environment and the community around the construction site.
Here are a few details on how proper clean-up makes a difference, and why you should never be satisfied until you’ve done your duty in this area.
You might think of your construction project as a gift to your community, and it probably is. Whatever you’re building, there will probably be people going in and out of the building on a regular basis. Leaving sharp bits of metal left in the grass, or dusts that could be harmful if inhaled is a bit like giving someone a cake and leaving rocks in the frosting. It stands to reason that your project will be better appreciated by those that use it if it’s hazard-free when it’s presented to them.
Leaving waste from a construction project is like exponential littering to the. Piles of debris aren’t usually left lying around after a building is finished, but even dust can be harmful in large quantities. In addition, there are often plenty of smaller scraps that don’t make it out with the rest of the trash. Bits of plastic, screws, and oil stains can not only look bad, but they can also have an effect on the plant and animal life living in the area. Animals can hurt themselves walking across the area, or can ingest something harmful by mistake. Construction dust mixing with topsoil can kill insects and worsen soil quality, making it harder for things to grow.
When handling your clean up, try to think like a boy scout. While it might not be possible to “leave no trace”, as their motto goes, you may find that taking an extra hour to set your employees working on picking up any leftovers they can see will make a big difference.
There are all kinds of hazardous materials that can be involved in a construction project. These toxins and chemicals won’t go away by magic, but take a concerted effort to carefully remove. Obviously, as far as toxins go it’s easier to avoid contaminating the area with them than cleaning them up, but accidents happen. If there are any spills on the job, be sure that they are cleaned up as soon as possible. The longer you sit on this, the worse it can become. If you think you may have something more than an ordinary clean-up on your hands, consider contacting a professional like Alliance Demolition Services Inc. or someone similar for help handling it. Make sure that all involved with the removal have proper safety materials on as well.
Your construction projects can bring in jobs for your community, but have you considered how construction clean-up can do the same? You can hire people who are well-equipped to handle such demanding jobs. To be involved in construction clean-up, you need to be as strong-willed as possible. Make sure anyone you hire is able to attack this task with absolute vigor.
We hope this has given you a great idea of how construction clean-up makes a difference. Taking the time to ensure that your cleanup is done correctly will make a huge difference in the health of the environment, as well as the community. Take it seriously.
There’s no need to say that concrete plays an important role in our everyday lives. After all, it’s the material that’s been used to build things like apartment blocks, schools, bridges, and many other constructions we tend to visit on daily basis. And even though concrete is used so much, very few people understand just how sustainable concrete is. That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of 6 sustainability benefits of using concrete. Read on to find out more.
One of the best things about concrete is that it’s pretty durable. This means that all the concrete constructions are more likely to come to the end of their life because there’s no further use for them rather than concrete failing due to old age. Even then, demolition isn’t always the only option since a construction can easily be stripped down to its concrete core and rebuilt into something new.
We’ve all heard about heat islands that are constantly becoming a bigger problem for metropolitan areas. That’s where concrete comes in handy since it minimizes the effects that produce urban heat islands. This is the case because light-colored concrete roofs and pavements absorb less heat. Moreover, concrete tends to reflect more solar radiation than some other materials like asphalt. Due to the reflectivity of concrete, less energy is used on air-conditioning during the warm months.
Another great thing about concrete is that it can be produced quite effectively. What this means is that usually, concrete is produced in quantities necessary for a project that’s about to take place, thus reducing the waste. Not only this, but the concrete that has been used for constructing a building can be used once again, even once there’s no further use for that building. Concrete can be crushed, recycled and used for pavements or as a road base.
Homes built with concrete foundations, walls and floors are more energy efficient than homes built with any other material. Concrete possesses the ability to both absorb and retain heat, which allows homeowners to spend much less on their heating bills. On top of this, due to concrete’s thermal mass, people with concrete homes need to spend less money on air conditioners since even the small-capacity ones can do the job.
Limestone is the most popular option when it comes to raw materials for producing concrete, which is great since our planet is extremely rich in limestone. Some other materials used for producing concrete include ash, silica fume and slag cement, which are all byproducts from manufacturing facilities. So, if you turn to experts in tilt up construction, you can rest assured no rare materials have been used for producing your concrete tilt panels.
The problem with paved surfaces is that they block natural water infiltration into the soil. This can easily create an imbalance in the ecosystem and can result in issues such as pollution and erosion. Luckily, we now have pervious concrete which allows water to infiltrate the soil. This is due to pervious concrete’s sponge-like void networks. So, when this type of concrete is used for sidewalks and roads, it can help when it comes to replenishing local water supplies.
Floods have the potential to destroy homes and that’s why it’s very important to use water resilient materials when constructing a building. Only this way can all the damage floods can do be prevented. Concrete is pretty water resilient, but whether a building is waterproof or water resilient, depends on what type of concrete is used for construction. Of course, there are other design details that determine just how efficiently a building can keep water out.
All in all, concrete really is an eco-friendly environment you can’t just go wrong with, no matter what kind of building you’re constructing. And since today it’s all about being environmentally-friendly, relying on concrete is always recommended.
Every process in a company can be optimised to create the smoothest and most efficient sale and supply chain — and packaging is no exception. This doesn’t just bring more effective business, however; there are many steps in the packaging process that can be made more environmentally friendly. If you optimise your distribution, you can reduce your carbon footprint. BCS, who supply custom cardboard box making machines, have put together this guide to help you go green with your packaging.
The first step in any process of improving efficiency is to evaluate your current situation. Realistically consider your current carbon footprint and how much of this comes from your packaging solutions – without glossing over things. Bring into the picture how much you waste, how many vehicles you use in delivery, how much package filler you use and so forth. Once you have a solid and realistic idea of where you’re at, it’s much simpler to optimise your packaging process.
Cut Down on Materials
One key way to go green with your packaging is to cut down on materials. The best technique to achieve this is to create packaging that fits your product. Make cardboard boxes with as little excess space as possible. Not only does this reduce the risk of breakages during delivery, it also means you don’t need to use packaging fillers, such as packing peanuts. Styrofoam fillers cannot be recycled, so cutting down on this material will greatly improve your carbon footprint.
It also cuts down on cardboard material as you use less with each package. When your distributing hundreds of packages everyday, a better fit can make a huge difference. Not only does this improve your carbon footprint, it also saves you money on materials and resources.
Cut down on Waste
Along a similar vein, cutting down on waste is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. While reducing your materials helps with this, you can also be more careful to only make the boxes that you need. This particularly applies to smaller businesses who sell smaller quantities of goods and in many different varieties and sizes. It can be easy to stockpile different cardboard boxes for when you might need them. However, if you only make the boxes you need, you’ll cut down on waste and be more green in your packaging process.
Reduce Carbon Emissions
When you are creating boxes of smaller sizes, that fit your products more closely, you’ll be able to fit more of your product in each vanload. When you’re loading your transport vehicles, be sure to load them efficiently and fully, stacking boxes close together without leaving gaps. This small alteration can make a huge difference to your carbon emissions. You can cut down on the number of vehicles you’re using and therefore shrink your carbon footprint.
We hope you’re enthused about going green by optimising your packaging process. A custom box making machine will allow you to do all the above tips and recommendations. You can create boxes that are completely tailored your specifications, sizes and demand, even making as little as one at a time. But whatever your method, improve your business’s carbon footprint by optimising your packaging process.
Now more than ever, there is an emphasis being placed on us to become more responsible citizens of the Earth. There have been strides to go green wherever possible in order to help sustain life long after we leave it. Although progress has been made, some industries can still stand to make improvements and cut its waste. One of the biggest offenders of waste falls within the construction industry.
How Construction Projects Contribute to City Waste
Between new builds, renovations, and demolitions, the construction industry finds itself responsible for over a third of waste in most major cities, from Sydney, Australia to Vancouver, British Columbia. In Vancouver alone, construction waste totals upward of 1.5 million tons annually. While much of that is recycled, the remaining waste that ends up in the garbage can certainly be reduced if it were also recycled or reused in some fashion. The biggest contributions to this waste are due to improper demolition and disposal of wood materials, common in most new build projects.
How Building Green Benefits the Environment
By taking a green approach to construction we can greatly improve many facets of the Earth, from minimizing water waste to raw materials, energy and even the land itself. By reducing emissions and pollution the environment can be greatly impacted in a positive way and extend the lifespan of our ecosystems. Below are some of the ways that sustainable, eco-friendly construction can benefit our environment.
Less Water Waste
Construction projects utilise water resources in order to perform builds the traditional way. If limits are not placed on water usage in the near future, many communities may be at risk of water shortages which would be highly detrimental to society as a whole. Sustainable new builds with enhanced systems and appliances designed to reduce water waste would drastically cut down on water waste.
Use of Raw Materials
As we find ourselves using up the Earth’s natural resources faster than the Earth can regrow, things like trees used in wood construction builds, it’s important to consider how we will allow the Earth to thrive while still keeping up with societal demands for new buildings. Many developers of sustainable construction have found ways to utilise less raw materials that are significantly eco-friendlier, such as renewable or recycled resources. These teams are constantly stretching the limits of innovation in order to find more durable, long-lasting materials that can be used in new builds as to not use up the Earth’s resources so quickly. Additionally, the more we reuse and recycle, the less overall waste we will contribute to the growing issue of waste management.
Energy Efficient Solutions
With advances in technology, we now have more options for appliances that utilize energy-saving features and release lower emissions and pollution into the atmosphere. These lower our need for harmful fossil fuels and are also more cost-effective.
Choosing the Right Land
As our societies are growing we find ourselves going deeper into territories that were otherwise thriving with natural life before our impact on them, such as the ever-shrinking rainforest. By taking the extra time and consideration to determine the best plot of land to use for new construction, we can prevent widespread issues like land erosion and promote a healthy appreciation for the natural land.
What Construction Companies Stand to Gain from Building Green
While it’s important to understand the effects of waste on the environment, construction companies could stand to gain a lot from switching to more eco-friendly solutions. By building green from the ground up, considering new tools and ways to reuse materials in renovations from demolitions, companies can have more cost-effective builds. Thereby improving their profit margins over time while simultaneously benefiting the community’s overall health as we reduce the number of carbon emissions in the air.
Construction Companies Need to Lead the Way to Change
The construction industry as a whole has not seen much in ways of innovation when it comes to adapting to more eco-friendly building strategies. In order for any of these benefits to be seen, there needs to be a paradigm shift in this area. By re-envisioning the way we can utilize and reuse recycled materials, construction companies can completely change the way the industry handles waste as a whole. In fact, they will discover is that much of what is sent to landfills can be reused at another jobsite.
This will naturally reduce waste over time, and revamp the way buildings are designed in order to better produce more cost-effective and environmentally conscious builds. This isn’t just something that can be done by labor workers, but rather everyone from the financial and legal advisors, designers, architects, engineers, to the site managers and contractors and subcontractors can assist in improving by altering the way they look at waste management. With the right tools, training, and education, there is no reason why the construction industry can’t adapt to our environmental and community needs.
Even those of us outside of the construction industry can help with this growing problem. By being aware of the impact of waste in these vital industries, we can encourage companies to make changes that will better prepare the Earth to naturally regenerate its resources before we eliminate them. By vocalizing our concerns, we can create the gradual shift toward eco-friendly building solutions.
British Solomon is a contributing writer and media specialist for Varco Pruden Buildings. She regularly produces content for a variety of construction and eco-friendly blogs based around the promotion and education of a more sustainable way of living.
As the world grows more conscious of the environment, businesses shouldn’t be lagging behind. It’s important to consider the efficiency of your workplace, as the little things such as light switches and plug sockets can all add up – especially when you consider just how many of them you have.
Your business needs to be prepared for the future in order to ensure exponential growth and success for years to come – and reducing your carbon footprint is one of the major ways to do it. Many places around the world are striving for sustainability, and if you aren’t looking to do the same, you could find your business lagging behind the rest.
There are plenty of reasons to consider going “green” beyond environmental purposes, too. Conserving energy and ensuring your business is sustainable will lead to cutting costs in the workplace, as well as making sure you’re futureproof and ready for any upcoming developments.
Whether it be finding a remedy to little issues you may be having in the workplace in regard to being eco-friendly, or establishing long-term solutions to ensure your sustainability for years to come, now’s the time to consider the improvements and advancements you can make for your business to become greener.
If you’re looking for a place to start, consider reading this thorough guide on behalf of Smart Pension Auto Enrolment. Detailing the many ways in which you can evolve and make your business more eco-friendly, from the very minor things to get started with to the long-term advancements when looking to the future, this guide covers everything you need to know about green businesses – and how to transform your own.
Improving your business’ sustainability and green credentials should be high up on your agenda, so don’t hesitate – with this guide, you can get started right away.
Click here to read ‘The Complete Guide On How To Make Your Business Green'
Poop is good for the environment. However, in large amounts that aren’t properly dealt with, poop pollutes the environment. For thousands of years, humans have been trying to find a way to deal with the enormous amount of waste we create, while keeping the environment safe. For businesses, this should also be a big concern, so here are four facts about poop that mustn’t be wasted.
1. Poop Pollution Has a Long History
When humans were hunter-gatherers who lived off the land and didn’t settle anywhere, the waste they produced helped to nourish the soil in the same way other animals’ waste nourishes soil. We were once another natural part of the nitrogen cycle and carbon cycle. Our man-made fertilizer was a net-benefit to the environment.
Then came the Agricultural Revolution and the rise of human settlements, ancient civilisations and, eventually, cities, empires and modern-day nation states. From the first day we began to settle down around 15,000 years ago, our ancestors immediately noticed a problem: the poop was starting to pollute. It’s for this reason that sewer systems were developed as far back as Ancient Rome.
Jump back 150 years ago and the Great Stink of London is gripping the nation. It was an event caused by the dried sewage of the Thames baking in the sun and causing a stench so foul that historians made a point of writing about it. This historical turning point was followed by the Sanitary Movement and the development of sewers and effluent plants across the world.
However, with the global population continuing to grow, poop pollution continues to be a problem, as we are once again faced with the issue of dealing with more poop than our current sewage systems can handle. This is something to bear in mind when your staff are producing wastewater like there’s no tomorrow. Speaking of which…
2. Your Staff Produce a Lot of Poop
It’s might be an uncomfortable thought, but it’s a realistic one. The greater the number of staff you have and the more time your staff spend at your workplace, the bigger your responsibility.
First of all, it may surprise you to discover that the average person produces 158 litres of wastewater — per day. That figure doesn’t just include poop. It also includes urine, toilet flushes, washing machine water, shower water, dishwasher water and any other used wastewater. Still, to a sewage system, it doesn’t matter, as it all goes to the same place.
Now, let’s say that your staff spend 22% of their week at your work, based on the 37.5 hours a week the average British person works, and that your staff consists of 150 people, which is the magic number for businesses. Those figures mean that your staff would produce 38,465 litres of wastewater at your workplace every week. Over the course of a year, your staff could fill over five-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools with the wastewater they produce at your workplace. If you have more than 150 staff, or if you make them do a lot of overtime, that figure could be closer to six.
3. Doing the Bare Minimum Is Not Always Enough
Knowing how much waste your staff can produce, it’s fair to assume that you’d take every precaution to make sure that you are not polluting. However, not every business does do this. After a recent Glastonbury Festival, it was discovered that the sewage treatment systems they had in place were not enough. As result, human waste from the festival was found to have polluted a nearby river.
4. Each Business Requires a Different Solution to Poop Pollution
For the 35% of Irish businesses or the 25% of American businesses not connected to a public sewage system, on-site sewage treatment systems are a must. While saving money might be a tempting option, this isn’t an area where you should be trying to do so. If your septic tank doesn’t have the capacity to deal with your staff’s wastewater, you’ll quickly regret it.
In this case, it’s most definitely better to have extra space and not need it, than to need extra space and not have it. This is why big, on-site concrete septic tanks are such popular choices for businesses. Their sheer size can accommodate for between 50 and 500 workers. If you want your business to grow, it’s important to know that your septic tank’s size isn’t limiting you.
It is true that we are now living in a world where sustainability matter more than it ever has. For the change to really take place, big businesses should be making small changes to their packaging and product handling strategies.
Businesses like Exporta Global have been making an effort to improve their carbon footprint by recycling materials from euro containers and boxes. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator, which proves this is a huge step in the right direction for product handling companies.
If you are small business that wants to make a change, the decision to make Eco-friendly choices is largely dependent on the storage and packaging you use. You too can invest in Eco-friendly storage options such as euro crates and storage containers.
Cut Cost with Recyclable Stacking Containers
Are you wasting hundreds of cardboard boxes every year? Sometimes, your stock will require better protection. If you are a small business that ships overseas, then it may be time for you to invest in professional product handling materials.
Buying euro containers in bulk is to save money. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to buy cheap storage containers that aren’t eco-friendly, that will need replaced every other year. If you are serious about improving your environmental foot print is to invest in reliable storage like euro stacking containers.
Space is also a factor as euro stacking containers can save your business space/ Space costs money and by having more room, you will not need to purchase extra storage areas. Stackable boxes can easily fit on top of one another, this means that you can free up space while saving money.
If you have a bigger business, then you may want to invest in pallet boxes. Collapsible pallet boxes are extremely sturdy, which make them one of the best ways for moving your business’ goods. There are many benefits of using collapsible plastic pallet boxes that can be recycled.
- Fast turnaround of the delivery vehicle
- Reduced labour
- Reduced risk of worker injury
- Goods in pallet boxes are better protected which means less waste
- Pallet boxes can be stored more efficiently in warehouses
Investing in quality materials means that you will not need to keep refreshing your stock. Pallet boxes can be used time and time again, which makes them the perfect option for medium-large sized companies that want to become more sustainable.
Space may not be an issue for bigger business, however, if you have dealt with pallet boxes in the past, then you will know that double stacking in a container can save you a significant sum.
Whether you are a big or small business there are lots of options when it comes to being a greener business. Your business and your customers can benefit from using Eco-friendly shipping containers. Remember to speak to a product handling advisor before you go ahead as there are different choices to consider depending on the type of business you own.
If your business has been waiting to see if the “green” movement would fade before doing something about your energy consumption, you’re too late. Energy efficiency has been embraced by businesses around the world as more than just a feel-good PR exercise. As it turns out, saving energy and operating more efficient commercial buildings is good for the bottom line, as well. Conserving energy has become even more important today as businesses try to widen their profit margins and trim unnecessary costs anywhere they might exist.
As consumers of nearly one-fifth of all the energy used in the United States, commercial buildings certainly represent an opportunity for greater efficiency. Businesses have started to come around on the idea that the less energy their offices and other properties waste, the more money they save and the more efficient their entire operations become. That means the more energy efficient a business becomes, the more competitive it is in the marketplace.
Although many businesses have grabbed headlines by making significant investments in energy efficiency — such as building their own solar farms or windmills — your business doesn’t have to make such a huge commitment. In fact, many of the factors that can have a big impact on energy efficiency are small changes in everyday habits. What’s more, many of those changes can be done through automation. For example, putting interior lights on a timer or motion sensor can cut down on the amount of time they’re on when no one is in the room, saving energy and money. Using the power-saving mode on computers and other office equipment — if not unplugging them completely when not in use — is another easy way to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
The following checklist of energy-saving ideas can help you and your business become more energy efficient and save you money in the long run. You may have been waiting for “green” thinking to fade, but there’s no reason to wait on reducing your energy usage.
Author bio: Steve Fountaine is the Owner of Premiere Works, which serves the Washington, D.C., southern Maryland and northern Virginia areas. Services include commercial painting, construction, contracting, build-outs, office renovations and more.