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Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose: Going Green with Your Company

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You likely grew up hearing about the benefits of recycling. There’s even a chance you practice recycling in your home. But, what about in your business? Are you doing all you can to recycle, reuse, and repurpose?

Corporate social responsibility

Implementing company policies that help your business become even a little greener may sound difficult, but it’s actually fairly straightforward. And even better, there are a number of perks that come with recycling, reusing, and repurposing. But first, what does all this mean? 

What does it mean to recycle, reuse, and repurpose?

Recycling, reusing, and repurposing all involve minimizing waste. But, beyond this, there are some key differences.

 

  • Recycling is the practice of processing materials so they can be used again. For businesses and individuals, this is as simple as separating recyclables from trash.

  • Reusing and repurposing are the act of giving an old item new life by finding a new use for it. This is different from recycling, as the source product or good isn’t always broken down, and it’s not used for the same purpose again.

 

Recycling, reusing, and repurposing may be different in practice, but they all have the same goal: reducing the impact waste has on the planet, and working toward a better future. Recycling can also slow the rate at which finite resources are depleted, ensuring the goods and services we all enjoy are around for a longer period of time.

 

But, what additional benefits are there to recycling, reusing, and repurposing?

The benefits of recycling, reusing, and repurposing

Other than the clear environmental benefit of recycling, reusing, and repurposing, there are additional perks to being resourceful and making an effort to be green.

Recycling and green efforts make happier employees

Monetary workplace bonuses are a common way to motivate employees to try harder and put forth more effort. While a bump in one’s paycheck can be nice, employees can actually find more satisfaction and happiness from pro-social incentives.

 

Pro-social incentives are work incentives that don’t offer a monetary reward for the employee, but instead give the employee the chance to do some social good. For example, some pro-social incentives come in the form of a donation to a charity of the employee’s choice.

 

In the case of recycling, this means you can drive further employee happiness and engagement by introducing recycling efforts in your business. This can be far more than a simple recycling bin. 

 

Actual green efforts, such as organizing company cleanup efforts around your neighborhood, can be excellent ways to set a good example to others while enjoying the perks that come with pro-social incentives.

 

Pro-social incentives have been shown to give employees far more satisfaction than a simple desk trinket or other type of incentive. So, consider going green before ponying up additional green in hopes of driving engagement.

Recycling gives you a chance to be a leader

New York City businesses are falling short in the recycling department. In fact, only 24% of post-business waste is recycled each year. While this number is low, there is some silver lining: you have the unique opportunity to set an example.

 

By spearheading a recycling effort, especially a city cleanup in your area, you can set a great example and show other businesses and individuals what kind of company you are. This could lead to other businesses doing their part to recycle and keep the city clean. It can also help your brand image and drive sales. In fact, 40% of people around the globe look for brands making a difference.

 

This ties in with corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is a growing business trend that can make or break brands. It’s a lot of effort on your part as the business, but it can also be very, very worthwhile.

The impact of corporate social responsibility

In the past, businesses could largely operate unseen by the general public. Now, with social media and the internet allowing for the quick travel of information, businesses are held more accountable than ever before. CSR is the practice of ensuring your business does what is right, by both consumers and stakeholders.

 

In practice, CSR often takes shape as outreach efforts, charity drives, scholarships, and so on. CSR takes a significant amount of energy and effort from the business involved, but it has numerous perks.

 

  • Trust in businesses and institutions in general is down. CSR can show the public that your business is interested in more than profit — you’re interested in doing the right thing.
  • You’re a business, so money is still a concern. CSR can drive sales. In fact, 87% of people will buy from businesses that take a stand for social issues.
  • CSR efforts, like volunteer programs, can actually increase employee retention. You’ve worked hard to train your people, the last thing you want is to lose them.

 

The perks of CSR are many. Ultimately, CSR allows you to contribute to the greater good, while also enjoying some nice monetary and business-related benefits. Now, how can you go about implementing recycling and other green efforts into your business?

How to implement recycling, reusing, and repurposing efforts

Wishful thinking will only get you so far. Getting your team interested and actively participating in recycling and repurposing isn’t as simple as putting out bins. Although, that’s a good start. Here are some tips to help you make your workplace a little greener.

Designate a day for repurposing

There are countless ways you can repurpose office supplies. Rather than throw out aging office supplies that are past their prime, hold a repurposing day in your workplace. This will give employees the chance to come together and be creative, while also reducing the waste your workplace produces.

 

As an added bonus, the creations your team comes up with make great material for your social media accounts. This can help your brand’s image while also driving more followers to your accounts. More followers can, in some cases, mean more business. 

Give employees a volunteer day

You likely have a lot of employees that want to do more good in the world, but simply lack the time. Give your employees a volunteer day of their choice, during which time they can help a charity, clean up the neighborhood, and so on.

 

As previously mentioned, volunteer days can also help your company retain employees. Everybody wins when you implement volunteer days.

Place recycling bins in convenient locations

No, recycling bins aren’t the most creative solution in the world, but they’re necessary. Make sure your workplace has recycling bins located near every trashcan, with labels clearly placed on them.

 

Recycling is often an issue of convenience. Making recycling as easy as possible for your team is key.

A recycled, repurposed, refreshed company

Your business is exactly that: a business. But, taking the time to implement policies that encourage recycling, reusing, and repurposing can help your business in ways that go beyond finances.

 

There’s only one planet Earth, and every effort helps. Begin your workplace’s transition to a greener space today, and you’ll be creating a greener planet for tomorrow.

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