What a waste: the effects of business waste on the environment


As your business operates day-to-day, it is almost certain that you will be producing and/or discarding waste products. When you consider how many businesses are operating in the UK (roughly 5.6 million), you can only imagine the sheer amount of waste they collectively produce. In fact, a government report estimates that the UK generated 43.9 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste in 2018 alone.

All organisations have responsibilities surrounding waste management. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 requires organisations to:

  • Store their waste safely and securely
  • Prevent the waste from causing any damage to people or the environment
  • Ensure that any waste collection providers are fully licensed
  • Contain all waste within their control to the greatest extent that they can

Over time, rubbish and pollution can have an adverse effect on your business, local community, and the environment. Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest that waste is managed properly so that it doesn’t negatively affect the environment.

How proper waste management can benefit organisations

Although legal obligations are the leading factors for most organisations’ to manage waste properly, there are also a number of reasons why proper waste management can be beneficial for organisations…

Boost employee satisfaction – As mentioned in our article about businesses losing recruits to poor ESG credentials, workers are assigning more responsibility to employers in helping to tackle climate change. To keep up with the competitive recruitment market, organisations must place more importance on tackling these issues. As a result, you can expect better satisfaction rates from your employees as they will be able to recognise your organisation’s commitment to environmental issues.

Improve image – At present, many individuals are focussing their concerns on environmental issues, meaning that showing a commitment to the environment is a more integral part of a brand’s image than ever before. By demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to environmental causes through proper waste management, your organisation can maintain and grow a positive public image.

Create a cleaner workplace – By placing importance on proper waste management, your organisation will reap the benefits of having a clean workplace. This includes a safe and professional environment leading to better productivity and employee morale.

It’s time to join the Race to Zero

As global warming continues to worsen, and as net zero deadlines are swiftly approaching, businesses are being urged to step up and reduce their carbon footprints.

We wanted to find out where environmental sustainability ranked among the priorities of businesses post-pandemic. With that said, we surveyed a number of UK businesses to get answers.

You can read the full report here.

As part of our report, we looked at the role of environmental management systems, such as ISO 14001, in business environmental action plans.

With only 47% of our respondents having a system in place already, and a diverse list of reasons for not having a system in place, there is a clear lack of awareness when it comes to the benefits of implementing an effective system such as ISO 14001.

By using the ISO 14001 framework, organisations can benefit from:

  • Cost savings from waste and energy management
  • An improved corporate image
  • Legislative compliance
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • A happier and more engaged workforce


If you would like to find out more about ISO 14001 and its requirements, you can visit our dedicated product page, or give the QMS team a call today on 0333 344 3646.



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About the author

  • Name:

    Jack Rosier

  • Company:

    Citation ISO Certification

  • Bio:

    Jack has worked for Citation ISO Certification since 2022, writing creative and informative content on ISO certification and consultation to help businesses reach their potential.


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