Zero Waste Week lets us celebrate our successes and rethink our behaviours around waste.
Zero Waste Week is here and we’re looking at how we reduce waste and where we could identify ways to minimise ours and our clients’ impact on the environment even further.
Reducing waste is vital to reducing air pollution (carbon emissions) and it starts with rethinking attitudes and changing behaviours. We’ve worked to identify more waste streams and minimise these, and the improvements we’ve made here are just the start of our Net Zero successes.
Let’s take a look at our key areas in moving towards zero waste…
Through our partnership with Planet Mark, we measure the carbon emissions of each Regular Cleaning employee, as well as the waste of our Service Support Centre (Head Office). A huge effort has been put in to reduce our carbon emissions, seeing brilliant success in this area. In 2022 this resulted in a -38% reduction of carbon emissions per employee, and a -14% reduction overall. For the year 2023, we’ve so far seen a reduction of -11% per employee since January.
These achievements highlight the efforts we’ve made and what is possible when it comes to preventing waste. Since gaining our certification with Planet Mark in 2018, we’ve seen great results in just 3 years and will continue this hard work on our journey towards zero waste.
This has been achieved through the implementation of various schemes, including encouraging the use of public transport, reducing paper consumption in the office, switching to electric vehicles, and holding virtual meetings wherever possible.
The waste hierarchy tool is vital when it comes to our efforts to achieve zero waste. We’ve made significant changes to our service and our Service Support Centre which adhere to this method, and now have an expert in the waste industry on board. These changes involve looking at how to prevent waste as a priority before considering ways to reduce, reuse, or recycle.
Regular Cleaning views the use of the waste hierarchy as vital. We are always looking at innovative ways to implement the hierarchy, especially in regard to eliminating any waste streams that would otherwise be destined for landfill.Simon Pearce, Sustainability Manager at Regular Cleaning
We do this firstly by looking at our own behaviours around waste at our Service Support Centre. Through our Planet Mark partnership, we can accurately track our sustainability targets and measure our progress. In the 3 years since attaining our certification, we have successfully diverted 34.1 tonnes of waste from landfill.
Additionally, any black bag household waste is collected by Lewisham Council and sent directly to SELCHP (South East London Combined Heat and Power). Here, the waste helps to generate enough electricity to power 48,000 homes.
We extend this level of consideration to our clients, operations, and our service providers. As a business, we have made huge strides in improving our service to significantly minimise our clients’ impacts on the environment, along with our own.
One of the biggest changes we’ve made to reduce waste has been around food waste. By introducing a food waste bin to our Service Support Centre, even more waste has been diverted from landfill. This is instead recycled into various products.
This is called Anaerobic Digestion (AD), a natural process where food, plant, and animal materials are broken down and turned into compost, electricity and biogas; a renewable fuel produced from organic matter. These are all great sources of renewable energy and help us to play a bigger part in the circular economy.
Our partnership with First Mile has helped us to divert our food waste away from landfill and significantly reduce our carbon footprint. With First Mile’s help, we’ve redirected 3.06 tonnes of food waste away from landfill in just 2 years.
We provide in-depth training to our colleagues, clients, and service partners. This includes IOSH training (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health), plus training into waste, saving energy and sustainable initiatives. These help with how to reduce waste at work and at home, advising on how to save energy and water.
Having transformed our Service Support Centre into a sustainable working space, we have made our own work environment more energy efficient. Sensors are fitted throughout the building to ensure no electricity goes wasted, and a heat recovery unit prevents energy loss. Instead of moving to a new building, we have extended the life of our own by investing in it’s refurbishment and making it more sustainable for the long-term.
We know that our clients want a service that provides sustainable solutions, and that’s where we come in. Our sustainability experts help clients to minimise waste and consider ways to enhance the overall sustainability of their buildings. With site waste surveys, knowledgeable training, and reporting tools, we can identify waste streams and reduce these.
Combine this with the innovative products we use, and you’re looking at a service that minimises waste at every chance. Our approach reduces water and energy use as well as packaging and the volume of deliveries needed. We also opt for products that remove single use plastics and are chemical free. These include biodegradable gloves, recycled micro fibre cloths, and recycled feminine hygiene bins.
Zero Waste is more than just a week
Our Sustainable business strategy pushes us to create Better Places, and that means minimising waste year-round. We take Zero Waste Week as an opportunity to look at our progress around waste streams, but also to consider more ways to prevent waste at source.
We will continue to eliminate ours and our clients’ waste by looking at what other potential waste streams we can divert away from landfill. In doing this, we improve our sustainability while providing a market-leading service that helps our clients to meet their own environmental targets. By using data, eco-friendly products, and changing our behaviours, we can make Zero Waste Week a year-round initiative and create a better future together.