For the month of June, we are putting in the spotlight two key areas relating to our Hazard of the Month, the Environment. These key areas are Environmental Awareness and Resource Efficiency.
Ever-increasing awareness of how important it is to look after the environment has made more and more businesses examine their environmental impact. Even if you may think your business is not actively harming the environment, for example as you don’t work with hazardous chemicals or your work is not producing harmful gases, there are still many ways the working world can cause damage to our planet:
- Heating and air conditioning systems pump greenhouse gas emissions from offices into the atmosphere and use up vast amounts of electricity. Many buildings aren’t designed to include energy-efficient systems or technology to reduce the amount of heat and air conditioning they use.
- Many buildings are built from materials that don’t come from renewable sources.
- Office buildings have a huge appetite for electricity to power lighting, air conditioning, computers, printers, and photocopiers. Equipment may be left on 24 hours a day, seven days a week — even when no one’s working.
- Offices consume vast amounts of paper. Even with more offices recycling paper, a large amount of paper waste still goes to landfill sites or incinerators.
- In addition to paper, offices produce a lot of other waste, including equipment (especially computers), because companies regularly upgrade their equipment to stay competitive. Electronics such as photocopiers and computers can end up in landfills, where they don’t break down and, even worse, can leach harmful chemicals into the ground and water.
- Rush-hour traffic jams in towns and cities are full of people trying to get to work — wasting time and polluting the atmosphere.
Whilst surveys have shown that 95% of UK businesses had developed short-term plans to address environmental concerns in their direct operations and supply chains pre-pandemic, 6 in 10 are now cutting environment-related investment due to coronavirus.
One simple way to highlight your company’s commitment is by providing environmental training for your workforce. Not only does this help educate both management and workers on what actions they can take in their respective roles, but it also provides great evidence for SSIPS and PQQs.
WA Management can provide Environmental Awareness online training that is perfect for all staff within an organisation to learn more about how they can change their actions in a small way to make a big difference to an organisation’s use of resources, which can, in turn, save the company money in the long run!
Resource efficiency involves conserving natural resources by only using what is needed in order to protect our planet from harm. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the reality is that global warming and climate change caused by various human activities are negatively impacting the environment and our health. But our activities are also having other direct and indirect effects on our planet. Land, air and water pollution are damaging biodiversity and causing diseases and ill health. However, making simple changes in our daily lives can help lead to better, healthier lives for all living species.
Not only are there ethical reasons to reduce waste, but it is estimated that UK organisations could save around £23 billion every year if they were more resource-efficient! One way to do this is by following the Waste Hierarchy:
- Prevent – reducing the amount of unnecessary waste you create, for example, by using reusable cups instead of disposable coffee cups.
- Reuse – getting the most out of an object or material you already have by reusing it such as the above example of a reusable cup or bottle.
- Recycle – separating waste for recycling rather than just throwing it away. This also includes putting organic waste in the food and garden waste bin or creating a compost heap for your garden.
- Recover – converting waste materials into usable heat, electricity or fuel through a variety of processes.
- Dispose – This is the least preferred step in the hierarchy as it involves disposing of waste in landfills or incineration without energy recovery.
If you would like to have a more in-depth insight into how you can implement the Waste Hierarchy and other methods at your workplace, our Resource Efficiency training course is ideal for organisations that would like to become more sustainable. It is also suitable for anyone who is interested in finding simple yet achievable ways to help the environment through waste management and efficient energy use.
For this month only, you can get an exclusive 10% off these two e-learning courses by using the code ‘environment10’ during checkout! Don’t miss out on accessing the truly valuable guidance these courses offer to ensure your organisation is doing their part in saving the planet.
To ensure an awareness of the environment is truly embedded in your organisation for a range of business benefits, we recommend implementing the ISO 14001:2015 Management System, something which WA Management are experts in! To learn more, please get in touch!