Five ways your business can build back better after the pandemic

Business Insights

With COVID restrictions gradually easing in the UK, and hopes being restored that the UK will fully 'reopen' later this year, now is the time to think about the positive changes you can make in your business.

This could include identifying areas to improve efficiency or streamline operations. This is also the time to consider making improvements to your waste management practices - an area you may not normally consider. After all, if your waste is getting collected, what needs to be improved?

Read on for five ways your business could make some positive changes post-COVID.

1. Implement the waste hierarchy

Implementing the waste hierarchy - reduce, reuse, recycle - wherever possible in your business will benefit you both financially and environmentally. Reducing waste, in the first instance, will minimise disposal costs. Hospitality businesses, for example, can look at reducing food waste by improving food storage practices. The next step is reusing items wherever possible, helping you to close the loop and instil a circular economy. For unavoidable waste, recycling is crucial. Efficient segregation of waste is key to increasing recycling quantities, as it reduces the volume that ends up in general waste and allows different materials to follow individual recycling routes.

2. Make sure your waste management service meets your needs

Your waste service may have been the same for years, with the number of containers and waste streams collected remaining unchanged. But what if you could be receiving a service that better suits your requirements, and offers you greater value for money? A site audit will make sure that your waste management is tailored to your business. An analysis of your waste streams will ensure you have the right quantity of containers, which are collected only as often as needed. An audit will also check things like access codes and the accessibility of containers - preventing any issues arising when it's time to collect your waste.

3. Reinstate best practice

Many employees in the UK have recently started to return to workplaces after a long break. For those that have been working on-site throughout the past year, there may still be some new changes to get used to. As well as making sure staff are aware of health and safety measures, now is a good time to remind them of the correct way to dispose of different waste items, and to make sure they are clear on what can and can't go in each bin. Reinstating best practice could also include things like making sure staff aren't wasting energy by leaving lights on.

4. Think about ways you can reduce your carbon footprint

With the UK aiming to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we can all contribute. Thinking about ways you can reduce your business's carbon footprint can benefit you in terms of cost as well as sustainability. Alongside bigger changes like installing solar panels or electric vehicle charging points, simply increasing your recycling rates can help you reduce emissions. For example, around 315kg of CO2 is saved per tonne of glass recycled. It is also cheaper to have more segregated waste streams.

5. Go paperless

With the ability to complete more and more of our regular tasks online, the need for paper in most cases has vanished. Many retailers offer email receipts as an alternative to printed ones, and many companies have embraced electronic payslips. Waste management is no different. Through online portals like Veolia's Customer Hub, you can see invoices, access waste transfer notes and request service changes, all at the touch of a button. As well as the environmental benefits of reducing your paper usage, this makes it easier to find what you need.

Your business's waste management provider is an important partner, who can support you to achieve your sustainability goals, reduce costs and improve efficiency. It's crucial to make sure that you select the right waste company as we gradually move out of the pandemic. From getting to know your business through site audits, to offering support with increasing your recycling rates, an effective waste partner will tailor its services to your needs.

To find out more about how Veolia can offer all of this and more, and to use our online tool which allows you to instantly view a quote and even set up a contract, visit