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GOAL FF07 | Business activities

Operational waste is eliminated

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A Future-Fit Business seeks to eliminate operational waste completely, and ensures that all by-products are repurposed. Organic waste may be composted and returned to the soil, and materials that can be reused must be reclaimed.

What this goal means

The world’s resources are dwindling. Renewable resources are consumed faster than they can regenerate, and as society’s most accessible finite resources are used up, extraction methods become increasingly disruptive. Demand for virgin resources can be mitigated if the materials society uses are repurposed, rather than discarded as waste. Doing so also eliminates the costs – financial, environmental and human – that waste disposal incurs.

Waste is used here to mean all materials generated as by-products of production and other operational activities which the company manages to contain, and which require treatment, repurposing, or disposal. This includes both hazardous and non-hazardous manufacturing materials, as well as non-production waste (e.g. office paper, food, retired equipment).

To be Future-Fit a company must:

  1. Eliminate all avoidable waste generation;
  2. Reuse, recycle or otherwise repurpose any remaining waste.

Why this goal is needed...

The amount of waste we create is huge, and it’s growing.

Each year, nations generate 1.3 billion tons of waste. That’s expected to soar to 4 billion tons by 2100, according to the World Bank.

Repurposing waste is a better option than disposing of and processing it, both environmentally and economically.

A survey of 1,200 businesses found that for every $1 invested in reducing food waste on company sites, the median return on that investment was $14.

Governments are increasingly reviewing their approach to waste management.

China, the largest global importer of many types of recyclable materials and waste, announced in 2017 that it will be radically changing its approach to imports by the end of the year. This will force major changes globally, to address increased waste disposal.

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