Waste auditing – how to reduce your spa waste, increase profits and protect the planet
Facility management teams worth their salt are always looking to identify the most effective business models. For some, increasing revenue is a priority, while others focus on cutting costs, maximising existing resources or on providing efficient working environments.
What some might have overlooked, however, is how a good waste audit can be the best catalyst in supporting all of the above.
The glamour of auditing
When businesses take a closer look at their waste, they can begin making qualified decisions which create profitable and environmental changes. It’s easy to overlook the enormous return on investment (ROI) generated by waste audits, because they don’t exactly have a glamorous reputation. However, waste audits can be pivotal in helping you reduce costs, while also generating revenue.
A good waste audit can help with purchasing decisions and create a leaner business model. By recognising the number of recyclable materials that are going out the back door, you can re-evaluate what you purchase on the front end. The resulting savings can make a huge difference to the financial bottom line.
As well as helping spa businesses see how they can make positive changes, waste audits can help companies see a way forward to building a brand founded on sustainability. In this era of climate change and increased awareness of environmental issues, a reputation for corporate responsibility can really boost a company’s brand, create loyal customers and attract new, environmentally aware customers.
This kind of goodwill starts at the local level with residents who appreciate efforts to divert waste from the neighbourhood landfill. When you’re dealing with larger, nationwide companies which operate across a country, small local changes can have a huge benefit when they’re rolled into a national programme.
What is a waste audit?
Given their potential ROI, it’s important to know what goes into effective waste audits. At the most basic level, an audit should provide a snapshot of business waste at a specific moment in time.
The process begins by dividing waste into substrates — such as plastic, paper, metal, etc. Once a business has a clear idea of what they’ve got, the auditors should weigh everything and calculate the total volume. From there, the audit can separate waste into different categories – such as recyclable commodities, hazardous wastes, and organic or compostable waste. The audit should also track where everything is going and identify any areas of non-compliance.
Auditing is at its most effective, however, at regular intervals. This will allow businesses to measure any changes in waste production, evaluate whether training and recycling programmes are effective, and make any necessary changes. In this regard, data gathering and analytics are the key to success.
Accurate figures and results of “waste successes” can also provide spas with information which they can share with their teams and guests. Success stories can be used to promote staff commitment to recycling initiatives, as well as to develop effective training programmes going forward.
Most spas will be able to develop capacity to conduct in-house audits. This involves giving responsibility to the appropriate team members to gather and analyse data, track waste and monitor.
Some things to remember:
1) To maximise ROI, organisations should perform audits regularly,
2) Track the results of any changes that are made, and modify the program as needed.
3) The resulting value in terms of cost savings, increased revenue can be measured
4) Tell everyone your results! Increase the positivity of your Brand awareness.
The most cost effective and sustainable method for dealing with general waste is to treat it at Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities. This allows you to boost your environmental goals by diverting waste away from landfill, and also reduces disposal costs because you avoid incurring rising Landfill Tax fees. One of our members, Whatley Manor, who is currently in the process of taking The SSA Accreditation, contributes to a circular waste model by collaborating with Energy-From-Waste (EfW) system.
Reducing Waste Directly Contributes to UN SDGs #11 and #12