Reducing waste will increase profitability, but deciding where to begin can be difficult. With reducing expenses for material purchases and waste disposal, you could improve your company’s image and become the preferred choice for customers who prioritize sustainable practices.
1. Cut Down on Paper Waste
Every ream of paper represents harvested trees, energy-intensive processing, and fuel-consuming shipping. You can reduce paper waste in your company by reviewing documents digitally and using e-sign software when signatures are required.
2. Reduce Internal Trash Production
Over the course of a year, how much do you think that you pay to have your garbage hauled away? The amount might be staggering, but you can take immediate action to lower that expense and send less material to the landfill. Stock your break rooms or cafeterias with real plates, glasses, and silverware that can be used for years. This halts the disposal of huge quantities of paper and plastic. Next, install water filters so that employees can refill mugs or reusable bottles instead of throwing away single-use plastic bottles. You’re also wasting money if you’re buying bottled water. Bottled water exceeds the cost of tap water by at least a factor of 300.
3. Use Data to Reduce Wasted Inventory
Excess or insufficient inventory costs you money, but many innovative and data-driven tools have emerged to help you accurately predict need. Food distributors and grocers especially benefit from real-time demand forecasting software that measures historical demand, the effects of marketing campaigns, seasonal shifts, and external factors like bad weather or economic fluctuations.
4. Redesign Product Packaging
Ultimately, packaging is something that you pay for that someone else will immediately throw away. You should investigate how to minimize packaging. Recyclability presents another important factor. Research how to incorporate recycled materials into packaging or choose biodegradable materials instead of plastics that persist in the environment.
5. Reuse Shipping and Packaging Materials
Are you paying to dispose of packaging waste instead of reusing it? Look for ways to reuse those materials when you ship out packages whenever possible. Reach out to your suppliers and talk to them about returning reusable packaging materials so that they can use them again. A shipping company might really want those pallets back. Such a relationship would save both sides money. Similarly, companies have enjoyed huge dividends when they adopt reusable shipping containers instead of disposable ones. Pepsi-Cola cut costs by an astonishing $44 million when it ditched single-use shipping cartons.
6. Include Everybody
Communicate your waste reduction policies throughout your organization and invite all team members to share their ideas. You never know who might have a valuable insight within your organization.
Read more about plastic waste here.