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ENVIROWISE - SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES, SUSTAINABLE PROFITS Congratulations on requesting your tailored Resource Efficiency Guide from Envirowise.

Every day, UK businesses are literally throwing away profit due to the waste they produce. Many businesses are unaware of how much this impacts on their bottom line, others just dont know where to go for practical, confidential advice to help them make better use of their resources.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOUR COMPANY Envirowise is a Government-funded programme that has helped UK companies save over 1 billion by reducing the amount of waste they produce. Offering a wealth of resources and industry-specific information for all businesses, whatever size or sector, our services are available for you to access directly or can be tailored to suit individual needs.

Our informative website, confidential Advice Line, publications and workshops are all available to UK businesses free of charge. Our Regional Managers work closely with the business support organisations in your area, signposting various initiatives.


Your costs will decrease. Did you know that wasting water, raw materials and utilities, costs on average, 4% of turnover? With help from Envirowise, you could make significant cost savings and dramatically reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill each year.

Your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) credentials will increase. Your customers and stakeholders now actively seek suppliers with a strong environmental record. By demonstrating resource efficiency, especially with an environmental policy or accreditation, you will be in a stronger position to retain or win new business.

Your company will comply with legislation. Environmental legislation has become much more prevalent and many companies face penalties for non-compliance. Envirowise can help your business comply with the laws that affect it, through reducing or designing out hazardous waste and helping you to eliminate bad practice.

Resource efficiency benefits all sectors, from construction, office-based professional practices, engineering to retail. Most of the measures we propose are at no or low cost and all our advice is confidential and free of charge. If you decide to invest in environmentally friendly equipment, payback times are typically short and Envirowise can tell you about the tax benefits that are available.


This Guide was produced by Envirowise for Mantha Phani Kumar of JBS Offshore




































































Other purchasing tips


The average office worker uses up to 100 sheets of paper every day and, on average, 60 - 80% of office waste is paper. Paper is a major purchasing and disposal cost for the average office, yet it is a cost that can be easily brought down through reduction, re-use and recycling. There are a number of important environmental issues associated with the production of virgin paper including:

loss of natural habitat and damage to the water table due to intensive forestry;

high chemical and energy use during the manufacturing process;

detrimental effects from the landfilling or incineration of paper waste.

However, paper is a natural resource that can be recycled up to five times, substantially reducing these impacts. Buying locally produced recycled paper helps to boost the market for recycled products which, in turn, supports the recycling industry and reduces unnecessary imports of virgin paper. Although many offices regularly review and update their electronic information systems, equivalent assessments of stationery purchasing are rare. Paper is often thought of as an unavoidable overhead and unco-ordinated purchasing by individual departments can make monitoring difficult. Centralised purchasing can yield significant benefits from bulk purchasing and simple, regular reviews often lead to continual savings.

Purchasing Recycled papers are readily available with equivalent quality, ‘printability’, appearance and range as virgin papers. Try to use papers with the highest percentage of post-consumer waste rather than paper mill waste or off-cuts of virgin paper from printers. A number of standards and labels classify paper according to its raw material content and manufacturing process (see table). Before you buy paper ask the following questions:

What is its recycled content?

How much post-consumer waste does it contain?

Have steps been taken to minimise the environmental impact of its manufacture?

Classification Of Paper (Raw Materials And Manufacturing)


NAPM Approved Recycled

Raw material criteria The National Association of Paper Merchants (NAPM) awards the NAPM Recycled Paper Mark to all branded papers and boards containing a minimum 75% genuine paper and board waste, no part of which must contain mill-produced waste.

German Blue Label awarded to paper and board products containing 100% waste paper (minimum 51% postAngel consumer waste). Mobius Loop (three chasing arrows)

There are two versions of the Mobius Loop - one denotes whether the product can be recycled and the other its recycled content. When using the latter, the percentage of recycled fibre used appears in the centre of the loop. Where the product comprises entirely recycled fibre, there is no figure. These symbols are often used without authority and in a misleading manner. Always check the basis for using these labels with your supplier.


Mill performance criteria

Nordic White Swan

Awarded to paper mills meeting minimum environmental performance standards.



ECF, TCF and ECF = elemental chlorine free (ie chlorine gas has not been used to bleach the pulp during the Chlorine free pulping process). TCF = totally chlorine free (ie no chlorine compounds have been used during the pulping or papermaking process). Chlorine free is often used to mean either of the above. Ask your paper supplier for clarification. EU Eco-label This specifies maximum limits for discharges to water, emissions to air and energy consumption as well as requiring sustainable forestry management for virgin fibre.


Purchasing It is important not only to collect materials for recycling, but also to close the recycling loop by purchasing materials with a recycled content, eg paper and stationery products, toilet paper and refuse sacks. The use of these materials will help to stimulate the market for recycled products and support the recycling process. What you buy not only affects your recycling rate but also has an impact on the recycling market. Before you buy any product ask the following questions:

Is it made from recycled materials?

Is it made from marked and easily recycled materials (eg paper, glass or wood)?

Are its component materials easy to separate for recycling?

Is its packaging easily recyclable?


Purchasing The products you buy can affect how much water you use. Before you buy, ask the following questions:

Is the product water efficient?

Will the product increase or decrease water use?

Water services providers can supply you with a range of water-saving tips. Water companies can also visit your premises and provide advice on minimising water use for all types of organisation.


Purchasing The type of vehicle your business chooses to buy or use has a fundamental effect on transport-related costs and environmental impact. Before you buy any vehicle, ask the following questions:

Do we need the vehicle?

What is the ‘whole life’ cost of the vehicle? This includes the initial cost of the vehicle, its residual value, and fuel,



maintenance and insurance costs. ■

Could we use alternative fuels? Lower tax rates mean that liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles are considerably cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles.


Cost Saving Tips ■

Replace virgin materials wherever possible. Assess the feasibility of replacing virgin packaging materials with recycled alternatives. Buying recycled materials not only cuts waste to landfill and preserves finite resources, but also helps to stimulate the market for recovered materials. If you’ve not already done so, you could introduce an environmental purchasing policy.

Reduce the number of boxes/cartons used. Consider alternatives. In some cases, shrink-wrap can offer the same level of protection for only a fraction of the weight.

Consider alternative shrink-wrap specifications. Many companies find that they can reduce the grade of material used, say from 50 μm to 30 μm, without any reduction in product protection.

Do you need to use laminates? Certain laminated boards (eg polyethylene-covered) and adhesives (eg regular hot melts and cold seal) cause problems for reprocessors. Low- and high-density hot melts are easier to remove in the recycling pulp preparation process. Plastics without any pigments offer greater reprocessing flexibility.

Avoid double-skinned containers. Unless there is a clear technical justification, don’t use double-skinned containers. Their cost per unit volume is high.

Standardise outer packaging where possible. Keep the outer layer of packaging simple and standardise as much as possible. For fragile items, use customised inner liners to fit the outer packaging.

Could you use inflatable liners inside standard containers? Inflatable inner liners weigh little, yet provide excellent insulation and protection for fragile products.

Design containers for effective cleaning and maintenance. Make containers as simple and accessible as possible, avoiding dead space and unnecessary crannies that are difficult to clean.

Think about finishing touches. Consider the materials you use to close cardboard boxes. If tape is necessary, use a recyclable one such as kraft paper tape or reduce the tape width. Staples can often tear the packaging when removed by the customer, preventing its re-use.

If you use cans, consider the best material. Steel cans contain up to 25% of recycled steel. Steel is magnetic and, unlike other packaging, can be recovered easily at any stage of the waste stream. Aluminium cans have a high strength to weight ratio, offering considerable savings (eg in transport costs).

Add protection to your packaging to make it last longer and encourage re-use. Use stronger materials such as plastic or metal along the vulnerable edges and corners of cardboard boxes to increase their lifespan and reuse, and improve their stackability for transport. Make sure packages are not banded so tightly that they become damaged.

Other Purchasing Tips ■

Don’t over-order materials. There is a common tendency in the make-to-order environment to order more materials than required for the job - even after allowing for the standard amount for waste. Caution is justified where waste is high and variable, but better control of waste levels also results in less stock wastage. For example, when you need 26,000 metres of paper it would be better to order four 6,500-metre reels rather than five standard 6,000 metre reels. Check what reel diameter can be handled and try to persuade your supplier to be more flexible.

Choose units of purchase carefully. One machining company purchased aluminium slugs by weight. Since the slugs varied in weight, up to 2 kg of additional material could not be used and were machined off. It proved better to buy by quantity to a close weight tolerance. Another example involved packaging film bought by weight but used by length. The delivered film was 10% over thickness, resulting in a 10% length loss.

Purchase powders in pellets or ‘Big Bags’. Purchasing powders in pellet form reduces losses during extraction and the residue left in the bag after emptying. Purchasing in Big Bags is not only cheaper, but also means there is less powder left behind after dispensing.


Alternative ingredients may cost more. Mixing and blending operations often permit use of alternative

materials were traced to blening operators having no guidelines on the cost implications of the mixtures they were happily concocting.


ingredients depending on availability. In one food blending operation, large variations in the cost of production




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUR SUPPLIERS? All companies are under increasing pressure from their stakeholders and others to respond to environmental issues by improving their environmental performance. Improvements identified and implemented through an environmental supply chain partnership can produce business and environmental benefits for all parties. Many companies have found that working with their partners in the supply chain can help them achieve cost savings by reducing both waste and the inefficient use of raw materials, packaging, water and energy. An environmental supply chain partnership involves sharing experiences and ideas through meetings, site visits, workshops, collaborative and in-house projects, discussions and networking. Successful environmental supply chain partnerships are based on trust, commitment and sharing between equal partners. The role of the suppliers is to cooperate, gather information and take action to improve their environmental performance by reducing waste. There are four steps involved in developing a successful environmental supply chain partnership. Different companies will operate an environmental supply chain slightly differently. The diagram below outlines the typical format of an environmental supply chain partnership based on a four-step approach, ie:

framing the partnership;

assembling the team and the tools;

getting results;

continual improvement.

Supply chain collaboration means taking a different look at the way your company operates and, most importantly, at the fundamental issue of how you are delivering value to your key customer. The partnership may build on an existing supplier association or be a completely new grouping. Once the supplier association is set up, your customer may use the opportunity to not only to look at environmental matters but also to discuss issues such as quality, design and communications. By learning to work in different ways, the partnership approach can add value to your whole business and become part of your programme of continual improvement. The approach is based on the implementation of a systematic programme to reduce environmental impact throughout the supply chain by considering improvements in the following key areas:


waste minimisation;

water use;

cleaner design;

packaging management;

energy management;

transport logistics.


A Typical Environmental Supply Chain Partnership





You can save money on your water bills and obtain an Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) for 100% relief on your business’s tax bill by purchasing approved water saving devices on the Water Technology List (WTL). The Government has introduced the Water Technology List to promote products that encourage sustainable water use and to reward businesses for investing in them. Even if your organisation is not eligible for tax relief, the WTL provides a useful source of information about devices that help to minimise water use. To find out more visit the ECA website (





Top tips for reducing water consumption

The true cost of water

Information from your bill

Understanding leaks, water pressure and meters

Carrying out a water use survey

Drawing up a water balance

Typical water saving campaign

Water Technology List

Minimising the unnecessary use of water is one of the easiest ways of achieving cost savings. Water has traditionally been a cheap and plentiful, but this situation is changing and mains water costs are increasing. Reducing water use will also reduce the amount of domestic sewage and trade effluent produced. Sewerage and trade effluent charges are also increasing to meet stricter environmental standards. Energy costs could also be higher than necessary if water is being heated and then wasted. Water use is an area where businesses can have direct influence. For example, significant savings can be achieved by simple solutions such as fitting simple water saving devices in washrooms and toilets (see table).

Typical Achievable Reductions In Water Use Activity

Proportion of water use (%) Typicalreduction (%) WC flushing


30 - 60



50 - 60

Urinal flushing


50 - 80

Miscellaneous (leak detection, rainwater collection, etc)



Source: Construction Industry Council

Washbasin fitted with percussion or push taps Use of cistern bag

Top Tips For Reducing Water Consumption ■

Look at your bills to find out how much water is used and sewage/effluent discharged.

Carry out a survey to locate all areas where water is used on-site.

Install meters and read them regularly to monitor water use.

Draw up a water balance for your site.

Identify where and why water is wasted or used excessively.



Identify obvious opportunities to reduce water use.

Make a commitment to using water efficiently in your environmental policy.

Set a target to reduce water use, eg by 10% per year.

Implement a water saving campaign.

Provide training and instructions for staff. Ensure they are aware that no materials or products may be washed down the surface water drains.

Switch off water supply when not needed.

Avoid overflows and eliminate leaks. Check for leaks regularly.

Fit flow restrictors and automatic shut-off devices.

Fit water-saving devices during a refurbishment programme or as part of general maintenance.

Avoid unnecessary cleaning.

Sweep up slurries rather than using a hose.

Check the suitability of disposing of water-based wastes down the drain.

The waste hierarchy applied to water (see diagram) consists of four levels of waste management. Apply this hierarchy to each process/area that uses water or generates wastewater at your site.

Waste Hierarchy Applied To Water

The True Cost Of Water The type of water used on-site and the type of wastewater generated by site operations/activities will determine how much your company pays for water supply and wastewater disposal.

Types Of Water And Wastewater In The UK Water sources ■ Mains water (potable* and non-potable) ■ Water abstracted from groundwater (borehole) and surface water

Wastewater types ■ Domestic wastewater (sewerage) ■ Trade effluentSurface drainage (roof and site run-off) ■ Discharge to surface waters and groundwater

* Drinkable There are a number of charging schemes for water and wastewater (sewerage and trade effluent charges) in the UK. The amount paid depends on:

the service provider;

the size of the meter;

the tariff structure agreed with your service provider;

the year (unit costs are reviewed on an annual basis).

As well as easily identified costs such as bills for water use, sewerage, surface water and trade effluent, there are many hidden costs associated with water use and disposal of wastewater. The true cost of water may be more than three times the total amount charged for supply and disposal. The diagram below shows the elements making up the true cost of water. Water treated before use has an added value.



The True Cost Of Water

Information From Your Bill There is considerable variation throughout the UK with respect to charging for water and effluent services. There are a number of factors that affect charging, including:

the service provider;

the size of the meter;

the tariff structure agreed with your service provider - water volume is banded and the band in which a company falls into will determine the charging tariff;

the year (unit costs are reviewed each year).

Charging schemes are subject to change and updating. For the latest information on charging schemes affecting your business, please contact your local water company, sewerage service provider or regulator.

Mains Supply Charges for mains or town’s supply consist of two components:

Standing charge - a fixed annual sum, determined by the size of the meter.

Volumetric charge - a unit cost (pence/m3) charged on the actual amount of metered water used on-site.

Unit costs are revised each year in April and vary between service providers. For further information contact your service provider.

Information Given On A Water Bill



<>Sewerage Domestic sewerage charges also consist of a standing charge and a volumetric charge (pence/m3). However, there are two different ways of calculating the volume attributed to this waste stream. Unit costs are revised each year in April and vary between sewerage service providers. For further information contact your sewerage service provider. ■

Domestic wastewater only. If the only wastewater generated at the site is domestic, the sewerage volume will be based on the consumption of water supplied to the site. The sewerage charge will appear on the water bill. If your water is supplied by a company that only supplies water, the bill will contain a charge on behalf of a sewerage undertaker (sewerage service provider).

Domestic wastewater and trade effluent. If your site discharges both trade effluent and domestic wastewater, the sewerage charge will appear on the trade effluent bill. If the trade effluent is metered and the domestic wastewater is unmetered, the volume of domestic wastewater can be calculated by subtracting the volume of trade effluent from the total volume of water supplied to the site. However, this may not be accurate if there are non-return losses such as water in product and loss from evaporation. In such cases, the site will be required to provide following information: ■

number of employees or full-time equivalents (A);

number of day worked during the period covered by the bill (B);

whether the site has a canteen (providing hot meals) (C).

The domestic allowance can then be calculated using the formula: AxBxC

where: C = typically 25 litres/person/day (no canteen) = typically 40 litres/person/day (canteen)

Trade Effluent Water company charges for trade effluent discharged to sewer are based on the Mogden Formula. This formula attempts to link charges for a particular customer to the cost of treating the effluent, ie customers pay according to the volume and strength of their effluent. Unit costs are revised each year in April and vary between service providers. For further information contact your sewerage service provider.




Understanding Leaks, Water Pressure And Meters Water Meters ■

Locate your water meter. Most businesses have a metered supply and the meter is usually located by the boundary of the property, often near a road.

Read your water meter. In the example shown below, the white digits display cubic metres (m3) and the red digits refer to 1/10th and 1/100th of a cubic metre.

Record meter data. Recording meter readings on a regular basis (daily, weekly or monthly) will allow you to identify trends in water consumption.

Leakage And Overflows If water use is limited to daytime operations, it should be nearly zero during the night. If this applies to your company, then carry out a night flow test. Read the meter when everyone has left and then again the following day before work starts. The meter readings should be almost the same. If not, you may have a leak, overflow or uncontrolled water use and



further investigation is required. NOTE: If you have urinals on site with no flush control, water will be used out-of-hours. Overflows are usually due to poor control and most run to drain without being measured. Leaks and overflows can arise from:

perished tap washers;

worn (cistern) valves;

corroded pipework;

flooded floats in water break tanks and cisterns.

The following steps are usually sufficient to avoid overflows and identify leaks:

make sure overflow outlets are visible;

carry out regular checks on overflows, pipework and valves;

put a system in place for reporting leaks and faults;

install simple level sensors and on/off control systems for pumps;

install shut-off valves (easy to use);

monitor meter readings.

Isolation Of Water Supply Identify where the isolation points are. Consider replacing gate valves or stopcocks with quarter turn ball valves or isolator valves. This will provide a clearer indication of whether the valve is open or closed.

Water Pressure High water pressure can:

result in excessive water consumption;

cause or exacerbate leakage;

place additional (unnecessary) wear and tear on the distribution system.

To meet minimum pressure and flow requirements, water mains are usually operated at pressures between 2 and 4 bar (200 and 400 kPa), although currently there is no stipulated maximum mains pressure limit. In some cases, higher water pressure than necessary may be delivered to the lower floors of tall buildings. This can occur where the water is supplied under gravity from a break tank in the roof void or where distribution systems are


equipped with booster pumps to ensure adequate pressure is delivered to the top floors of tall buildings. In these cases,

flows of > 60 litres/minute in taps on the ground floor! Pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) can be used to control the pressure in the incoming mains or the distribution system. As well as being fitted on the incoming mains, PRVs can be installed on:

the supply to each floor;

the down legs of a gravity-fed distribution system;

the risers in a pumped system.


excessive flows through taps may occur - water supplied under gravity from the roof of a 14-storey building can result in

The valve can be preset or adjustable. PRVs can typically accept delivery pressures of up to 25 bar (2,500 kPa) and deliver a pressure of 1.5 - 6 bar (150 - 600 kPa) under variable flow conditions. They are available in a number of sizes an adjustable PRV will cost around £20 (15 mm) to £200 (50 mm), excluding installation. When considering using PRVs, it is important to:

identify the minimum required operating pressure that will not compromise performance, ie equipment will operate effectively with the new pressures;

check that mixer taps or shower mixer units will not be adversely affected by the new pressures, ie the thermostatic control will still operate.

Carrying Out A Water Use Survey Before you can start minimising the amount of water your business consumes, you need to understand where water is being used within the business. The activities in which water is consumed vary from company to company. As a rule-of-thumb, reductions of 30% in water and sewerage bills are usually achievable at little or no cost for sites that have not previously tried to save water. As much as 50% or more might be achievable if projects with paybacks of up to two years are included. Before being able to identify how and where water can be saved, it is necessary to understand how, where and why water is used on each particular site. A survey of water use and patterns of use typically reveals:

excessive or unnecessary use;

unknown use;

unauthorised use.

A survey of wastewater discharges and routes to sewer typically reveals:

clean water discharges direct to sewer;

unauthorised surface water discharges to sewer;

possible savings in sewerage charges.

Drawing Up A Water Balance A water balance is a management tool that provides managers with an overview of the major uses of water by their business, irrespective of its activity. When used to control water use and effluent generation, a water balance can help companies and organisations of all sizes and types to reduce water use, cut costs and increase profits. Adopting a systematic approach to water reduction typically results in a 20 - 50% fall in water consumption. A water balance is a numerical account of where water enters and leaves your business, and where it is used within the



business. It typically contains information about the amount of water used by each main process and, for some processes, can be very detailed. Presenting the water balance as a diagram makes it easy to understand and use as a management tool.

A water balance is based on the simple concept: what goes in must come out … somewhere.

Water Mass Balance

It is best to start by looking at your company as a whole and then adding details as you go along. It is also helpful to think of your site or company as a series of blocks, with each block representing an activity or location with water inputs and outputs. A water balance helps you to:

understand and manage water and effluent efficiently;

identify the areas with the greatest opportunities for cost savings;

detect leaks.

Water Inputs And Outputs For An Example Site



Block Representation Of Water Inputs And Outputs For An Example Site

Typical Water Saving Campaign Carrying out a water survey and drawing up a water balance for your site form part of a typical water saving campaign. This process usually entails four phases.

The Four Phases Of A Typical Water Saving Campaign ■

PHASE 1 - Initiation ■ Obtain commitment from senior management. ■ Involve staff and appoint the leader (‘champion’) of the water saving team. ■ Find out about water saving devices and their application. ■ Talk to other interested people in your company. ■ Develop a simple programme. ■ Allocate sufficient resources. PHASE 2 - Water use survey and development of the water balance ■ Identify where, how and why water is used. ■ Identify the water quality requirement at each point of use. ■ Determine the water quality and availability at each point of discharge. PHASE 3 - Evaluation of water saving options ■ Evaluate current and future water costs by area or item of equipment. ■ Identify and evaluate cost-effective water saving devices and practices. ■ Carry out trials of likely options. PHASE 4 - Implementation ■ Train staff (if necessary). ■ Implement cost-effective water saving devices and practices. ■ Monitor the implemented devices and practices. ■ Communicate successes and savings to employees. ■ Obtain feedback from staff.




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT REDUCING PACKAGING WASTE? If you can optimise the amount and type of packaging you use, you are likely to:

achieve significant cost savings and thus improve your profit margin;

minimise both your consumption of resources and the quantities of waste for disposal;

improve your company’s image in the eyes of customers, shareholders and the public.

It will also help you to meet any obligations under the UK packaging waste regulations at least cost. Packaging management can be defined as a systematic approach that allows the most efficient use of packaging to reduce quantities, costs and waste without compromising its fitness for purpose. The public often perceives packaging as being excessive and wasteful (such a perception can affect a company’s image and sales). However, packaging plays a crucial role in protecting everything from raw materials to manufactured goods and perishable foods. Inadequate packaging frequently leads to product damage, customer returns and waste - not only of the product itself, but also of the energy and materials used in its manufacture and transport. However, a significant proportion of the packaging in use in the UK today (particularly transit packaging) is over-specified and single use. This wastes finite resources and adds to the UK’s growing waste disposal problem. Unnecessary levels of packaging are costing companies large sums of money. Waste minimisation involves reducing unnecessary resource consumption and material disposal in order to reduce the environmental burden and operating costs. Companies can typically save up to 1% of turnover or around £1,000 per employee through waste minimisation. Packaging is an important element of any waste minimisation programme. All businesses face increasing waste disposal costs as a result of the landfill tax escalator and the costs associated with implementing the EU landfill directive in the UK. Further information about the landfill tax is available from HM Revenue and Customs.

Practical Advice On How To Reduce Packaging Waste The waste hierarchy provides a broad framework that can help guide your approach to packaging (particularly transit packaging). However, it should not be applied rigidly as the best option for the environment will depend on the circumstances. ■

Eliminate/avoid. If possible, get rid of some or all of the packaging, for example by removing unnecessary layers or by changing handling practices.

Reduce. Packaging should be optimised so as to minimise resource inputs (eg materials and energy) and package volume for a given life-cycle context, whether this involves a single trip or many trips. If there is no need or possibility of re-use, packaging should be optimised for one-trip use.

Re-use. Packaging can be designed to serve its purpose over virtually any number of ‘trips’. In the right circumstances, an optimised re-use system can be better than an optimised one-trip system, eg where packaging can be back-hauled readily in product delivery vehicles.

Recycle. Packaging can also be designed to make it less costly and/or environmentally damaging to recycle even if it has been re-used. Biodegradable packaging can be composted.

Disposal. Design can still play a part, eg by maximising energy recovery while minimising residual waste. Disposal to landfill is the last resort.


tertiary packaging) through design or specification/choice. The environmental constraints should be considered alongside fitness-for-purpose constraints. The Packaging Essential Requirements Regulations 2003 (as amended) require only the system of choice to be optimised. They do not require the optimum system to be identified. However, there are generally cost benefits from doing so. To obtain the optimum packaging system, it is therefore necessary to think about the life cycle of your packaging from when you fill it to customer use and disposal. This can be achieved by looking at the issues summarised in the table


Bearing in mind this hierarchy, it is important to optimise the whole packaging system (including primary, secondary and

below. When making choices about your packaging system, it is necessary to involve a wide range of people both internally (eg procurement, manufacturing, design, health and safety) and externally (eg suppliers, customers and distributors). This enables you to share knowledge and experience, and hence obtain the optimum solution that will suit all the parties involved.

Separate waste packaging at source. Minimise contamination and damage so that the packaging is suitable for reuse or recycling.

Use multi-trip packaging such as re-usable plastic crates or totes to eliminate single-use cardboard boxes.

Discuss packaging options with your suppliers and distributors.

Issues To Consider When Optimising Your Packaging System Stage Packing

Questions to ask yourself ■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■ ■


■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Use and disposal

How well will the packaging work in the context of the production/packing lines? Will the line be automatic or manual? What packaging and adhesives can be used (eg wrap around corrugated and hotmelts)? How will the product and its primary packaging fit with or into the distribution packaging? Will it add to the strength and rigidity of the distribution pack? Will it damage the distribution pack in any way? Will extra filler material be needed to take up void space? Will tape, staples or shrink-wrap be required? Will the load be palletised or put on slip sheets? What size will the pallet/slip sheet be? Will the packaging be stacked on the pallet? Will layer pads be used? Will stretch-wrap or banding be used? Will a fork-lift be used? Will the palletised loads be stacked or racked? What type of vehicle will be used?

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

How will the customer handle the packaging? Will the customer break down the pack into smaller units for onward distribution? Will the pack be returned to you? Will the packaging be re-used by the customer? How will the packaging ultimately be disposed of?




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT REDUCING RAW MATERIAL USE? A large proportion of business costs are associated with the purchase of raw materials. Improving the efficiency of use of raw materials produces significant cost savings and environmental and other benefits. The true cost of waste - which includes material value, disposal costs, manufacturing costs and, in some cases, lost product revenue - can be as high as 10% of business turnover. Waste minimisation is the term used to describe the process of systematically reducing waste at source. Waste minimisation covers:

raw material and ingredient use;

product loss;

water consumption and effluent generation;

paper and packaging;

factory and office consumables;

energy consumption;

all other solid, liquid and gaseous wastes;

wasted effort.

Companies that take steps to reduce the amount of waste they generate not only save the costs of managing these wastes, but also make much greater savings on the cost of inputs to the production process. Minimising waste is therefore essential to maintaining business competitiveness. It also makes good business sense to anticipate higher waste disposal costs by looking at ways of producing less waste. Adopting a systematic approach to waste minimisation, which can be incorporated within existing management systems, will help your business reduce raw material and waste disposal costs. The key stages of such an approach are:

developing a better understanding of raw material flows within the process;

undertaking surveys of historical and current data to determine the true cost of waste;

prioritising areas for improvement;

brainstorming to generate waste minimisation ideas;

implementing selected options;

reporting results;

maintaining momentum.

Achieving cost savings and other benefits from adopting a systematic waste minimisation programme depends on regular measurement and analysis of the resources (raw materials, energy, water, packaging, etc) used by the business and the wastes it produces. Measuring to manage is a key element of all waste minimisation programmes. Another key element for success is getting people involved including obtaining senior management commitment.



A Systematic Approach To Waste Minimisation




WOULD YOU LIKE MORE INFORMATION ON BECOMING RESOURCE EFFICIENT? What is resource efficiency? Resource efficiency programme Drivers for resource efficiency Barriers to achieving resource efficiency Resource efficiency techniques Resource efficiency review Developing an action plan and recommendations

What Is Resource Efficiency? Resource efficiency is about effectively utilising and managing the resources available while optimising output and maximising profit. The resources used by a business to produce a final product include:

raw materials;

staff time (labour);

utilities (energy, water);



A business that focuses on maximising the amount of product with minimum resource use will increase its potential profit by reducing costs and increasing productivity, and thus increasing profit margins. Resource efficiency is also often called waste minimisation. However, using the word ‘waste’ can lead to marginalising the issue such that its true importance and savings potential are not appreciated. When dealing with waste, talk about the value of th resource that is being wasted. Some might argue that implementing a resource efficiency strategy is about doing less. But what it is really about is doing more with less - fewer materials and less energy. This will mean examining what your business does and perhaps changing the way it does things. Change is always difficult for any organisation. However, resource efficiency offers you the opportunity to plan for change by systematically recognising inefficiencies, quantifying them and developing innovative solutions. By following a few simple steps, a positive outcome is almost always guaranteed.

Resource Efficiency Programme Efficient use of resources can ultimately reduce costs for businesses. The waste hierarchy provides an excellent reference point when considering a systematic approach to reducing resource use:







companies are shocked to find that studies have shown that waste typically costs businesses 4% of turnover. The good news is that, by adopting simple no-cost and low-cost measures, 1% can be turned into savings that go straight to the bottom line. Most of the savings from resource efficiency measures come from reducing materials and utility costs. Only a small proportion comes from reduced waste disposal costs. For example, reduced material costs accounted for 61% of the savings made in a recent supply chain project involving 120 companies.


Waste is a considerable cost to most businesses. But when it comes to looking at the ‘true’ cost of their waste, most

Drivers For Resource Efficiency Businesses need to prepare themselves to react to ever-changing operating conditions. In recent years, European Union and UK government policies and legislation have increased responsibility for environmental impacts - particularly for producers (manufacturers). The main UK regulatory bodies - the Environment Agency (England and Wales), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Environment and Heritage Service (in Northern Ireland) - see effective resource management as key to addressing many of today’s environmental challenges as well as those of future generations. Many businesses have reacted positively to these challenges and have made significant operational savings by addressing their environmental responsibilities. In doing so, they have increased their profitability, productivity and comptitiveness in local and global markets. Other pressures to improve environmental performance include:




stakeholders (the community, employees, investors);

pressure groups.

All these influences are driving change within businesses.

Barriers To Achieving Resource Efficiency When developing a resource efficiency programme, it is important to first identify the barriers to their acceptance and uptake. In this way, you can make provisions for overcoming these barriers in order to maximise the chances of implementing a successful resource efficiency project. The main barrier could be resistance to change. This can manifest itself in many ways including:

internal politics/personalities;

difficulty in sourcing data/information;

unreliable data/information;

difficulty in gaining support for action plans.

Another barrier could be a lack of awareness and understanding of the issues within the company. In such cases, you may have invest effort in raising awareness of issues with senior management, staff and sub-contractors/suppliers. Ultimately the main barriers could be:

financial constraints (can we afford to/can we afford not to?);

technical capacity (can we do it/will it work?).

As a rule of thumb, adoption of the principle of BATNEEC (Best Available Technique Not Entailing Excessive Cost) or BAT (Best Available Technique) may be the best approach to overcoming financial and technical barriers. Some companies may not have sufficient staff or money to implement the changes required. In such cases, alternative solutions may have to be sought.



Resource Efficiency Techniques When developing a resource efficiency programme, it is essential to:

analyse the data/information gathered;

present the data/information to illustrate the trends and/or issues identified.

A number of methods can be used to achieve this. These include:

analysis and mapping techniques;

process improvement techniques.

Analysis And Mapping Techniques ■

Process flowcharting

Waste mapping

Risk analysis techniques (ie fault tree analysis)

Group brainstorming

Benchmarking and performance measurement

Root cause analysis

Process Improvement Techniques The many different process improvement techniques include:


value analysis;

statistical process control - Pareto analysis, process capability, Shewhart control charts and graphs, statistical tolerance;

resource efficiency teams;

Six Sigma;

suggestion schemes.

Applying The Techniques How these techniques are applied is important. Companies tend to choose the techniques to use based on:

previous experience of resource efficiency techniques and their application;

what technique(s) would suit the company/department culture (ie which would be received positively).

Resource Efficiency Review The first step in any resource efficiency programme is to carry out a review of resource efficiency in the business. The resources most likely to be considered in a resource efficiency review include:

raw materials;


process energy;




Planning The Review It is important to set aside time to plan an effective approach. Gathering or requesting the right type and quality of information prior to the review will help to identify opportunities to improve resource efficiency. Start by gathering information on the type, sector, location and needs of the company. Then request site-specific information such as:


process descriptions (or diagrams);

site layout;

drainage and services drawings;

quantity and cost of:

top five or six raw materials;

utility bills (electricity, gas, water and sewerage);

waste disposal.

management systems: ■



health and safety.


any evidence of failure to comply with legislation.

Analyse the information before the review to help you:

focus on issues that are likely to reap the greatest rewards;

highlight any potential legal liabilities.

Prepare checklists detailing whether the information requested was available prior to the review. These form a useful prompt to seek any missing information during the review.

Conducting The Review Establish the areas and issues on which to focus attention. Use the information gathered prior to the review to help determine where to look and what to look. An appreciation of the overall process flow will make it easier to identify potential problems. Complement this knowledge with a tour of the site to gather more accurate information relating to:

raw materials;



sources of waste (solid, liquid and gas);

waste disposal (quantities and waste transfer notes);

environmental management system (EMS)/quality assurance (QA) records.

Request any information needed to complete the picture which is unavailable on the day. Where appropriate, seek the opinions and ideas of key personnel in the company such as:

managing director;

departmental managers;

process operators;

administrative staff;

finance staff.

If possible, agree the initial findings at the time of the review. It may also be possible to:

come up with solutions (eg by brainstorming);

prepare initial estimates of potential losses and possible savings.

Once all the information has been gathered, potential losses and possible savings can be fully quantified and recorded in a formal report (see below). This may involve some data manipulation to illustrate the issues raised. Some basic research may also be required to determine appropriate solutions.

Communicating The Findings Effective communication of the findings of the resource efficiency review will maximise the chances of options being



acted upon and fully implemented. Present the findings both on the day and, more fully, in a post-review report. On the day, develop an interim action plan utilising techniques such as:

photographic evidence;

process mapping;

waste mapping.

Use the process mapping technique to illustrate the main components of the process where resource use is highest. Use the waste mapping technique to highlight resource use at each stage of the process. It may be possible at this stage to make a verbal presentation to prompt discussion of suggested solutions and to seek recomendations. The post-review report is a more comprehensive record of the review findings and is normally prepared after the evidence and information/data have been analysed in more depth. Where appropriate, apply data analysis techniques to help identify or confirm any trends and highlight any issues. The report should include:

a description of the company;

a summary of the key resource efficiency drivers for the company;

a detailed process flow chart/waste map;

details of resource efficiency opportunities;

a costed action plan setting out, where possible, priority actions, responsibilities and a timeframe.

Developing An Action Plan And Recommendations Following the resource efficiency review, prepare a summary report and action plan that highlight:

the issues found;

the net impact on the business in terms of either cost or liability;

potential actions/options to alleviate this impact;

potential cost savings and benefits.

Consider prioritising the options on the basis of:

potential cost savings;

risk to the company’s reputation/liability.

Other considerations can include the cost of implementing the options such as:

capital costs;

availability and/or capacity of staff.

Identify and utilise any skills already available within the company to assist in implementation. If necessary, arrange training to maximise the potential savings and engage staff in the programme. Assign responsibility for implementation to ensure that progress is made and tracked effectively. Give priority to ‘quick win’ options requiring minimal resources and/or capital investment to ensure your resource efficiency programme gets off to a successful start. Maintaining the momentum can be more challenging. Generating ideas, developing action plans and presenting them in an effective manner are necessary in the long term to ensure continued success.




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT GETTING PEOPLE INVOLVED? Obtain management commitment Appoint a ‘Waste Champion’ Set up a waste minimisation team Draw up a waste minimisation plan Communicating the plan Motivating staff

Obtain Management Commitment Successful waste minimisation requires continued support and commitment from senior management. This endorsement will help to ensure that everyone within the business works together to achieve maximum benefits. It will also make it easier to obtain permission to spend time and effort collecting data, planning and implementing waste minimisation measures, talking to suppliers and subcontractors, reporting results, etc. To gain commitment for a waste minimisation programme, prepare a short presentation that includes:

the benefits of a systematic approach to waste minimisation;

information how much waste is costing the company;

an indication of the potential cost savings and other benefits;

suggestions for no-cost and low-cost measures with quick savings.

Consider taking photos of waste around the site to show senior managers the problem areas. Point out the consequences of doing nothing, eg environmental damage, clean-up costs, prosecution and bad publicity.

Appoint A ‘Waste Champion’ Nominate a ‘Champion’ or leader for the site or each department to:

co-ordinate your waste minimisation programme;

disseminate information;

provide feedback to management on progress and suggestions for improvement.

Make sure you appoint someone who is enthusiastic and has the ability to motivate staff, but also has the support of senior management. The role of the project Champion can include:

publicising the project within the company;

developing action programmes;

identifying potential team members;

discussing resources and timescales with senior management.

Champions do not have to do everything single-handed. They should be able to involve others from across the company to make things happen.



<>Set Up A Waste Minimisation Team Involving employees from the start encourages ownership and increases the likelihood of the project’s success. Consider setting up a team to co-ordinate action within the company. A team can plan, discuss and carry out initiatives that will help to gain support from other staff. A team can also add valuable momentum to the process. Led by the Waste Champion, the team will be the people who actually collect data, implement waste minimisation measures and monitor progress. If possible, the team should include members from all departments and ideally be representative of staff from all levels in the company (ie from management to shopfloor). The number of teams will depend on individual company circumstances such as:


number of processes;

number of waste streams;

the scale of the data collection exercise;

the particular phase of the waste minimisation programme.

Teams can be assigned to particular areas of the company, eg:

each production area or building;

each material or utility type;

particular waste streams or issues.

The team structure should not remain static. Typically, companies use small teams of 4 - 8 people to instigate data collection and review ideas. These teams tend to grow as opportunities are identified. They may then split into a number of project or implementation teams.

Draw Up A Waste Minimisation Plan Planning is an important element of successful waste minimisation. Draw up a simple action plan that identifies who is responsible for taking action and sets a target date for completing each action. ■

Start by identifying and prioritising waste streams. Use the waste opportunity checklist and the information gained by walking round the business, together with your waste account, as a starting point. If necessary, make some more measurements to obtain accurate amounts and costs.

Set realistic targets for improvement, eg reduce packaging use by 10% in one calendar year.

Identify and evaluate possible options for reducing your priority waste streams.

Begin by implementing no-cost and low-cost measures, eg good housekeeping and staff training. Then consider options that require greater capital investment.

Devise a monitoring programme to collect data, eg meter readings. This information will help you manage and reduce waste more effectively.

Seek advice and ideas from others: ■

Ask staff for suggestions on how to minimise waste and increase efficiency.

If your business has more than one site, contact colleagues at other sites to seek their ideas and experience.

Ask head office about waste minimisation initiatives and ideas for reducing waste costs.

Join a local waste minimisation club or get together with other businesses in the area to exchange ideas and experiences.

Contact business support organisations offering free advice.

Communicating The Plan The success of your waste minimisation programme will depend on involving your staff, suppliers, distributors and service suppliers.


Make sure everyone knows what they are required to do and why. Include waste minimisation in induction training for

Revise the staff handbook to give details of:

measures to prevent waste or reduce the amount generated;

initiatives to encourage waste recovery, re-use and recycling;

agreed procedures for the safe handling and storage of waste, eg segregation of different waste streams;

procedures for transferring a particular waste stream to another organisation.


new staff.

To help overcome any barriers, it is important to:

increase the level of awareness about the waste minimisation programme and its aims;

explain the effort required by staff and provide appropriate training;

provide a forum for discussing staff suggestions to reduce waste and take note of customer comments, eg levels of packaging.

Action Checklist Responsible person

Completion date

Look at the cost of waste disposal, water, electricity and gas during the previous year. Use the waste opportunity checklist to identify potential sources of waste. Get commitment from senior management. Appoint a champion and set up a project team. Involve suppliers and ask for ideas for waste minimisation. Overcome barriers to progress. Educate and train staff. Use the waste account to establish baseline position for costs and quantities of wastes, energy and water. Rank priorities for reduction. Identify monitoring requirements. Set targets. Implement no-cost and low-cost measures. Measure results (monthly, annually) and compare with baseline figures. Provide feedback to staff, suppliers and senior management. Contact business support organisations for assistance.

Motivating Staff Staff Suggestion Scheme Staff play an important part in any organisation and are well placed to make suggestions for improvements in their area. Set up a staff suggestion scheme to motivate staff and get them involved in waste minimisation. A staff suggestion scheme can bring out ideas that management would not have thought of.

Publicise the scheme well within the company and have a central collection point for suggestions.

Respond to all staff suggestions whether publicly or written, even if the suggestion cannot be implemented.

Consider all ideas, even if they need further investigation.

Give an award, prize or monetary incentive for the best suggestions.

At the end of the project, give feedback and recognition to: ■

the volume of suggestions received;

the winners who have been rewarded;

the changes enacted as a result.

Other Ideas For Motivating Staff ■

Set achievable targets, publicise them and monitor them. Applaud staff when the targets are achieved. Revise the targets.

Report regularly to colleagues, senior managers and staff - seeing progress is encouraging in itself! ■

Use relevant key performance indicators, eg litres of water or solvent used per tonne of product.

Use a notice-board, the staff newsletter and company intranet to show progress in the form of graphs and



an achievement ‘thermometer’ or ‘ladder’ (like the target boards used for fundraising). ■

Develop incentive programmes to encourage staff to design and use waste minimisation ideas.




Pressure for change (the top down approach)

Shared vision

Capacity for change (resources)


The Change Management Matrix (see last page) is a simple tool for identifying and plotting status and progress in your company. It will help you structure your process of managing change to get you from the raising of awareness and interest to desire and action.

Factor 1: Pressure For Change First of all there has to be a driving force for change. You have identified the need for change and taken the decision to proceed, but you have to communicate this throughout the company. Pressure for change could come from:

senior management commitment;

customers or the supply chain;

a regulatory regime such as Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC);

implementation of an environmental management system (EMS);


The workforce themselves are often the most effective source of pressure. Who wants to work for a company that has developed a reputation for polluting the environment or exploiting its suppliers? When people take a pride in the company they work for, they perform better and are more ready to put themselves out to help meet corporate goals. Regardless of where the original pressure for change comes from, senior management commitment and drive for change are essential to maintain progress. It is also necessary to convince everyone else in the company of the need and the case for change (see Factor 2). This can only happen if senior management (including the chairman and chief executive) are behind the changes sought. If senior management fail to back up their statements with action and continuous commitment, progress will soon stall. Other conflicting or new priorities will emerge and momentum can be lost if senior management fail to remain fully supportive of the project. Start by getting senior management signed up to the change. Then give all staff the opportunity to feed in their contributions and feel they have ownership of the change. Forward-thinking companies have already signed up to becoming more sustainable through resource efficiency, using cleaner technologies, minimising waste and embracing the principles of producer responsibility. But being more sustainable in its broadest sense also means attending to social responsibilities as a good employer by, for example:

encouraging fairness at work;

helping staff to develop their skills;

introducing green transport plans;

being a ‘good neighbour’ responsive to the local community;



being an ethical trader.

This positive message needs to be communicated throughout the company. An environmental policy (new or improved) can signal to staff that things are changing and that they have a role to play in making this happen. It’s in their interests and in the interests of the company that the changes are made. This is where the clear, shared vision (Factor 2) is essential.

Factor 2: A Clear, Shared Vision For change to be effective, it needs to be implemented at all levels and be embedded in the corporate culture. Your colleagues need to be motivated and you need to understand what motivates them. Do not forget that change is a major cause of stress among the workforce. People usually respond well to challenges that they feel they can meet; it’s fear of the unknown that raises stress levels. Getting everyone motivated to support the changes to be implemented is crucial for success. Staff, their managers and senior managers are all motivated by similar things, though they do not necessarily place them in the same order of importance. These ‘motivators’ include pride, happiness, responsibility, recognition, security, success, and, of course, money. The trick in successfully managing change and getting the commitment and support from people is to provide these ‘motivators’ - or at least as many of them as possible. There are some tips, questions and ideas below to help you do this.

Factor 3: Capacity For Change Capacity here means resources: these are staff time and, where appropriate, money. Before you proceed, identify the resources necessary to implement change and make sure they are provided. In may cases, the cost benefits from implementing resource efficiency programmes, waste minimisation programmes, energy efficiency measures, etc and can provide the financial resources for an ongoing programme of improvement. It is usually employees that have the information, intuition, ideas and instincts necessary for implementing change effectively. When given the capability and the opportunity to participate in improvement programmes, it is members of staff who can often find the greatest cost savings and efficiency improvements.

Factor 4: Action Having got the other three factors in place, the next stage is to implement the planned change. To maintain the effectiveness and appropriateness of the change it is essential to:

keep up momentum;

implement the ‘Plan - Do - Check - Act’ management methodology;

monitor and analyse the resulting data regularly;

keep everyone informed of progress.

The Change Management Matrix (see below) can help you do this.

Motivators For Change Pride When was the last time you (or senior management) told or showed your staff how proud you are of what they have achieved? The performance of your staff can drop significantly if they feel unappreciated or taken for granted. People that take pride and some level of enjoyment in their work and working environment are much more likely to perform well and provide new ideas for improving the company’s well-being.


A culture where laughter is permitted and encouraged can make all the difference in helping everyone get through the day. A caring approach to your staff can reap many benefits; if they know their employer cares about them as individuals then they will be more likely to care about the employer’s interests. Taking the approach of ‘treating others as we would wish to be treated ourselves’ is the ‘golden rule’ for strengthening and improving relationships between everyone at all levels in the company.



Responsibility Giving people more responsibility is a demonstration of trust. If people feel they are trusted, they usually respond by taking greater care and pride in their work. Is management prepared to delegate responsibility and provide the back-up? Will management take responsibility when things go wrong? Or does it have a blame culture?

Success Everyone has slightly different views on what constitutes success though common factors can include market profile, corporate reputation and product quality. Following a presentation on why change is being undertaken, ask staff (individually or in small focus groups) what they have as a vision for the company and for themselves as individuals. Good questions to get things going are:

What, who or where are you now?

What or where would you like to be?

Ask people to apply these questions to their view of the company as well as to themselves. A facilitated discussion can tease out where ideas overlap and demonstrate where common ground exists and can be strengthened. Use the Change Management Matrix to reveal the company’s current status.

Recognition Are your staff valued and made to feel part of the company’s success? Even when times are hard? When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ to people at all levels of the company for their individual contributions? To ignore this important motivator is a serious error and could mean loss of the support needed when implementing change. One effective approach a company can take is to treat its employees as its most important and valued customers. The company provides employment activity and wages, while the employees purchase these with their effort. The spin-off is that the external customers benefit from a more highly motivated company with which to do business.

Security Whenever change is being implemented the fear factor can set in. This can be the fear of change itself and its consequences, such as the possible loss of job security or loss of responsibility or control. Continuous, honest and open communication is essential. Change can take people out of their ‘comfort zone’ and raise their stress levels. The challenge is to demonstrate that the new ‘zone’ is even more comfortable and secure - or at least it will be once the initial short-term discomfort of implementing change has been overcome.

Money Money is an important motivator. Underpaid staff feel under-valued and are less likely to respond positively to change, especially if it means more effort for little or no increase in either pay or recognition - or both! Many people (especially those with captivating outside interests) ‘work to live rather than live to work’. However, most full-time employees spend more of their waking hours at work than they spend pursuing leisure interests or with their families. Providing the other six motivators is therefore equally as important as paying a fair wage for a fair job of work done. If the company is already highly profitable, staff may not have a strong inclination to reduce operating or production costs by, for example, switching off equipment when not in use - especially if the shareholders benefit from the cost-saving measures rather than their pay packets. However, telling staff about the company’s environmental impacts (eg carbon



dioxide emissions or waste volumes going to landfill) and how they have an important role in reducing these impacts can be an effective motivator - especially as environmental awareness continues to increase in the general population. Positive feedback to staff of reductions in environmental impacts can increase this motivation: ‘Haven’t we done well? Can we keep this up and do better?’ Staff suggestion schemes, with financial rewards for employees, require sensitive handling. Make sure you deliver the rewards you promise. Alternatively, give a percentage of the cost savings (perhaps subject to a capped limit) to support a local charity chosen by staff. This can motivate those who are not unduly concerned with environmental issues but who may have local community interests.

Change Management Matrix: Awareness > Interest > Desire > Action Plot in each column where the organisation stands and then try to make progress by moving up the matrix in a straight horizontal line, targeting the weaker areas first.

Pressure for change 3

■ ■


Policy and action plan in placen Regular reviews Active commitment from top management

Policy agreed and communicated to all staff

Clear shared vision ■

Board level ‘champion’ appointed Drafting of policy


High level of awareness and support at all levels Staff highly motivated

Capacity (resources)

Representatives from all levels of management chain involved in planning process and drawing up action plan(s) All staff given opportunity to make an input Key and supportive staff identified for assisting in drafting policy, taking action and driving the process


■ ■

No explicit policy ‘Business as usual’, no forward planning Lack of consistent leadership and responsibility (‘buck passing’)

■ ■

Demotivated staff kept in the dark No communication General mistrust

Source: Government Office for the South West


Action (and performance) Resources (staff and ■ Action being taken funding) routinely and embedded committed throughout the Cost savings company reinvested for further ■ Monitoring and improvements reporting of progress Key staff working on plans and projects Staffing and funding needs identified and resources becoming available

‘Champion’ appointed at middle management level (to support the board’s ‘Champion’) Training and development needs assessment No investment. High stress levels in overworked and under-valued staff No training and development

Wider engagement across the organisation ‘Low-cost’ and more ‘no-cost’ measures implemented

Commencement of action at some levels of the organisation Some ‘no-cost’ measures implemented

Zero action (or limited to crisis management)




Role of senior management What are the barriers to getting started? How are the barriers overcome? Tips for overcoming barriers Senior management commitment is essential to help you get started with a waste minimisation or environmental improvement programme. Often, the first step is to convince senior managers of the financial and wider benefits and overcome any barriers that they may have. One of the best ways to do this is to identify:

obvious areas where waste could be reduced and environmental improvements made;

where you can make immediate savings through no-cost or low-cost measures.

Role Of Senior Management All successful waste minimisation programmes begin with senior management commitment. This is essential to ensure that everyone in the company works together in a positive manner to achieve maximum benefits from the programme. The role of the senior manager is vital for all steps in the waste minimisation programme. For example, quantifying and costing wastes involves planning and organising colleagues to help collect data. Responsibility and authority need to be provided by senior management in order to obtain full co-operation and support from other members of staff. Companies need to decide which improvement options are a priority and which are feasible in terms of timescales, capital costs and payback period. Senior management input is crucial for:

deciding priorities;

setting targets for reductions;

recording performance.

To maintain momentum for the programme at all levels within the company, senior management endorsement is an essential component of any reporting and feedback.

What Are The Barriers To Getting Started? Explain to senior managers that worthwhile savings can be made to overcome some of the barriers commonly experienced, including:

lack of money to fund a waste minimisation programme;

lack of resources and time;

low priority to develop a waste minimisation programme due to changes in the company’s structure, processes or organisation;

staff working patterns;

fear of change.

How Are The Barriers Overcome? It is a common misconception that waste minimisation programmes cost money. Typically, waste minimisation will save the company money - up to 1% of business turnover, either as extra profit or in reduced operating costs. By



implementing no-cost or low-cost measures, your company could also reduce water/effluent costs and energy bills by 20% or more. Make sure senior management is aware of the facts and dispel any myths or misconceptions they may have. Find out much other companies have saved from waste minimisation initiatives and use the examples to persuade senior managers of the bsiness benefits. Lack of time and resources are two barriers that are particularly common in smaller companies and the most frequent cause of companies failing to complete their programme. There is no standard formula for overcoming these barriers each company is different.

Look for additional no-cost or low-cost help such as employing a student or joining a waste minimisation club.

Use free publications from business support organisations for self-help and guidance.

Target a few areas where immediate savings could be made (eg raw material use, energy consumption, water use, solid waste generation) rather than tackle all potential opportunities. This avoids over-committing resources.

Avoid starting a waste minimisation programme at the same time as any planned changes in processes, organisation or staff working patterns. Resources are more likely to be available and the results will be more meaningful for the company’s operations.

Tips For Overcoming Barriers ■

Feedback pays back. Everyone from shopfloor operators to senior managers is motivated by feedback that tells them how well they are doing in reducing waste. Introduce yield and waste monitoring, but pay particular attention to the people close to the process. They are the ones who can react quickly enough to prevent waste. Monitor, measure and react.

Employees support zero waste. All are in favour of improving quality and cutting waste. Increased environmental concern is sharpening enthusiasm for finding ways to waste less. It is part of good management to encourage and build on that enthusiasm.

Waste is not inevitable. Ban a few phrases when you start setting waste reduction targets: Unavoidable waste! Natural waste! Paid for waste! Costed waste! Waste is waste - cutting it will increase your profits!

What is the best we have done in the past? The best performance you have achieved in the past is one point of reference for setting new targets. You know it is achievable because you have already done it once!

What should we be able to achieve? Go beyond the best and look at the ideal. What stops you getting there? Identifying barriers to improvement is the first step in overcoming them.

Who will take responsibility for achieving the targets? It is important that waste reduction finds a champion with enough seniority to make things happen. Waste minimisation can cut across lines of responsibility. Achieving change can mean persuading others to set new priorities or to commit resources. Waste minimisation means managing change.

Are the targets ambitious enough? Unambitious targets can be demotivating. If senior management loses interest in them, they cease to be a challenge. Set targets that are realistic yet challenging, and maintain the challenge from shopfloor to senior management.

I’m glad you told me about that! Encourage people to tell you about waste problems and act on them. Good managers do not criticise if waste is brought to their attention. Don’t blame the messenger or the perpetrator. It is better to find out later than never. Concentrate on the solution - be seen to act. Make waste important! Many workforces do not see environmental issues as threatening. Indeed, prompt attention in this area can be highly motivating.

Don’t keep costs secret. People often don’t appreciate the value of the materials they are handling because they haven’t been told it. Talking about savings in £s is more meaningful than quoting percentages.

Tools. Provide people with the right tools for the job. Poor tool design or having to make do can lead to waste and reduced motivation.

Tune in, listen and learn. Tap into people’s skills and experience through teamwork and ‘cause and effect’ sessions. Listening to people can have a powerful motivating effect on them - and you will also learn what is really happening.

Empowerment - break down barriers by working together. ‘Cause and effect’ diagrams were used at a waste team meeting to help a group of managers identify causes of waste. ‘Oh, but most of those are outside our


causes were all identified as being under the control of one or more of the managers in the room. By working together, they realised they could tackle all the problems. This is empowerment in action. ■

Can you afford not to train? American management guru, Peter Drucker, once said: ‘If you think trained is expensive, just try ignorant!’

Improve housekeeping. An untidy factory is a wasteful factory. Untidiness leads to mistakes, poor attitudes, accidental damage, obsolete material and waste.

How to crack tough nuts. Some process problems resist solution by traditional ‘change one thing at a time’ methods. Production can involve numerous inputs and processes, each of which is a potential source of variation.


control,’ said one and gave an example. ‘No, I disagree, we can control that one,’ said another. One by one, the

The best way to crack tough nuts like this is to put aside the theory and find out what the process itself is telling you. ■

Obtain more information by talking to operators and observing what’s happening.

Use statistical analysis of what the process is doing to give you clues.

Design experiments and run trials on live production to seek solutions direct from the process itself.

The right combination of determination, a practical but scientific approach, and people skills can crack the toughest old nuts.




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT REDUCING HAZARDOUS WASTE? If you are in England, Northern Ireland or Wales, waste which has hazardous properties is known as hazardous waste. If you are in Scotland, this waste is known as special waste. The term ‘hazardous waste’ is used throughout the following text. The movement and disposal of hazardous waste is regulated by:

Environment Agency in England and Wales;

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland;

Environment and Heritage Service in Northern Ireland.

consignment note must accompany every movement of hazardous waste and everyone involved with the transfer must retain a copy of the consignment note. Since July 2005, most producers of hazardous waste in England and Wales have been required to notify their premises to the Environment Agency. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, there is no need to register but you must pre-notify the appropriate agency of hazardous waste movements. From the same date, more waste streams were classified as hazardous (see below).

Benefits Of Reducing Hazardous Waste Companies that take a closer look at their site’s hazardous waste arisings can reduce their operating costs, improve efficiency and reduce disposal costs. Effective management of your hazardous waste can help your business to:

reduce raw material costs;

reduce waste disposal costs;

improve environmental performance;

enhance its image;

comply with hazardous waste regulations.

A measuring and monitoring programme can give you a good understanding of your current processes to help you identify areas where improvements can be made. Solutions need not be complex or involve large capital outlay; savings can often be made through simple, low-cost measures.

What Is Hazardous Waste? Waste is classed as hazardous when it has properties that might make it harmful to our health or the environment. The management of such waste is controlled under the Hazardous Waste Directive and hazardous waste is defined on the basis of a list, the European Waste Catalogue, drawn up under that Directive. The list of hazardous wastes was revised in 2005 to include a number of waste streams not previously considered to be hazardous, eg:



computer monitors;


fluorescent tubes;

end-of-life vehicles.

Actions To Reduce Hazardous Waste Options for the management of hazardous waste are based on the waste hierarchy (eliminate, reduce, re-use, recycle, dispose). Actions that are further up the hierarchy are better environmental options and often provide the most costeffective solutions. The emphasis is on elimination and reduction at source:


This meant that some businesses became hazardous waste producers for the first time.

Eliminate or reduce hazardous materials entering the product or process by choosing non-hazardous or less hazardous alternatives.

Increase the efficiency of the process to reduce material consumption and waste generation (including minimising the need for cleaning which generates contaminated effluents).

Recover materials from the process for direct re-use on-site, or recycling off-site following further treatment. The options for this must be investigated prior to resorting to disposal.

The bottom line is: the disposal of hazardous waste is expensive and the cost is rising. By designing out hazardous materials from your product or process, you can eliminate the root cause of hazardous waste. This can be a low-cost option with immediate payback, removing the need for the disposal of hazardous materials in the future. Cleaner design considers the choice of materials used in a product. Many materials cannot be recycled and create significant environmental impacts during production.

Flow Chart For Reducing Hazardous Materials

A good start is to prepare a list of all the materials used to make a product. Then look for alternatives with lower environmental impacts, eg:

those containing recycled materials;

those sourced from environmentally conscious suppliers;

those that can be recycled at the end-of-life.

Suppliers and customers may be able to suggest alternative materials or potential opportunities for recovery, re-use and recycling. Consider how the product is manufactured. Does the process use or generate hazardous materials? Design out where possible. Prevention at source should be a high priority. Also consider how the product will be disposed of. Will any parts of it require disposal as hazardous waste? Examination of the current method of disposal could reveal opportunities for increasing the product’s recycling potential.

Could the product be re-used or recycled instead of being sent to landfill?




If products with only minor faults are typically discarded, is it possible to salvage some of the hazardous parts or components?


Does the product contain hazardous materials or components that can be easily recovered and recycled?




What is Green Chemistry? How could I use green chemistry in my organisation? Framework for the implementation of green chemistry

What Is Green Chemisy? The concepts of green chemistry evolved in the USA in the 1990s. The 12 principles of green chemistry were defined in 1998 by Anastas and Warner (see box) and have since been widely adopted. Anastas and Warner considered green chemistry to be: ‘… utilisation of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products ... measure by measure’. In 2000, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) defined green chemistry as: ‘The invention, design, and application of chemical products and processes to reduce or to eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.’ The 12 principles of green chemistry can be used to evaluate specific activities to:

reduce or eliminate the use and/or generation of hazardous materials and chemical processes;

avoid the use of non-renewable resources;

reduce energy and material use;

reduce waste;

lower the impact of chemicals on individuals and the environment.

The benefits of adopting a green chemistry approach are summarised in the table below. The main tools of green chemistry are:

alternative feedstocks, solvents and reagents;

catalytic versus stoichiometric processes.

How Could I Use Green Chemistry In My Organisation? Green chemistry can be successfully implemented in any organisation to help:

avoid the use of non-renewable resources;

reduce energy and material use;

lessen the impact of chemicals on individuals and the environment.

reduce waste;



The 12 Principles Of Green Chemistry Prevention

It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.

Atom Economy*

Synthetic methods should be designed to maximise the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.

Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses

Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.

Designing Safer Chemicals

Chemical products should be designed to affect their desired function while minimising their toxicity.

Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries

The use of auxiliary substances (eg solvents, separation agents, etc) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used

Design for Energy Efficiency

Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognised for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimised. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.

Use of Renewable Feedstocks

A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.

Reduce Derivatives

Unnecessary derivatisation (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimised or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.


Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.

Design for Degradation Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention

Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.

Inherently Safer Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen Chemistry for Accident to minimise the potential for chemical accidents including releases, explosions, and fires. Prevention * Atom Economy is a parameter developed by chemists which incorporates the reaction yield and the unwanted side products. 100% atom economy means all the reactants are converted into the product. Source: Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, P T Anastas and J C Warner, Oxford University Press, New York, 1998, p.30. With permission from Oxford University Press.

Š Copyright.

Benefits Of Green Chemistry



Benefit ■ ■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■ ■


Improved resource efficiency. Cost savings associated with reduced waste treatment/disposal costs. Ability to capitalise on the environmental technology marketplace. Help the chemical industry to remain competitive and innovative in response to changing demands and globalisation pressures, which are currently driving the industry towards higher added value products. Improving the reputation of the chemical industry through the development of more sustainable processes and the introduction of less harmful, more environmentally friendly products. Potential business and marketing benefits associated with environmentally friendly products and processes. Meeting consumer demand. Securing a successful future. Ability to demonstrate corporate social responsibility (CSR). Enhanced image of the chemical industry with the general public.



Purchasing company ■ ■ ■ ■

Competitive advantage. Meeting consumer demand Providing a green supply chain. Improved image.

Consumer ■ ■


Environmental and safety

■ ■ ■ ■

Improved heath and safety Improved environment Compliance with regulatory requirements, eg the requirement in the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations to use alternative, less hazardous raw materials wherever possible. Use of a green chemistry approach may reduce material use to below the threshold/volume for regulatory regimes such as Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) and Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH). Lower levels of chemicals released to the environment Adoption of cleaner production technologies. Minimising emissions and product impacts through the entire life-cycle. Increasing the sustainability of the chemical industry



Framework For The Implementation Of Green Chemistry The diagram below shows a recommended framework for the implementation of green chemistry principles into a business, based on a team effort. One option is to consider formalising the adoption of a green chemistry approach by developing a documented programme within the wider framework of an environmental management system (EMS).

How Long Will It Take? The implementation of green chemistry may depend on obtaining sufficient project funding. For this and other reasons, implementation programmes will vary considerably. Timescales may range from a basic reformulation project taking a short period of time to a major long-term programme where product/client/regulatory approval is required or which involves significant process changes. This is particularly critical where substitution affects pharmaceutical or defence sector products. Once customer acceptance of alternative materials has been obtained and/or regulatory barriers (eg the need for a permit to operate) have been identified and overcome, a timescale can be set. A realistic timescale for implementation of a green chemistry programme may well be one to two years.

Who Should Be Involved? The implementation of green chemistry requires: establishment of a multi-disciplinary team with representatives from the purchasing, production, R&D, technical,

customer liaison, and environment, health and safety (EHS) departments; appointment of a green chemistry ‘champion’ to drive the team. This person should be someone at board level with

overall responsibility for implementing green chemistry within the organisation. Team members should:

have knowledge of the current product range;

be aware of key environmental issues and how manufacturing impacts on the environment.

The approach will vary depending on whether the green chemistry programme is process or material based.

Framework For The Implementation Of Green Chemistry Principles Into A Business Develop an integration plan by reviewing the 12 principles of green chemistry. Assess the chemicals currently used and manufactured. Identify the potential opportunities from green chemistry. Appoint a multi-disciplinary team and champion. Establish an approach to the adoption of green chemistry. Brainstorm innovative ideas that could lead to the production of products with lower environmental impacts. Integrate green chemistry into the business. Consider formalising the approach through a documented programme within a wider EMS framework. Carry outregular reviews to: ■ ■

monitor progress; ensure products and processes being implemented lead to environmental improvements.

Repeat the cycle

A programme often begins with R&D chemists working on an alternative (often in response to a client-related concern) in co-operation with product safety and environmental personnel (possibly toxicologists as well).


Production representatives need to be consulted at an early stage to ensure practical application considerations are taken into account.

The purchasing department needs to be involved in the initial trial stages to determine the cost implications of any material changes.

It is essential that sales and marketing are involved to: ■

progress requirements for client approval;

test client willingness to accept and pay for improved or alternative products/production techniques.


The following departments need to be involved in the green chemistry programme:




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT CLEANER TECHNOLOGY? Introduction to cleaner technology Cleaner technology areas Implementing cleaner technology Designing cleaner products Optimising processes Using new technology Recovering and re-using materials

Introduction To Cleaner Technology Cleaner technology is about improving your company’s competitiveness. By implementing innovative techniques, you can increase the efficiency of your production process and reduce waste. Changing your production process to prevent or reduce waste is more cost-effective than using end-of-pipe techniques. Cleaner technology includes:

designing cleaner products;

optimising processes;

using new technology;

recovering and re-using materials.

Adopting a cleaner technology approach can significantly improve your company’s profitability and environmental performance. Direct business benefits include:

cost savings from reduced raw material and utility consumption;

reduced waste treatment and disposal costs;

improved process control and product quality;

continued compliance with the increasing requirements of environmental legislation;

improved opportunities for positive marketing features leading to increased sales;

improved customer/supplier relationship;

increased competitiveness.

Other, less obvious, benefits can include lower insurance premiums and less need for emissions monitoring to demonstrate compliance with environmental regulations. Many companies that have implemented cleaner technology have also benefited from increased employee motivation and a better working environment.

Cleaner Technology Areas ■

Implementing cleaner technology. Laying the foundations for cleaner technology will support decision-making processes and increase the value gained from its implementation.

Designing cleaner products. Incorporating environmental considerations into a product’s design can result in significant cost savings and enhanced product function.

Optimising processes. Changing the process flow or reducing variability will make your process more efficient and reduce waste and raw material costs.


Using new technology. Investigating newer, cleaner equipment and updating your production line will increase

Recovering and re-using materials. Segregating waste streams allows greater recovery, re-use or recycling of raw materials and by-products. Recovering substances from mixed waste streams will also reduce your overall waste treatment and disposal costs.

Implementing Cleaner Technology Implementing cleaner technology involves encouraging people to take an innovative approach to:

identifying opportunities to reduce waste;

considering options for improvement;

evaluating the feasibility and potential benefits of technical solutions.


process efficiency, reduce waste and material costs, and make your factory more competitive. ■

The three steps outlined below provide a checklist of actions to help you carry out this process. It is important to ensure that the foundations are in place to encourage people to identify those areas where cleaner technology will have the greatest impact. Time invested to inspire people to generate innovative suggestions for improvement will be amply repaid through the significant cost savings achieved when these are implemented. Having identified the areas for improvement, the process of considering the options and evaluating the potential solutions is similar to that for any business efficiency project.

Step 1: Laying The Foundations For Cleaner Technology Ensure that mechanisms are in place to encourage your staff to identify and act upon opportunities to implement cleaner technology. For example:

Seek management commitment to a project to identify and assess opportunities for cleaner technology.

Include a commitment to adopt cleaner technology improvements in your company’s environmental policy.

Give someone with appropriate technical knowledge the responsibility for identifying cleaner technology opportunities. Ask this person to keep a watching brief on:

developing technologies, eg through discussions with equipment and material suppliers;

more cost-effective techniques for compliance with existing and forthcoming legislation.

Summarise basic cost information about your process such as the costs associated with raw materials, utilities, waste disposal, etc. Don’t forget to include the ‘hidden’ costs of waste such as wasted labour, lost product sales, effluent treatment costs, etc.

Ensure that cleaner technology opportunities are assessed when new equipment or process changes are considered.

Make sure that effective communication methods are in place to gain commitment and enthusiasm from the workforce for cleaner technology initiatives.

These actions will help you to identify those areas where cleaner technology improvements can have the greatest impact.

Step 2: Considering The Options Once you have identified the areas you want to improve, the next step is to consider the cleaner technology options available to you. Think about where it would be best to make changes to minimise waste and how to optimise the business benefits to your company of cleaner technology. Find out more about the four areas of cleaner technology, ie:

designing cleaner products;

optimising processes;

using new technology;

recovering and re-using materials.

Use this information to help you decide which of the opportunities you initially identified will be the most cost-effective for



your company to implement.

Step 3: Making The Change The final step is to evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of a particular cleaner technology opportunity:

Assess available technical approaches: ■

obtain detailed information on specific solutions and technologies;

consult equipment and material suppliers.

Undertake a cost-benefit analysis of your list of possible solutions.

Obtain management approval to trial your chosen approach.

Undertake a trial: ■

Gather base-line data on existing performance and costs.

Plan the trial and identify the parameters to be monitored to assess the benefits.

Gather monitoring data during the trial period.

Assess overall performance and revise your cost-benefit analysis.

Implement your chosen approach and continue to monitor performance.

Report on, and promote the benefits of, your cleaner technology solution.

Don’t stop now. Build on your success and identify another cleaner technology opportunity to address.

Designing Cleaner Products Using the design process of a product or service to minimise the environmental impact over its entire lifetime can improve competitiveness substantially. The business benefits of designing cleaner products include:

lower production costs;

improved product functionality and quality;

increased market share;

easier disassembly and increased potential for recycling;

improved customer/supplier relationship;

continued compliance with legislation, eg the packaging waste and the end-of-life vehicles regulations.

Approach Cleaner design involves identifying how a product gives rise to environmental impacts during its life-cycle and how these impacts can be reduced. A product’s environmental impacts can be reduced by addressing ten key considerations (see diagram) covering each stage of its life-cycle (raw materials, manufacture, use and end-of-life).


■ ■ ■

■ ■ ■

■ ■

Raw materials Use materials with less environmental impact. Use less material. Materials Use fewer resources. Produce less pollution and waste. Reduce impacts of distribution. Use Use fewer resources. Cause less pollution and waste. Optimise functionality and service life. End-of-life Reduce the environmental impact of disposal. Make re-use and recycling easier.

The aims of designing cleaner products include:


reduced raw material use;

elimination of hazardous materials;

reduced energy and water consumption;

the production of less waste and pollution;

increased service life;

greater recyclability.

Tools and techniques you can use include:

life-cycle assessment (LCA) - a formal procedure based on databases of comparative impacts;

abridged life-cycle assessment;

product checklists containing life-cycle considerations specific to a particular product;

design for assembly/disassembly - considers life-cycle issues for recycling a product.


Optimising Processes Optimising processes usually involves changing the process flow and/or improving process control. Depending on your company’s requirements, these can be implemented separately or together. Optimising processes may require new technologies. The business and environmental benefits of optimising your process include:

increased yield of saleable product;

improved product quality and thus less need for rework;

improved efficiency and reduced process time.

Approach A clear understanding of your process is essential for process optimisation, so start by preparing a process map. Identify the inputs and wastes for each process and add these to the map. Then quantify the raw materials, ancillary materials, utility consumption and waste for each process step. Consider the function of each process step and how it feeds into the next step.

Is each step necessary and can any process steps be combined?

Could waste be prevented or reduced by altering the sequence of steps?

Could wastes from different process steps be re-used elsewhere in the process?

Computer modelling can help you to assess the cost and environmental benefits of proposed changes alongside their potential impact on production parameters. This technique is especially useful for more complex processes. Processes that produce large and variable amounts of waste can often benefit from improved process control. The first step is to identify the parameters affecting the amount of waste. An effective process control system typically consists of a method of measuring key parameters, with a controller and a control device (eg a valve) linked in a feedback loop. The controller can range from manual monitoring to a fully automated system. Common types of process control system include:

manual methods such as control charts and visual checks (eg adjusting a valve after reading a level indicator), which require staff training to follow the control procedures;

simple feedback systems, eg a direct relationship between the monitoring of key parameters and their effect on a control device;

computer controllers, where monitoring data are processed before controls are adjusted;

tagging devices such as bar codes.

Using New Technology Using new technology can involve changing to a cleaner process, in place of more environmentally harmful ones, or installing cleaner equipment, or doing both. Implementing cleaner processes and installing cleaner equipment can help you to:



reduce costs;

improve efficiency;

reduce raw material use and waste generation;

improve product quality.

Approach The steps involved in selecting and implementing cleaner processes or installing cleaner equipment are similar to those for any other new equipment or process:

Follow the generic steps for implementing cleaner technology.

When considering the options, identify the performance criteria you require (in addition to capital and operating cost considerations) including: ■

issues such as operational performance, customer requirements and environmental benefits;

plant-specific issues, eg effect on product quality, health and safety, space, operating life of plant, project timescales, documentation and training requirements;

contractual issues, eg exactly what is being supplied, performance guarantees, post-instalment services and the supply of spare parts.

It may be necessary to start by making assumptions about the performance of the new technology or equipment until you have obtained further information about the specific technologies available. Assessing technologies that are ‘foreign’ to your business (eg the use of biotechnology in chemicals manufacturing) can be difficult, with initial misunderstandings common. Efforts made to understand the new technology better will reduce these risks, and put the company in a better position to evaluate competing products and services. This may require bringing new skills into the company - by recruitment, through studentships or the TCS (formerly Teacher Company Scheme).

Considerations in using new technology include: ■


payback period;

whole life costs;





customer trials.

When making the change, review the technology options available, eg through discussions with equipment suppliers, trade associations and research organisations.

Where suitable solutions are not readily available, you may choose to develop new cleaner technologies yourself to meet your company’s needs. This is often best done in partnership with equipment suppliers and can sometimes be eligible for funding from local sources and Government programmes.

Recovering And Re-Using Materials Many industrial processes generate waste streams containing a mixture of materials. Where possible, it is most costeffective to:

prevent or reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place through product design, process optimisation and using new technology;

segregate waste streams.

However, there may be some waste streams where such approaches are not feasible. In these circumstances, recovery of material from mixed wastes may reduce the cost of treatment. The many business benefits of recovering and re-using raw materials and by-products include:


cost savings from the re-use of the recovered materials and by-products on-site;

revenue from their sale to other companies for recycling or recovery;

cost savings through avoided waste treatment and disposal charges.

Approach ■

Follow the generic steps for implementing cleaner technology outlined above.

Characterise the waste stream you wish to treat, eg composition, temperature, pH, flow rate and volume.

Assess other key factors affecting the choice of technology, eg space, nature of substances to be recovered, capital cost, operating costs and legislative requirements.


Review available technology options, eg by consulting equipment suppliers.

A wide range of recovery technologies is available. For example:

Separation of dissolved substances from liquids - adsorption, ion exchange, precipitation, electrical technologies, evaporation, distillation, dissolved air flotation (DAF), air/steam stripping, etc.

Separation of gases from liquids - separation vessels, defoaming processes, demisters, electrostatic precipitation, etc.

Separation of gases from gases(eg solvent capture) - adsorption, condensation, absorption (scrubbing), etc;

Membrane technologies. These are particularly effective for: ■

the recovery and re-use of both water and raw materials;

the separation of mixtures of materials, eg solids from gases, gases from gases, dissolved or colloidal materials from liquids, solids from liquids, gases from liquids, and liquids from liquids.




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT DEVELOPING AN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY? An environmental policy states your company’s commitment to complying with legislation and achieving continual improvement by identifying and managing environmental issues such as waste and water consumption. Possible principles to address in an environmental policy include:

compliance with legislation;

use of materials, water and energy;

waste minimisation, recovery and disposal;

measuring, monitoring and targeting;

suppliers and service providers;

community impacts and transport issues;

training, education and awareness.

POLICY ESSENTIALS ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Keep it concise, simple and clear. Make sure it is relevant to what you actually do. Make sure it covers the most important environmental issues for your company. Set realistic aims and objectives. Have the policy endorsed by the managing director. Date the policy. Communicate it to all employees. Make it publicly available and include it in marketing material, tenders, etc. State that you will review the policy annually to make sure it is still relevant.

A typical environmental policy occupies no more than one side of A4 paper and incorporates the following elements:


responsibility for the policy’s implementation;

aims of the policy;

objectives and targets through which these aims will be met;

monitoring and auditing;

communicating the policy to stakeholders, eg customers, shareholders, employees, regulators and neighbours.

The table below summarises the type of information that can be included under these headings. It is vital to involve employees in policy development and to ensure they know how it affects them and what their responsibilities are.


Heading Introduction and aim

Information ■ ■ ■ ■





Monitoring and auditing


■ ■ ■

Company name Which aspects/part/location of the business the policy covers Links to other aspects of the business such as quality systems The overall aim of the policy State who is responsible for: ■ integrating environmental considerations into the business; ■ maintaining the environmental policy.


Suggested Content Of An Environmental Policy

State that you will: ■ make resources available to implement the policy (eg time); ■ provide training to staff and stakeholders. State the company’s environmental objectives, eg: ■ complying with relevant regulations; ■ reducing material and energy consumption; ■ reducing hazardous waste generation; ■ minimising the impact of activities on neighbours. Give specific targets relating to your objectives, eg: ■ percentage reduction in waste from a known baseline; ■ percentage reduction in water use from a known baseline; ■ percentage reduction in energy consumption from a known baseline. Indicate the systems to be used to monitor progress, eg: ■ reviews and assessments; ■ data collection; ■ annual audits; ■ publication of annual summaries of progress against policy objectives. How to obtain a copy (eg telephone number and address of company website). Who will be given a copy (eg all employees and customers). Name and title of person to contact with any queries.




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WASTE HIERARCHY? What Is The Waste Hierarchy? The waste hierarchy ranks waste management options in order of increasing environmental impact. Everyone should aim to eliminate waste from the onset but, if this is not practical or possible, then you should consider reducing, re-using or recycling waste. If none of these steps apply, then dispose of waste in a responsible manner. Waste disposal has the greatest impact on the environment and typically is the least cost-effective waste management solution. By moving up the waste hierarchy you could save money, raw materials, water and energy, while improving your image and reducing your impact on the environment.

The Waste Hierarchy





Life-cycle analysis (LCA) identifies the material, energy and waste flows of a product over its entire life-cycle so that the environmental impacts can be determined. It can help companies to identify changes to their operations, including product design, which can lead to environmental benefits and cost savings. Many companies have used LCA and, as a result, have reduced their costs and improved the environmental performance of both their organisation and their products.

An Example Of The Life-Cycle Of A Product

LCA is an effective instrument for:

informing a company’s management about its environmental performance;

improving its understanding of the environmental impacts of company products;

identifying cost savings associated with manufacturing and waste disposal methods.

Importantly, it can also inform the market about the environmental performance of a company’s products or services. LCA is of potential interest to most, if not all, industrial companies, regardless of how large or small they may be or the products they provide. While LCA is a valuable tool, it is a decision-aiding tool - it does not make decisions for you. It is a developing science. Internationally, efforts are continuing to improve the method to make it simpler, more robust and, importantly, to develop a standardised methodology

What Is LCA? LCA identifies the material, energy and waste flows associated with a product over its entire life-cycle so that the environmental impacts can be determined. Using LCA, it is possible to evaluate the environmental performance of a product from ‘cradle to grave’, allowing the most significant environmental impacts2 associated with it during its lifetime to be considered, ie from extracting the raw



materials and fuel from the earth through to the product’s use and, ultimately, disposal. The diagram below shows the processes considered in an LCA in terms of the inputs and outputs for a product’s manufacture, use and disposal. This is a simplified representation; other processes such as extraction of raw materials, recycling or energy recovery at the disposal stage are omitted.

Processes Typically Considered When Conducting An LCA For A Product

LCA differs fundamentally from other environmental management tools such as environmental impact assessment and environmental management systems. Most of these consider only a particular site or location and, hence, only the part of the life-cycle which occurs on that site (eg the manufacturing process itself). LCA integrates over time (the life-cycle) and considers the different geographical sites and stages a product will pass through in its lifetime. By adopting a holistic approach, LCA avoids the problem of shifting environmental impacts to other parts of the life-cycle. For example, changing the materials used in production may create less environmental impact at the production site, but increase the environmental impact associated with extraction of raw materials or with product use or disposal. Overall, there may be no net environmental improvement or even an increase in environmental impact. There are some environmental impacts and issues which LCA is unable to address. Broadly speaking, LCA does not consider non-quantifiable or subjective impacts; examples include odour, visibility and working conditions. In addition, LCA does not consider economic or social factors. Another key characteristic of LCA is that it considers the most significant environmental burdens and environmental issues. Improvements in any one environmental issue, say global warming, are not made without considering the impacts on another, such as resource depletion. LCA is a quantitative technique that has the power to inform decision-makers, helping them to make informed and robust decisions.

Elements Of LCA LCA is more straightforward than it may appear, as it can be separated into convenient and easy-to- handle phases. Typically these are:


goal and scope definition;

inventory analysis;

impact assessment;


The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has developed a series of standards to cover each aspect of LCA, eg inventory analysis, impact assessment and interpretation. ISO 14040 describes the principles and framework for conducting and reporting LCA studies, while ISO 14041 describes goal and scope definition and inventory analysis. ISO 14042 and ISO 14043 describe the other stages of LCA - impact assessment and life-cycle interpretation respectively.

How Can LCA Help Me?


LCA Standardisation

An LCA can be used by your company to:

provide information, eg to identify waste reduction opportunities;

help you market your products.

The information required by these audiences is likely to be different, though you will need to gather similar data in both cases. There are also opportunities to share an LCA with other companies. Members of a trade association may wish to pool resources to achieve a shared goal such as providing the public with information about the environmental performance of their generic product. Companies operating in different industrial sectors, but which are part of a supply chain, may also identify an opportunity to share an LCA. For example, a vehicle manufacturer may team up with a metals supplier to assess the effects of using a material in a new way. Sharing an LCA can be a useful way of aiding data collection and dividing costs. When considering an LCA, you should consider not only the resources and manufacturing processes but also the use and disposal phases of your product’s life-cycle. The reason is that, for many products (eg batteries, cars and domestic appliances), the most significant environmental impacts occur during their use or disposal. Consequently, an LCA that focused on manufacturing could misinform decision-makers and miss the opportunity to achieve the most significant benefits. For many products, one or two stages in their life-cycle account for the bulk of their environmental impacts. In such cases, a streamlined LCA can be used to good advantage. Using an LCA can:

improve efficiency and reduce costs;

improve product design;

improve product marketing;

reduce supply chain pressure;

ensure compliance with environmental legislation.

LCA can lead to cost savings for manufacturers. In some instances (eg low energy appliances), the consumer will achieve cost savings instead.




WOULD YOU LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT THE DUTY OF CARE? Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, anyone who produces, imports, stores, carries, keeps, treats, recycles or disposes of waste must take all reasonable steps to look after it and prevent its illegal disposal by others. The Duty of Care also applies when you transfer waste to others to deal with it on your behalf. Failure to comply with the Duty of Care is an offence. The Duty of Care has no time limit. It extends until the waste has either been finally and properly disposed of, or fully recovered.

Storing Your Waste Under the Duty of Care you must make sure your waste is stored securely and not allowed to escape. If your waste does escape and causes harm to the environment, you could be liable to prosecution. You should ensure that waste does not escape as a result of:

corrosion or wear of waste containers - this often occurs with waste that is left outside in metal containers and exposed to the weather;

accidental spilling or leaking - this occurs when waste is not stored properly;

accident or weather breaking open the contained waste and allowing it to escape;

waste blowing away or falling while stored or transported - this sometimes happens when waste is not properly netted on vehicles;

scavenging of waste by vandals, thieves, children, trespassers or animals.

Transferring Your Waste You must make sure that anyone that you pass your waste on to (eg waste contractor, scrap metal merchant, recycler, local council or skip hire company) is authorised to take it, ie is a registered waste carrier or broker. If you don’t, and your waste is disposed of illegally, you could be held responsible. Whoever collects your waste must have a licence to carry waste and should give you a document known as a waste transfer note that describes the waste and its origin. Under the law, you must keep all waste transfer notes for at least two years.





Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Packaging waste regulations Trade effluent and discharge consents Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations Hazardous waste controls Climate Change Levy NOTE: legislation is constantly changing and being updated. Please check with your regulator for information on the latest environmental legislation.

Integrated Pollution Prevention And Control (IPPC) What Is IPPC? IPPC is a regulatory system that employs an integrated approach to control the environmental impact to air, land and water of emissions arising from industrial activities. Emissions are defined as being the direct or indirect release of substances, vibration, heat or noise from individual or diffuse sources in an installation into the environment. IPPC is the most significant piece of legislation to affect UK industry in recent years due to its wide scope and the range of operations covered. The regime was introduced by European Community Directive 96/61/EC on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, which has the following objectives:

to protect the environment as a whole by preventing or minimising emissions to all media (air, land and water);

to encourage reductions in raw material and energy use, and increased recycling and re-use;

to promote the use of clean technology to reduce pollution at source;

to encourage innovation by leaving significant responsibility for developing satisfactory solutions to environmental issues with industrial operators;

to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for administering applications for permits to operate;

to simplify and strengthen the role of the Competent Authorities (regulators).

IPPC involves determining the appropriate controls for industry to protect the environment through a single permitting process. In order to gain an IPPC permit, operators of industrial sites must show that they have systematically developed proposals to apply Best Available Techniques (BAT) to pollution prevention and control, and that these address other requirements relevant to local factors.

In England and Wales, the Directive is implemented by the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 (as amended).

In Scotland, it is implemented by the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (as amended).

In Northern Ireland, it is implemented in Northern Ireland by the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (as amended).

Although similar, there are significant differences between the implementation of IPPC in the different parts of the UK and advice should be sought from the appropriate regulator.



What Is BAT? BAT is defined in the IPPC Directive as: ‘the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation which indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing in principle the basis for emission limit values designed to prevent and, where that is not practicable, generally to reduce emissions and the impact on the environment as a whole’. The main way of ensuring compliance is by determining and enforcing permit conditions based on this principal. Using the BAT approach ensures that any cost associated with applying the technology is not excessive in relation to level of environmental protection it provides. As a result the more environmental damage a technology can prevent, the more the regulator can justify telling the operator to spend on it before the costs become prohibitive.

Which Industries Are Covered By IPPC? IPPC applies to specified installations, including both existing and new plant. It requires each operator to obtain a permit from the appropriate regulator. The following industrial sectors are required to hold a permit:

activities involving asbestos;

ceramic production;

coating, printing and textile activities;

dye, ink and coating material manufacture;

energy production;

explosives manufacture;

fertiliser and biocide manufacture;

glass, glass fibre and other mineral fibre manufacture;



organic and inorganic chemical production;

paper manufacture;

pharmaceutical manufacture;

processing of food;

production and processing of metals;

production of cement and lime;


rubber activities;

storage of bulk chemicals;

tar and bitumen processes;

timber activities;

intensive farming.

Who Are The Regulators? In England and Wales, the Environment Agency regulates Part A(1) sites and the local authority regulates Part A(2) and Part B sites. In Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) regulates all sites (Part A and Part B). In Northern Ireland, the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) regulates Part A and Part B sites, and the local authority regulates Part C sites.

How Do I Obtain A Permit? In order to obtain a permit to operate an installation, you need to show on your application how you intend to:


ensure satisfactory environmental management of the installation;

prevent or minimise the production of waste;

prevent accidents or minimise their effect;

ensure closure of the installation does not leave residual pollution;

promote energy efficiency, waste minimisation and management;

ensure compliance with other EU directives, Community and national environmental quality standards (EQSs) and domestic regulations;

apply Best Available Techniques (BAT).

As part of the application process, permit operating conditions are agreed with the regulator. These must include:

emission limit values for pollutants;

measures for the protection of soil and groundwater;

measures for the management of waste;

monitoring requirements;

an obligation on the operator to supply the data for checking compliance measures relating to non-standard events


such as accidents, start-up conditions or closure of the facility. You must also consider the condition of the site at the time of the application. This will contribute to the assessment of the need for restoration if the installation closes. In determining your application, the regulator must be satisfied that you (as the operator) have addressed the points above appropriately. It is your responsibility to demonstrate this is the case. Once has permit has been issued, the operator of the installation must carry out monitoring to demonstrate compliance with its conditions. Regulators also carry out their own monitoring and inspetions, and have a range of enforcement powers.

Packaging Waste Regulations A company or group of companies is obligated under the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005 (as amended) if it satisfies the following two tests:

The amount of packaging handled by the company or group is greater than 50 tonnes per year.

The turnover of the company or group is greater than £2 million per year.

The obligation applies to packaging or packaging materials that the company produces, transforms, packs, fills or sells. It includes imported transit packaging but does not include packaging that is exported or discarded in its process by the company. The obligation can be discharged through a compliance scheme or directly by providing evidence to the appropriate regulator (Environment Agency, SEPA, Environment and Heritage Service). Changes to the regulations in 2005 mean that companies with an annual turnover of less than £5 million can opt for a simplified calculation of obligated tonnage.

Trade Effluent And Discharge Consents Businesses discharging anything other than domestic sewage or clean rainwater to sewer (eg liquid effluent or wastewater) need to agree a trade effluent consent with their sewerage service provider (also called a sewerage undertaker), which will often also be the company supplying their water. There are 12 sewerage service providers in the UK. If the discharge goes directly to controlled waters (ditches, streams, rivers, lakes or drains connecting to them), then a discharge consent from the appropriate regulator (Environment Agency, SEPA, Environment and Heritage Service) is required. Sewage undertakers are required by law to accept your effluent as long as it conforms to certain standards and are allowed to levy a charge appropriate to the service provided. The make-up and level of these charges are regulated. Where the volume of effluent is small, a minimum trade effluent charge may apply.



Where no process liquors are discharged, a separate fixed charge is made for flows from toilets and restaurants, etc. The sewage works ultimately discharges your treated or partially treated effluent to a watercourse. At that stage, the discharge from the sewage works is regulated by the Environment Agency, SEPA or the Environment and Heritage Service.

The Legislation Applying To Discharges To Sewer In England and Wales, the ten water companies provide these services according to the Water Industry Act 1991 as amended by the Water Industry Act 1999 and the Water Act 2003. In Scotland, the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 established Scottish Water as the sewerage authority for the whole of Scotland. Its obligations are defined by the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 (as amended). In Northern Ireland, responsibility for sewerage services was transferred on 1 April 2007 under the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 to a government-owned company called Northern Ireland Water. This Order is based on the English Water Industry Act 1991. The discharge of treated or partially treated effluent from sewage works is regulated by the Environment Agency, SEPA or the Environment and Heritage Service as appropriate. Controls on discharges to sewer must also take account of:

other relevant national and European legislation;

the requirements of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC.

What Is A Trade Effluent Discharge Consent? The sewage undertaker applies standards or restrictions according to the flow, strength and character of your discharge. These restrictions form part of your trade effluent consent. They are primarily intended to:

ensure the safety of the sewerage workers;

preserve the sewers and other infrastructure;

allow the sewage works to process the effluent successfully;

enable the sewage works to comply with the terms of final discharge to a watercourse.

Which Parameters Are Included In Typical Consent Conditions? The trade effluent discharge consent that covers the flow from your premises will usually state some of the following conditions:

the maximum permitted daily flow (m3/day);

the maximum hourly flow (m3/hour);

the permitted pH range, typically pH 5-9;

the maximum biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or chemical oxygen demand (COD) value, expressed in milligrams of oxygen requirement per litre (mg/l);

the maximum concentration of suspended solids (SS) in mg/l.

The BOD or COD limit will depend on the scale of your discharge relative to the size of your local sewage works, and the amount of spare treatment capacity available there.

Which Other Parameters May Be Included In Your Consent Conditions? Depending on the nature of your process or your discharge history, there may also be stated limits on the amounts of:


oil (mg/l);

dissolved metals such as copper, zinc, etc (μg/l);

organic chemicals such as phenols (mg/l).

The absence of stated limits does not imply any right to discharge such pollutants. In addition, the consent conditions may reflect the concerns of the regulator regarding the composition of the final discharge from the sewage works itself and its effect on the environment. Your consent may expressly contain limits on:

prescribed substances such as cadmium, mercury, or permethrin (μg/l).

How Is The Trade Effluent Charge Calculated?


Such substances could affect the operation of the sewage works.

The sewerage undertaker will provide an analysis of your discharge, perhaps on a quarterly basis. This may serve as the basis for deriving the trade effluent charge. The charge for treatment of your effluent will be derived from a modified version of the Mogden Formula. The parameters that affect the final charge are:

the total volume flow in that quarter;

the average COD or BOD concentration;

the average suspended solids (SS) concentration.

The other parameters in your consent do not affect the charges. The full formula used will be available from your sewerage undertaker. The following formula is used where the sewage works offers biological treatment of the effluent. C = R + VB + (Ot/Os x B) + (St/Ss x S) where:


= Total charge per m3 of your effluent (£/m3)


= Charge per m3 of your effluent for the infrastructure related to conveyance and reception (ie the sewers and inlet works) (£/m3)

VB = Charge per m3 of your effluent for the sewage works infrastructure and operation where there is biological treatment (£/m3) Ot = COD of your settled effluent (mg/l) Os = COD of the average settled sewage reaching the works (mg/l) B

= Charge for the biological oxidation of a cubic metre of average settled sewage (related mainly to costs of electricity, labour, biological sludge disposal) (£/m3)

St = Total suspended solids in your effluent (mg/l) Ss = Total suspended solids in the average sewage reaching the works (mg/l) S

= Charge for the treatment and disposal of the primary sludge from a cubic metre of average sewage (£/m3).

The calculated charge for a cubic metre of effluent is then multiplied by the total flow during the quarter.

Can You Reduce Your Trade Effluent Charges? Appropriate environmental management can help to reduce trade effluent charges.

VOLUME The volume flow of your effluent is the most important factor in determining the bill. However, effluent flows are often not measured. In such circumstances, the volume of effluent is assumed to be the same as the volume of water purchased as recorded on the site’s incoming water meter. This figure may be used as it stands or after some modification for losses as steam or in product. Thus any water that leaks away on the premises (eg from a badly maintained water distribution system) or is used carelessly in processes bears not only a purchase charge but also a trade effluent charge even though it does not actually flow to the sewer. It is therefore essential to take all steps to reduce your water consumption.

Map and analyse the flow of water and effluent through your premises.



Where practical, measure or make a reliable estimate of the flow of effluent entering the sewer.

Carry out a regular check for leaks.

Identify all opportunities for reducing water use.

Determine whether any cooling water or rainwater that flows to sewer is sufficiently clean for direct discharge to a ditch.

BOD, COD AND SUSPENDED SOLIDS If the BOD or COD concentration and/or the suspended solids concentration are a significant component of your bill, take steps to ensure that no product or other material enters the effluent stream unnecessarily. Where the COD or suspended solids concentrations are high, incorporate an on-site separation stage or biological treatment process to reduce their concentrations in the final effluent flow. The cost-effectiveness of this can be determined by comparing its capital and operating costs with the annual saving in trade effluent charges.

Waste Electrical And Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations Business users of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) will be affected by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006 (the WEEE Regulations), which came into force in the UK on 2 January 2007. The main requirements and obligations on producers and distributors of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) under the WEEE Regulations came into effect on 1 July 2007. The requirements on producers of EEE to mark products and provide information in relation the treatment of new EEE products came into effect on 1 April 2007. The WEEE Regulations implement most of the provisions of the WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC (as amended). The broad aim of the Directive is to address the environmental impacts of electrical and lectronic equipment when it reaches the end of its life and to encourage its separate collection, subsequent treatment, re-use, recovery, recycling and environmentally sound disposal. The new Regulations introduce producer responsibility for WEEE. Previously, end users were responsible for the disposal costs of WEEE. For WEEE arising from other than private households (eg business users), either the producer or the end user will be responsible for the costs of its collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal. Producers may carry out their responsibilities through membership of a compliance scheme. The first compliance period during which this will apply began on 1 July 2007. The obligation for a user of non-household EEE to finance the treatment of EEE discarded as waste, and its recycling, recovery and environmentally sound disposal, depends on its purchase date(before or after 13 August 2005) and then whether it is being replaced with new EEE having an equivalent function (see table).

Who Is Responsible For The Costs? Type of equipment Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) purchased after 13 August 2005

Responsibility The producer or compliance scheme will be responsible for the costs after 1 July 2007 unless an alternative agreement exists between the producer and end user, or the end user is unable to trace the producer.

Electrical and electronic equipment The producer or compliance scheme will be responsible for the purchased before 13 August 2005 that is cost of disposing of the replaced product when the new one is replaced after 1 July 2007 by EEE fulfilling an supplied regardless of who the original supplier was. equivalent function Electrical and electronic equipment The end user will be responsible for the disposal cost of the purchased before 13 August 2005 that is not redundant product. replaced by EEE fulfilling an equivalent function

Business users will therefore need to be clear:

which items of EEE come within the scope of the Regulations (there are exemptions for certain types of EEE such as large-scale fixed installations);


which items were purchased before 13 August 2005;

who was the producer and whether they are a member of a compliance scheme (in which case costs are claimed

what counts as ‘equivalent function’ when equipment is replaced (common sense is expected to be applied);

what agreement exists with producers for EEE purchased after 13 August 2005 and whether this agreement transfers the costs to the end user (eg supply contract).

You should also take note of the WEEE Regulations when entering into commercial negotiations and procurement decisions concerning EEE in future. If you choose to take responsibility for the treatment and disposal of WEEE, you must ensure you have appropriate documentation, agreed with the producer or their compliance scheme, to demonstrate the agreement reached.


from the scheme);

Hazardous WEEE must be separated from general waste under the Hazardous Waste Regulations (see below). Detailed guidance on the WEEE Regulations is available from the website of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) - formerly the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI).

Hazardous Waste Controls New controls on hazardous waste came into force England, Wales and Northern Ireland on 16 July 2005. These replace the previous ‘special waste regime’. In Scotland, ‘special waste’ and ‘hazardous waste’ have the same meaning. A number of waste streams not previously considered to be hazardous are now classified as hazardous including:



computer monitors;

fluorescent lighting;

end-of-life vehicles

Since July 2005, most producers of hazardous waste in England and Wales have been required to notify their premises to the Environment Agency. This registration requirement replaced the need to pre-notify the Environment Agency of special waste movements. Guidance on notification (including an online facility) is available from the Environment Agency’s website. There is no need to register in Northern Ireland and Scotland, but pre-notification of hazardous waste movements is required. In addition, the EC Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) has set tighter standards on wastes that can go to landfill. These standards are called waste acceptance criteria (WAC) and applied to hazardous waste from July 2005. The WAC set leaching and other limit values which components of the waste stream must meet in order to be accepted at landfill sites. This is in addition to the ban on the co-disposal of hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste in landfill sites since July 2004. These new rules led to a significant reduction in the number of landfill sites in the UK accepting hazardous wastes. Since then the amount of hazardous waste going to landfill has fallen primarily due to greater waste minimisation and recovery by industry.

Climate Change Levy The Climate Change Levy is a tax on the use of energy in industry, commerce and the public sector, with offsetting cuts in employers’ National Insurance Contributions and additional support for energy efficiency schemes and renewable sources of energy. The aim of the levy, which is administered by HM Revenue and Customs, is to encourage users to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) allow energy intensive business users to receive an 80% discount from the Climate Change Levy in return for meeting energy efficiency or carbon saving targets. Detailed information about CCAs is available on the website of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).



From April 2007, the levy began increasing in line with inflation, providing an added incentive to consider measures to reduce energy use. For free advice and publications on reducing your energy bill and carbon emissions, visit the Carbon Trust website (




Measuring waste is essential. By knowing how much the company wastes (in terms of quantity and cost), you can calculate the savings to be had, track progress, benchmark and convince others. Businesses that measure their waste and monitor their resources as part of a systematic waste minimisation programme often achieve savings of 1% of turnover for very little cost and effort. Start by walking around your site with a blank map or site plan. Mark visible and potential areas of waste on the map. Now estimate how much waste your company is generating and the costs involved. Use existing data on resource use and waste disposal, eg from meters, invoices and purchase records. You will require three types of figures:

your inputs, eg raw materials purchases (cost and quantity), electricity consumed, water used;

your outputs, eg units of production;

your levels of waste, eg how much is recycled, number of skips collected each week, waste disposal charges.

This could take a while, but you don’t have to do it alone. For example, the finance department will have bills that state both quantities and costs. The warehouse can provide figures for packaging. Ask your subcontractors for information. Plugging these figures into a spreadsheet provides a simple way to calculate and track your ‘waste account’. Producing a flow chart of material and waste flows (a process map) will help you to understand how resources are used and which measurements will help you to save money by controlling and reducing waste. The example below shows a baked bean production line, but the principle apples to all types of business - everything that goes in comes out somewhere. Your process map will act as the basis or framework for your measuring to manage programme. In terms of your process inputs and outputs, you now need to determine:

what is being used/produced;

how much is being used/produced;

where inputs go and where outputs come from;

how to measure and how often;

who is going to be responsible for measuring.

Some data may already be available on-site (eg from existing meters, bills and production records). Some may have to be collected especially for your measuring to manage programme and some may have to be estimated.



Inputs And Outputs From A Baked Bean Processing Line




What is waste minimisation? How will reducing waste help my business? Your waste minimisation programme Developing an action plan Waste minimisation tips for your site Waste minimisation tips for offices How does waste minimisation fit into an environmental management system (EMS)?

What Is Waste Minimisation? Waste minimisation is a management technique that can be defined as: ‘The application of a systematic approach to reducing the generation of waste at source.’ Waste is produced by all parts of an organisation. Waste minimisation is about optimising all areas of the business to be more resource efficient and thus prevent, or at least minimise, the production of waste.

How Will Reducing Waste Help My Business? There are opportunities to reap the benefits of waste minimisation in any business, whether large or small. All companies produce waste - even efficient ones. Benefits to the company include:

cost savings from reduced raw material and waste disposal costs - typically 1% of business turnover or £1,000 per employee can be saved;

improved process performance;

improved environmental performance;

compliance with legislation and reduced risk of environmental incidents;

commercial and strategic advantages - it can make your company more competitive and improve its standing with customers who seek assurance that their suppliers are operating on a sound environmental basis.

Specific benefits to employees include:

improved working conditions;

cost savings (typically £1,000 per employee), giving money that can be spent on other things such as training;


team working;

‘feel good factor’ within the company;

improved recruitment and retention of staff.



Your Waste Minimisation Programme Once everyone is committed and motivated to reduce waste, you need to plan how best to do this as cost-effectively as possible.

RULES FOR SUCCESS ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Follow the waste hierarchy. Adopt a systematic approach to data collection, implementing ideas, etc. Seek ideas and suggestions from everyone. Strive for continual improvement. Start with no-cost and low-cost measures that bring quick savings. Broadcast success and maintain staff education/training. Integrate waste minimisation into existing management systems.

Adopt a systematic approach and strive for continual improvement. Developing a structured and managed approach to waste minimisation will identify opportunities to save money, raise the profile of the issue within your company and set actions for continual improvement.


Gain commitment from senior management, as any change will require top-level support.

Review current performance.

Carry out a survey to identify opportunities to reduce waste and the scope for savings. This will involve the collection and analysis of existing and new data. It will also provide a baseline against which to measure progress.

Assess the scope and economic feasibility of possible options for improvement.


Assign responsibilities, ie set up teams, champions or steering groups.

Look at the survey results and start to set priorities and to think about identifying root causes of waste and solutions.

Put together a detailed plan outlining objectives, responsibilities and monitoring.


Take action by starting to implement improvement plans and data collection systems.

Use control systems to keep on track.

Use general approaches for source reduction, eg new processes, good operating procedures, technical changes and product changes.


Publicise results and any success to all stakeholders, eg directors, employees, team members and external organisations. This will motivate the team and others to carry on and look for further opportunities for continual improvement.

Review the systems in place and make any changes to continue the improvement loop.

Developing An Action Plan Once the team has identified the wastes generated by your company, you can begin to think about ways of preventing, reducing, re-using and recycling the different types of waste. Start with the major sources of wasted raw materials, water, packaging and energy, and decide your priorities. These may be:


the largest amounts of waste;

the most expensive wastes (ie those with the highest value or associated costs);

hazardous wastes.

making changes. Pay particular attention to opportunities with immediate savings and those that are no-cost and lowcost.

Seek suggestions and ideas from operators, supervisors and managers.

Evaluate possible options for improvement in terms of practicality and cost-effectiveness.


Look with a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ at existing activities and ask why as much as possible.

Look at how raw materials are used, stored, handled and moved and question ‘accepted’ levels of waste.

Look at how processes operate and why waste is generated.

Consider how much of what goes into a process or activity finds its way into a product that has value to


Concentrate on opportunities where the largest cost savings can be made and areas where there are practical ideas for

customers. ■

Quantify and reduce the amount of ancillary materials such as solvents, water, additives, etc that are used but are not present in the final product.

Quantify and reduce the use of consumables such as personal protective equipment, filters, packaging, etc.

Eliminate unnecessary temporary storage, process steps and movements.

Assess the amount of packaging used. Consider whether all of it is really necessary. Choose minimally packaged products where possible. Ask suppliers to take excess packaging away with them when making a delivery or to switch to re-usable packaging.

Segregate different wastes to enable re-use, recycling or, at least, a reduction in disposal costs. Waste segregation should occur as near to source as possible to reduce the risk of contamination and enable maximum value to be obtained through recovery.

Change delivery quantities and/or sizes of containers used, eg from drums to intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), but remember that smaller delivery quantities/containers may sometimes be appropriate to reduce labour and potential damage during double handling after delivery.

Change cutting plans and/or nesting patterns to improve the utilisation of sheet materials.

Minimise the effort put into achieving the right quality through reworking.


Encourage good housekeeping and efficient use of water within all areas of the site.

Repair all dripping taps as soon as possible. Check for leaks in water systems regularly.

Fit flush controls to urinal systems in all gents’ toilets.

Consider fitting percussion taps to turn off water automatically in washrooms.

Consider fitting pistol grip controls to all hosepipes.

Avoid decanting liquid raw materials into containers where possible.

Check the integrity of storage tanks regularly.

Re-use dirty solvent for cleaning processes.


Keep chemical/solvent tanks covered to minimise evaporation.

Ensure all containers of chemicals/solvents are enclosed to reduce fugitive emissions.

Avoid decanting chemicals/solvents where possible.

Set up a leak test and repair programme for all pipework.

Check automatic drain taps regularly.

Maintain and service all filters and air inlets regularly.

Waste Minimisation Tips For Offices ■

Reduce your use of costly overhead acetates by using computer-based presentation packages.

Set the default on photocopiers to duplex (double-sided copying). Surveys have shown that this can reduce paper use by 10% or more. Question whether you need to print or photocopy draft copies at all.

Ask the photocopier supplier to provide short training courses for people using the copiers. This will reduce the



number of mistakes and introduce them to the paper-saving features on many machines. ■

Switch off the cover sheet option on networked printers and fax machines.

Avoid mistakes by checking spelling and layout before printing. Do a one-copy trial run before requesting large multiple print and photocopies.

Using lower weight paper can reduce paper use. Photocopier paper is normally 80 gsm, while higher quality letter and presentation paper is typically 90 - 120 gsm. Reducing the weight of all paper to 70 gsm can reduce the amount used by weight by up to 12.5%.

Reducing the default font sizes and margins for electronic templates and documents can increase the amount of information per side without affecting readability.

Use e-mail or voicemail to reduce the flow of internal memos. When e-mail is received, check if a record is needed and, if not, file it in an e-mail folder rather than print it out automatically.

Make someone responsible for returning unwanted mail and removing contact details from mailing databases. This is particularly useful if someone has left and is still receiving unwanted post.

Use refillable pens and markers.

Drinks machines. Make sure these allow for use of china mugs rather than plastic disposable vending cups.

Packaging. Encourage suppliers to provide goods in minimal amounts of packaging. Return packaging to suppliers if you can’t make use of it.

Packaging. Flatten or compact cardboard or other bulky packaging to make collections for recycling easier and more efficient. Segregate cardboard to prevent contamination of high grade recycled product.

Create a central deposit for used, but usable, supplies. Document wallets, clear envelopes and cardboard boxes can often be used several times.

Try to use durable, high-quality stationery supplies such as re-usable paper clips or treasury tags rather than single-use staples wherever possible.

Collect paper that has been used only on one side and use it for drafting, note-taking, etc. Many printers and photocopiers have multi-trays and thus allow a dedicated tray to be filled with part-used paper.

Re-use envelopes where possible, especially for internal post.

To increase the effectiveness of paper recycling, consider the number and location of collection bins carefully. The shorter the distance people have to walk - the greater the likelihood that paper will be recycled. A waste paper tray at each desk is ideal; this can act as a scrap paper tray and be emptied into the main collection bin when full. Position bins near photocopiers, but put up a notice reminding people to re-use single-sided copies rather than discard them.

Ensure that recycling bins are emptied by cleaning staff and porters as part of their contract. Seek support from their supervisors and arrange for the waste paper to be collected by a recycling specialist.

Use 100% recycled paper (with maximum post-consumer waste content) as standard.

Toner cartridges. A growing number of companies now recycle toner cartridges and sell remanufactured cartridges. Remanufactured goods are often accompanied with a guarantee and many distributors claim that they provide a better print quality and produce up to 20% more prints than a normal cartridge.

Aluminium cans. Aluminium is a widely used and easy to collect material. Ensure that aluminium cans are segregated from other metal cans in the collection bin.

How Does Waste Minimisation Fit Into An Environmental Management System (EMS)? Waste minimisation is about being more efficient with resources. It involves identifying where there are opportunities to make improvements, developing and implementing action plans, and ensuring continual improvement. An EMS has all these elements but is particularly focused on continual improvement. A waste minimisation programme will help to identify objectives and set targets for your EMS, eg reduce waste going to landfill by 10% by the end of next year.





The importance of segregation Management of waste storage areas Plastic identification codes Paper grades Recycling is an easy and cost-effective way of reducing waste costs and improving environmental performance. Materials that can be recycled include:

waste card and paper;

polythene and other plastic wrappings;



plastic bottles;

magazines and glossy brochures;

carpet and other textiles;


The Importance Of Segregation Successful recycling depends on segregation. Materials that are as uncontaminated and unmixed as possible will have the most value. Your business may already be re-using or recycling some materials, but could recycle other waste streams.

Use separate storage systems (eg coloured wheeled bins) for the easy segregation of cardboard/paper, plastics, glass, wood, textiles and general waste.

Label all containers clearly with the waste(s) allowed, eg THIS BIN IS FOR CLEAN CARDBOARD ONLY.

Place skip/s bins in the most convenient location and as close as possible to where packaging waste occurs. This maximises their potential use.

Increase the efficiency of your skip space and reduce costs of skip hire by simple measures such as: ■

packing cardboard flat;

breaking down off-cuts of plywood or plasterboard to manageable sizes.

Pay attention to signage on packaging that shows its recyclability and type (particularly plastics packaging).

Provide clear instructions and training to all staff about segregation procedures.

If you only produce a small amount of packaging waste and having separate skips is not viable, talk to your waste management contractor about an appropriate solution. This might be to have a single skip for all packaging waste.

Arrange for separated materials to be collected by specialist recycling contractors.

If space is at a premium, aim to achieve the segregation of ‘clean’ (recyclables) and ‘dirty’ (general) waste items such as food packaging, floor sweepings and the contents of rubbish bins. Arrange for the recyclables to be removed by a specialist contractor or taken to a local materials recovery facility (MRF). Compact the general waste and send it for disposal to a landfill or incinerator.

Separate food waste for separate disposal, eg by using different coloured containers or plastic bags. This helps to prevent contamination of recyclable materials and odour problems in skips and compactors. Put up signs to remind staff to do this.

Seek options for dealing with food waste, waste fats and cooking oils.



Elements Of A Waste Segregation Regime

Management Of Waste Storage Areas ■

Ensure that waste storage is appropriate for the job in hand and is a safe, accessible and specifically designed area.

Use skips or bins suitable for the waste in question and ensure there is sufficient capacity to avoid overflows or spillages.

Label all containers clearly with the type(s) of waste allowed.

Label any hazardous waste.

Enclose or cover waste containers to prevent litter and the build-up of rainwater within the container.

Prevent wash waters and effluents (eg from waste compactors) from entering the surface water system.

Have waste taken off-site regularly. Do not allow large volumes to accumulate and ensure that the waste is transferred according to the Duty of Care.

Options For Volume Reduction Where storage space is at a premium and the quantity of waste is greater than can be handled, consider options for volume reduction. The type of equipment needed will depend on the waste’s final destination.

Bale waste cardboard and plastic sheeting being sent for recycling.

Compact waste being transported in bulk to a landfill or an incinerator.

For mixed recyclables being sent to a MRF, check whether compacted waste is accepted (the waste will be sorted at the MRF).

Consider shredding paper/card to produce packaging fillers or to recycle confidential documents.

Plastic Identification Codes Plastics packaging needs to be sorted before it can be recycled. To aid the sorting of plastics, the American Society of Plastics Industry developed a standard marking code to help consumers identify and sort the main types of plastic (see table). Sorting increases the amount of plastics that can be recycledas many plastics collectors pay a premium for sorted plastics and may only collect specific types. This not only reduces landfill costs, but could generate an income stream from the waste plastics.

Standard Labels For Different Plastics


SECTION 21 Paper Grades The main types of paper in everyday use that can be recycled are:

office white paper;

newspapers, magazines, telephone directories and pamphlets;


mixed or coloured paper;

computer print-out paper.

However, there are around 30 grades of waste paper in Europe. The grade determines the uses to which it can be put. British Standard EN 643: 2002 provides specifications for five main grades of recovered paper and board:

Group 1: Low qualities

Group 2: Medium qualities

Group 3: High qualities

Group 4: Kraft Qualities

Group 5: Special Qualities

These grades relate to fibre composition, with each grade broken down into a number of subgrades. The standard is not mandatory but provides a benchmark against which quality can be measured.



CASE STUDIES Many businesses around the UK have already saved money and improved their environmental performance by adopting a systematic approach to waste minimisation.



Regulators Environment Agency

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) (Northern Ireland)

Environmental legislation NetRegs



Government departments Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) (formerly DTI)

Department of Environment (Northern Ireland)

HM Customs and Revenue

Devolved administrations Scottish Executive

Welsh Assembly Government

Government-funded programmes Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

Waste Aware Scotland

Waste Awareness Wales

The Carbon Trust

Energy Savings Trust

Freight Best Practice

Enhanced Capital Allowances (energy, water)



CHECKLISTS The following checklists are designed to help businesses assess their performance:


Waste opportunity checklist


Waste account

Waste Opportunity Checklist

Waste Account


Type of waste

Source of waste

Start Units1

A Quantity2 Unit cost

Damaged goods




Unsold goods














Food waste


Office waste


General waste




Hazardous/ special waste


Chemical waste


Other solid waste




Domestic sewage


Trade effluent


Other liquid waste






Other fuel


■ ■

End of Review Period B Cost3 (£)

C Quantity2 Unit cost

D Cost3 (£)



Reduction Saving



Per week/month/year as appropriate but the timescale must be the same for all wastes. Change units if necessary (1 tonne = 1,000 kg). Estimated amount of waste produced per week/month/year Estimated cost including purchase, storage, handling and disposal costs per week/month/year


Envirowise - Practical Environmental Advice for Business - is a Government programme that offers free, independent and practical advice to UK businesses to improve their resource efficiency and increase profits. It is managed by Momenta, an operating division of AEA Technology plc, and Serco TTI. Envirowise is funded across the UK by Defra, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest Northern Ireland.

Envirowise offers a range of free services including: 路 Free advice from Envirowise experts through the Advice Line. 路 A variety of publications that provide up-to-date information on resource efficiency, cleaner design and waste minimisation issues, methods and successes. 路 Best practice seminars and practical workshops that offer an ideal way to examine resource efficiency, cleaner design and waste minimisation issues and discuss opportunities and methodologies

ADVICE LINE 0800 585794 Harwell International Business Centre | Didcot | Oxfordshire | OX11 0QJ | Email: | Internet: 漏 Crown Copyright. This material may be freely reproduced in its original form except for sale or advertising purposes.

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