Waste. Are you Wasting Yours?

28 Jan 2020 by Tom Swinbourne

Following further reports published last week that the world is heating up, climate change and sustainable practices are topics that are only going to continue being considered as important factors in our decision-making process. Whether this is driven by extreme weather, politics, the media or social pressures, it will undoubtedly influence the way the world operates in the future – no matter how strongly the sceptics resist it.

Businesses are pivotal in guiding and influencing those around them on this journey as they are central to both the consumer and the supply chain. If we focus specifically on the challenge of waste, a business needs to be scrutinising it and looking at what can be avoided - showcasing best practices for others to adopt. There are clear examples of businesses demonstrating this already, yet it is the long-tail of smaller businesses that need to get on-board – or risk falling behind, and ultimately losing out.

We recently held a roundtable on waste and delivering value and efficiency in a changing market. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing a series of videos and blogs on four key topics that were covered during this session:

1. Meeting changing customer demands and expectations for managing waste and wastage

2. Changing the way waste is managed to improve efficiency

3. Applying a different measure

4. Adding value to the triple bottom line.

Changing customer demands and expectations for managing waste and wastage – are you meeting them?

We are seeing in studies that consumers are environmentally ‘savvier’ and are using public platforms such as social media to praise and shame businesses on their actions that impact the environment.

As we start this series of Reconomy blogs, we should begin by looking at the customer and whether it is true to say that their expectations are changing. In general, with the publicity around climate change there is certainly evidence to show that more consumers are preferring to spend and stay loyal to ethical brands. FT.com for example reported back in 2018 that the market for ethical goods and services was in the region of £81bn, and Forbes declared that 88% of consumers want companies to help them with their sustainability lifestyles.

So, whether your customer is a business or a consumer, ultimately there is a desire to see an increase in sustainable business practices. The activists out there are, from a brand perspective, the underlying threat that at any point can cause a lot of damage to a reputation. So, despite the Government introducing targets to enforce sustainable practices, the thresholds seem too high and the timescales too long - and consumers are expecting more immediate action.

For SMEs, the spotlight at this point is firmly on the big corporates. So, is the perception that these views are too idealistic for them? Do they consider it their responsibility to drive sustainability or just simply wait for the corporates to provide the right path for them to follow? Is there enough education and understanding around legislative requirements and expectations?

The FM community is an important piece in the puzzle here as it provides the link between the end user and their supply chain. It is therefore in a prime position to answer these questions and provide best practice to businesses large and small across any sector. If people become engaged (professionally and personally), the output is that they understand the importance of working towards their targets, whether they legally need to or not, and get clarity on how to practically achieve them - rather than continuing to see them as too idealistic for them.

To listen in to the Reconomy roundtable session and to hear more on this topic please visit:

https://www.twinfm.com/article/dont-waste-it-roundtable-series-managing-...