One of the most important roles of today’s facilities professional is the management of their company’s environmental responsibilities. This in itself is a diverse task and should include the development and implementation of a detailed environmental policy and waste management plan.
A strong environmental policy is no longer just a touchy-feely subject as it perhaps once was, but is an important element of a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Good environmental stewardship can also bring a competitive edge and is increasingly important in the battle for market share.
There are other commercial benefits aligned to better environmental awareness. Not least, the savings that can be made through improved recycling as the cost of landfill tax continues to rise. Currently standing at £56/tonne, it is set to rise to £80/tonne by 2014 as the Government continues to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the ground.
Aside from the financial benefits, businesses are legally obliged to ensure suitable arrangements are made for the safe and responsible disposal of waste and since this year they must ensure that the waste hierarchy is applied to all waste produced. Every business has a Duty of Care to ensure all waste is correctly contained, removed from the premises and disposed of by a licensed operator.
Given the often varied and dispersed nature of waste generation, it is often best to outsource the business of waste management to a professional organisation. Involving the experts will not only ensure that you comply with the strict rules and regulations which become ever more onerous each year, but can also save valuable management and staff time, doing away with the need to manage and chase multiple suppliers.
A good waste company will do more than simply remove bins. They will effectively engage with the customer to understand the entire waste process from the point it is generated to the point it is removed from the business.
Priorities and goals can then be set which engage staff at all levels, improving recycling efforts to reduce disposal costs and even generating revenue from waste materials. The relationship should be a long-term partnership that includes every type of waste generated and the most effective equipment including containers and even machinery. A good waste company should assist an FM company by continually developing the way waste is managed as new processes and technologies become available.
Ultimately it should allow facilities management companies to offer a service that is both more competitive and more sustainable that better meets the needs of customers.
A case study – Delivering 76% increase in recycling performance
One case is of an industrial support service company offering a range of in-house and outsourced environmental and FM services. Their client – a power station in Gloucestershire – required the management of a complex set of waste streams.
In order to understand the market capability to deal with the diverse range of waste generated on site a selection process was conducted to find a waste management partner. They would need to provide a single point of contact for all waste issues including compactors, skips, hazardous waste processing, recycling and advisory services. A specialist waste management company was selected, and over the past two years has worked with the industrial support company to make the site waste operations more efficient.
A review of waste operations established that the site generated over 20 different waste streams (from paper to rubble), dealt with six waste contractors and that the majority of waste from the site ended up in landfill.
A waste strategy was developed that allowed the support company to divert a sizeable 76 percent of their equipment and materials from ending up in landfills. Weekly reports on the volume and recycling rate of each stream were collected by maintaining constant communication between a highly skilled field manager and a project manager at the support company, assuring support was there when needed.
The power station and its support company required an auditable and environmentally friendly solution in line with their well-documented CSR policy. Along with an intricate waste management programme, the waste management company were required to deliver regular and accurate data on how the site’s waste was being disposed of.
The site has transformed its approach to waste management and in doing so has benefited from significant environmental improvements, reduced operational risk and financial savings.
This has been achieved through a review of waste management operations, the implementation of a complete waste management contract that covers all waste types and focusing on optimisation of recycling key waste streams.
The transformation programme has more than returned the investment of time and cost and in addition has engaged the site community to contribute to the overall objective of reducing waste.
|< Prev||Next >|
Building & Maintenance
Fire, Health & Safety
Latest News from Facilities Manager
- Preserving documents, preserving business
- DDA legislation - are you affected by these new changes?
- The case for facilities management
- Filling the information gap
- Service solutions - a multitude of options
- Developing FM on an international stage
- Standards in facilities management
- The future of the services sector in Europe
- Service delivery - the 'real' asset
- Believers and cynics