Insider’s Look: Zero Waste at ACM HQ

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At ACM, our entire business was founded on an idea to keep business waste out of landfills and disrupt the traditional waste model. Across our entire client base, over 93% of all waste has been diverted from landfill with most of our clients achieving zero waste to landfill. After focusing our efforts on Zero Waste to Landfill with rewarding results for our clients, we have now shifted our focus towards a new initiative - “Zero Waste”.  “Zero Waste” is exactly that – no General Waste created at all. Not to be confused with Zero Waste to Landfill, this is a major advancement and ACM are leading the way in supporting businesses by working towards producing no General Waste whatsoever. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

If you’ve ever had a look at Zero Waste Home, you’ll know how much dedication is required for this extremely challenging goal – especially for a business! However, ACM felt a need to pursue this goal as the natural next step towards greater sustainability. At the ACM offices, you’ll notice that we don’t have any disposable plates, cups, cutlery or bottled water in our office break rooms. Instead of single-use kitchenware, we all use reusable coffee mugs, plates, bowls and glasses and our aim is to introduce loose-leaf tea and cream and sugar dispensers in order to minimise packaging waste.

Waste Planning

Whilst we’ve set the foundation for waste reduction in our breakrooms, we also know that employees and guests bring or buy coffee, breakfast, lunches and snacks that come to our office in various types of packaging. So, with help from our internal ‘zero waste’ champions, we’ve successfully implemented schemes for mixed recycling, separated all food waste for reprocessing, along with WEEE recycling at our headquarters.

Knowledge is Power

However, a recycling program is only as successful as the education and signage that comes with it. That’s why we co-branded our recycling bins in line with WRAP guidelines to ensure every bin is clearly marked and includes images of accepted materials. And we make sure everyone knows it. Each new ACM staff member will be taking a CIWM approved e-learning training package during their induction programme and the recycling bins are part of our tour for visitors and guests.

Journey to Zero

At this point you might be thinking all of this is great, but what’s the end goal? Well, we are on a journey to take our Head Office to Zero Waste by December 2017 and to support this drive, we have become members of ZWA (Zero Waste Alliance). We take pride in not only helping our customers achieve Zero Waste, but also in walking the talk in our own facility. In order to achieve this objective, within each ACM department a Zero Waste Champion has been designated voluntarily in order to promote and encourage all staff to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our Champions have no qualms about digging misplaced materials out of the mixed recycling bin/s for the sake of the environment, or politely pulling people aside when they don’t separate their waste into the appropriate bins. 

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We’re serious about achieving Zero Waste, and now that we have detailed data, we are tracking well toward our Zero Waste goal. ACM’s internal Zero Waste Champions capture our internal diversion metrics by performing regular on-site waste audits of our waste stream, bench-marking and tracking our progress. We do this by uploading all ACM’s waste & recycling data onto our bespoke ESP online portal.

 

So, are we recycling nerds? Definitely. And we’re passionate about it. In our eyes, if we can support large businesses to reduce or eliminate general waste, this will have a profoundly positive impact on our planet.

 

If you want more information on becoming Zero Waste or Zero Waste to Landfill or any other commercial waste management queries, please contact ACM Head Office at 08700 777 555 or email greenerpath@acmplc.com!

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