America Recycles Day happens once a year, and it serves as a great opportunity to recognize big things happening in recycling and waste reduction, as well as to motivate others to take action!
The 3 R’s – recycle, reduce, reuse – are inherently connected. To be a successful business, you must have all three.
Case in point: Take Sony Electronics. Their North America headquarters are here in San Diego, and they have been taking strides to reduce the strain that their facility and its hundreds of employees put on our local waste stream.
How do they do this?
- Food waste composting: Their campus includes a cafe where many employees enjoy all sorts of lunch options from a salad bar to sushi. Instead of throwing away the food waste, facilities teams now compost it.The bins are picked up weekly and taken to Miramar for composting. They are on track to divert 10 tons of waste annually, as a result of their composting program.
- Single stream recycling: The easier you make things, the more participation you’ll get. Placing all types of recycling in one container isn’t the most innovative practice, but how about having centralized recycling containers on each floor that serve as visible reminders to recycle? Perhaps water cooler chat will relocate to to the recycling station.
- Employee engagement: Engaging employees in environmental education and volunteer efforts surrounding conservation is another key way that Sony drives home the message that each of our actions has an effect on the local environment. By picking up litter at canyon cleanups or attending an education session at the office, environmental conservation is top of mind. This then transitions into employees’ ownership and support of in-house recycling programs and the adoption of sustainable behaviors. Furthermore employees are encouraged to join Sony’s Green Workspace Certification program. This program outlines simple yet effective every day actions that make a real difference in waste, water and energy reduction. Rewards and incentives are available for achievers in the program. All of these initiatives (and many more) are helping Sony along the path to their global “Road to Zero” long term environmental goal.
“Any waste is a waste of resources.” says Eric Johnson, Sustainability Manager at Sony. “By changing some of our internal processes and giving our employees some tools to reduce the waste they generate at work we are aiming to divert at least 15 tons of garbage from the Miramar landfill and increase our recycling rate by 10% over the next year.”
Whether your business has 50 employees or 500, there are always ways to lessen the impact your office has on the environment. Here are a few easy-to-implement suggestions:
-Purchase paper that has, minimum, 30 percent recycled content
-Change the settings on all employee computers so that printing defaults to double-sided copies
– Ensure that each employee has convenient recycling options for common office items like paper and cardboard