Having economically viable and responsible waste management is more than just managing the everyday waste with your recycling expert. It is just as much about to change perspective and taking control of the entire production process. This can give you a complete picture of the material flows, from when enters your business until it leaves – no matter whether it does so as a product or as waste. Setting goals for the management of waste or residual products can make it easier to get a correct overview of your situation.
Up the waste hierarchy
One goal that is directly linked to waste management is how much of the recycled, incinerated or other wastes can be lifted in the waste hierarchy. These movements (including quantities of wastes lifted) can be measured and compared. And any lifting in the waste hierarchy can also be easily used in your sustainability communication.
Another type of goal is the amount of transport and logistics required for waste management. How it is handled and packed will affect for example, the number of waste transport and the transport weights. This, too, can be set into usable and progressive goals.
Another goal may be to reduce the total amount of waste produced. By setting targets for how much waste is generated per manufactured product, this becomes more specific. Visualizing progress in the work environment can facilitate employees’ understanding and how they can contribute to improvement.
In addition to measuring the total amount of waste, it is also important to monitor the cost and revenue of the waste. Some materials have a waste value, while other waste must be treated as a cost. Both can be important when setting goals.
Awareness helps meet goals
To accomplish better recycling and reach set goals, it is necessary to engage your employees and provide them with the right tools and conditions for work.
Training the staff is important for correct source sorting and for managing the risks that may occur. There is also an opportunity to set clear goals regarding the degree and transfer of skills and to use the number of completed courses as a goal of its own.
Two others, somewhat more advanced, goals are those that deal with in part the recyclability of the own product and in part the amount (the proportion) of recycled material within the product. The first goal describes the percentage of the product that can be recycled. This is a goal where good results can be used in a rewarding way in your external communication. The second goal describes the proportion of recycled materials used and can apply to both packaging and product.
Better economy, more sustainability
Creating goals for your business provides clarity, for your employees as well as for customers and consumers. It shows that you take your material handling seriously. And in the end, it supports a better economy, while at the same time creating environmental benefits. The goals are also relatively simple to create, because there are good technical solutions to see the development of waste management over time. Start using measurable goals, it’s a simple means to improve waste management and to create a clear direction for what the business wants to achieve.