5 Key Commercial Strategies
Baseline Waste Auditing and Reporting of a Company's Environmental Impact
Data allows you to see a clear picture of how your program performs. It also employs the system of checks and balances that keep your program on its path. Reporting of individual data is a requirement. Before you can submit quality baseline reports, you have to have a system in place that collects quality data.
Understand Your Company's Environmental Impact
Without quality data, the vision of the company's environmental impact is incorrect. Showing a decrease of that impact should be the goal. To get there, you must measure where you are currently and then show each goal and process to achieve that goal. Incorrect data does not help your cause or show the current position and project future results. Both need backing from quality data.
Failure to Submit Reports
Failure to submit reports or submitting erroneous reports has consequences. More governmental involvement, monitoring, resampling, and other corrections can cause fines, loss of funding, and even personnel removal. Useful data that is substantiated by process and understanding the content needed for reporting are two ways to ensure that filling reports occur.
Learn more about quality data and how it improves reporting by reaching out to our team.
Without useful data, you cannot visualize or track the waste stream's performance or:
Track environmental savings
Track operational savings
Identify financial or environmental gaps
Properly develop projects
Keep or gain support from all stakeholders
Develop planning that helps to identify and meet goals
Grow your program
Management & Staff Interviews to Gauge Buy-In
Local community green marketing/storytelling strategies through local government
The story is a way to visually or audibly present truths and facts about your operation, compellingly. When presented correctly, a powerful story can drive consumers to take positive action and make change. Here is a look at the benefits of green marketing and storytelling.
The benefits of captivating storytelling is that the audience hears the message, relates to the message, and takes action because of the message. Don’t get caught in the trap of implementing green programs that won’t translate to consumers, employees, and shareholders.
Storytelling is a beautiful way to reach everyone, but the story must resonate with the target market. If the story is not socially sensitive, it can drive people away from the cause, but when you connect with an audience by including social issues, you draw them into your story. Customers will start to hear and internalize corporate sustainability messaging when they feel understood, and valued.
Simplify the Story
The benefits of simple storytelling reveal themselves when the audience resonates quickly with your product or service. When messaging aligns with consumers’ values, they can feel uplifted and inspired and compelled to answer your company’s call to action. their audience to act.
Gauge Management and Staff Buy-In
Interviewing management and staff is an excellent way to measure buy-in for a waste reduction program. You've developed a plan, but now you need to understand how well that plan will be received and whether management and staff understand its purpose and benefits.
There are benefits and barriers to using interviews. Here is a look at both.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Making sure employees feel secure to provide real and truthful answers is a key component to gathering human sentiment toward new waste diversion programs. One could choose to conduct this data collection using individual, in person interviews with a smaller sample size, a larger roundtable session, or by providing an open forum for full inclusivity. Another method is to distribute hand written or digital surveys for anonymous input and provide an incentive to ensure valid form submissions with valuable insights.
Not Socially Sensitive
There are many ways to conduct interviews. A barrier to some interview methods is that they are too personal. The benefit of using a few varieties of interview methods means that the data collected may be more valid. In-person or team interviews are popular and easy; an anonymous interview through a third-party can ease concerns and produce better results.
Interview or Confrontation?
A barrier to interviews can be the tone of the questions or the interview method. If people feel like they are on trial rather than providing information, they may resist. The benefit of making the interview benign is that you gain better knowledge and sometimes data that you had not anticipated receiving.
When the interview questions are composed, they may not be exact, leading to invalid answers. If a quest is not straightforward, the interviewee may answer the wrong question. The benefit of well-composed questions is that there is only one set of answers that help validate the data you collect.
Planning the steps needed to meet an environmental goal requires standardized policy structure and rules.
A goal should be visionary and inspiring, yet friendly and approachable. When given company-wide sustainability goals and small steps to be taken each day or week to achieve those goals, workers tend to identify themselves and empower each other as being part of the solution. They can be especially helpful when purpose and fulfillment are tied to the daily or weekly actions the company is asking them to take for the greater good.
Roles and Responsibilities
Many times, employees may not participate in a program, such as recycling and composting, when they don’t feel properly trained. By crafting policies and rules that clearly define internal Zero Waste projects, responsibilities, goals, and resources to achieve those goals, workers build up their confidence in using the program correctly and feel justification in advocating for peers to do the same.
Follow best practices when tracking waste diversion data and use it to show gains and losses. Showing losses is just as valuable as gains as they are an opportunity to make improvements, boost positive staff morale, and drive focus where changes are needed. Each of these moves the process forward.
Landfill waste reduction is an improvement in business operational efficiency. Having a budget to ensure cost saving programs, such as recycling and food waste composting, can continue is essential to optimization. Budgets for these types of programs can be justified when useful data tracking shows cost savings from actual volume reduction, having “right-sized” hauler contracts, and increases in participation rates.
Review and Re-evaluate
Like any good plan, benchmarks and deadlines may change and having fluidity built into program implementation is key. As your program grows and progresses forward, you will need to review and reevaluate to make necessary adjustments. This is not a negative, but a positive as you fine-tune your strategy to meet your sustainability goals.
Program Implementation for Successful Rollout
Starting a waste reduction program is an opportunity to increase efficiency and save on costs by decreasing waste. When it comes to rolling out a waste reduction plan, start the implementation at the top of the company hierarchy to instill a sense of urgency and legitimacy so workers are more willing to learn and comply.
These tips help to make each rollout a success. Each situation is slightly different, but we can adopt a specific plan for your goals.
To learn more about the successful rollout of a waste reduction plan for your company, give us a call.
Zero Waste Training for Employees and Janitorial Staff
Zero waste training can be challenging to implement for many reasons. We find that business owners either don’t know where to begin, have good intentions, but are too overwhelmed with daily operations, or worse, already have a program in place with no funding or mechanism for enforcement.
You may not know where to find the right resources and information to implement an effective program that is sustainable over the long term or that gains immediate buy-in from employees. Getting everyone on your team on the same page is a huge undertaking in some cases.
From upper management to the janitorial staff, Zero waste training for all employees will be critical in getting everyone on the same page about goals and expectations. Providing the same training to everyone creates a sense of unity and common purpose. It also specifically sets out how each member of your team can contribute to this common goal and brings attention to why your company is moving in this direction.
By implementing a training program, your team can also learn about local resources to recycle and compost, strategies to make their efforts more effective, and the impact their efforts will make on your community and the planet. When your team has the information and resources they need, they can make more confident in their own office waste management decisions and collectively move your company toward its Zero Waste goal.
Here is a sample of the training programs we offer for training on all levels!
Zero Waste 101 - Learn the fundamentals of Zero Waste and industry terminology, best practices, and benefits
Employee Engagement - Make materials management fun and engaging for employee buy-in and program ownership
Green Marketing - Learn cost-saving food waste reduction techniques and how the federal Good Samaritan Act legally protects food businesses and issues tax benefits