Manufacturers Can Be Both Earth-Friendly and Wallet-Friendly

Achieving ROI from waste reduction efforts is still a major issue for corporate sustainability efforts.

Sustainability isn't always about being "earth-friendly," says Bruce Tompkins, executive director of the Supply Chain Consortium. "Many times green initiatives also need to be wallet-friendly." And the good news, he notes, is that quite a few manufacturers have hit on effective and yet inexpensive ways to keep waste out of their landfills.

Even so, achieving return on investment from waste reduction efforts is still a key challenge for those companies attempting to make their processes more sustainable. Based on a recent study by the consortium, more than half the companies surveyed are finding that ROI constraints are their main stumbling block on the road to sustainability. A lack of reporting standards is also a major issue, being cited by nearly half of the respondents.

The survey also identifies the most frequently uses waste recycling techniques being used in the workplace:

  • 84% place clearly marked recycling collection bins in easily accessible areas;
  • 68% provide different types of containers for various types of waste to avoid mixing incompatible materials;
  • 58% ensure that every employee has a recycling bin at their desk;
  • 51% develop a company policy to recycle every possible material; and
  • 51% provide reusable mugs, glassware, plate, and utensils for employee use in the cafeteria or break rooms.
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