In 2015 when CSIRO produced its seminal global megatrends report, Our Future World, its number one item was “more from less”. “The world has limited supplies of natural mineral, energy, water and food resources essential for human survival and maintaining lifestyles,” it said. Resources are being depleted at an “alarming rate”.
But waste suffers from a lot of bad press. When it comes to commercial waste streams, we keep hearing stories of poor measurement data, contamination, and a lack of focus and understanding about the opportunities.
Things are changing. The corporate world is waking up to the potential for waste to become a resource, both materially and financially. But there’s a lot more to waste than separating recyclables and getting the waste contract right.
This ebook, the latest in the Greening Your Office series, is a guide to the best thinking and resources around. The Fifth Estate have looked at what some of the leading office sites are doing – Barangaroo for instance – and companies that are setting inspirational targets. They've looked at intervention, procurement, design of products, separation, recycling, re-use, office de-fit and product end of life. They've even grappled with the conundrum of the coffee cup. Recyclable? Hardly. Here’s a tip: buy your own lovely porcelain or ceramic number and enjoy the flavour untarnished by the taste of cardboard or plastic film.
It’s all part of the gifts that a more sustainable lifestyle and business brings – a better experience and better outcomes. In the office, the rewards of a good management plan can include better staff engagement and wellbeing, lower costs for waste management, reduced corporate carbon footprints and enhanced company reputations.