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Zero waste: Building a busines...


Zero waste: Building a business that doesn’t pollute

Zero waste
The Silicon Review
20 Febuary, 2024

The Zero waste movement comprises a set of principles that seek to prevent the creation of waste and their subsequent discarding in landfills, where they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, the propagation of microplastics in water sources and air, as well as the possible leaching of toxic substances into the environment, such as heavy metals. Achieving zero waste is not simple, especially at a business level where there are so many people, tasks and projects. But it is also not impossible, and if you’re set to succeed, it is one of the best ways to guarantee your business is sustainable. 

The benefits 

When adopting a new business model, most entrepreneurs want to learn more about the advantages and benefits of implementing new practices. After all, while a company can start from a hobby or a passion, it aims to create revenue. You’ve probably heard that there are many benefits to adopting sustainability in your own company, including reduced costs and an improved brand reputation, but can the same be said for the Zero waste method? 

In short, yes. Climate activists and researchers believe that not only would the Zero waste method reduce pollution levels, but it could also decrease costs by eliminating the need for raw materials. Your business will also be more efficient as you reduce the amount of resources you use and the time it takes to produce goods. Since you don’t overspend in certain areas, it means you’ll be able to manage your budget much better, invest in more long-term projects and aim for growth and expansion. 

The three Rs

The only way to minimise waste is to reduce, reuse and recycle. This restructures distribution and production at the same time and allows you to shift the paradigm and continue working towards zero waste. But how can you achieve this in the workplace? When it comes to recycling, the compacting of plastic waste in an efficient and hygienic manner while also saving time and space can be easily achieved with the help of specialised balers. You don’t need to buy one; renting a device is the more low-cost solution and can be helpful if you have limited space and don’t produce a lot of waste to begin with. 

Streamlining sustainable waste disposal is just as crucial as creating less waste from the very beginning. Borrowing equipment or renting items instead of buying new ones is a great way to achieve this, particularly for temporary projects for which you’ll require a specific item only temporarily. Going paperless and digitising business processes, working with upgradeable computers that can be used for many years and investing in durable items, from desks and chairs to plates, cutlery, mugs, and cups, also allows you to throw away fewer things. 

You can also purchase used office or building supplies, including furniture, assistive equipment, appliances, tools and computers. All these items are donated and are typically in perfect condition, so having them end up in a landfill is a waste of resources. 

Setting goals 

As with anything within a business, it’s essential to have measurable goals to determine how far you’ve come and your next steps. Make sure your plans and strategies include short- and long-term goals and that you have a way to monitor your progress. Start by determining how much waste your company produces on average, then decide which are the areas where you can start eliminating right away. Then, you work your way up from there. 

Some procedures, such as making essential documents fully digital, will take longer than banning disposable cups, but they can be achieved gradually. All your goals should be realistic; otherwise, you won’t meet them and become discouraged from pushing forward. Consider the resources at your disposal, as well as any intricacies that could hinder the process. Make sure all your team members receive proper training so that they can join the efforts as well. 


The current business environment is highly competitive, and you might feel like you’re in a constant race to consolidate your business status. It is naturally essential to do this in order to secure your place and ensure you retain your customers. There are many businesses that offer roughly the same products, but the difference lies in how well they can meet customer demands. Since shoppers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of the items they buy, they also want to ensure the businesses they buy from uphold sustainable and ethical standards. 

If you’re at the beginning of making your company green, you can learn more by looking at the models implemented by other businesses. While there are not many companies out there that have implemented zero waste models, some big brands have succeeded in doing so. Some of the things you can learn from them include reusing any materials you have and putting emphasis on composting and recycling. Many companies have saved millions of dollars in disposal costs every year just by making a few minor changes. 


The issue of overpackaging has become more visible after the growth of e-commerce over the past few years. Although it’s obvious to want the goods to be protected, especially in the case of international shipping, which involves many carriers and a long supply chain, you shouldn’t overdo it. Consider that sometimes not all the materials can be recycled, which is a burden on the environment. Ideally, your packaging should be made only from materials that can be repurposed. 

Try to avoid plastics as much as possible. There are many more sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives. Kraft paper and textiles are some of the most obvious examples. They’re biodegradable and also more aesthetically pleasing. Customising them to look nice is easier, and you can even design several unique patterns to impress your customers. Personalised options are always top-rated. 

Having a Zero waste business takes time and work. You’ll have to change processes at a fundamental level to yield results. However, achieving your sustainability goals and doing your part for the world is very much worth it.