Dump landfill and increase the profitability of your business

Dr Hugh McCoach, Principal Consultant, discusses the reasons why modern businesses should be using alternative disposal routes to landfill.

As landfill tax continues to rise I struggle to understand why any business would want to use landfill as a way to manage waste.

Landfill tax was introduced in 1996, at just £7 per tonne, to encourage efforts to minimise the amount of waste produced within the UK and to increase options such as recycling, composting and recovery. On 1 April 2016 landfill tax rose to £84.40 per tonne (standard rate), representing an increase of 1,206% since 1996! It’s also important to note that, on top of the tax element of landfill, this disposal method incurs other costs such as the transportation of waste and the actual cost of landfill.

Environmental cost of landfill

Alongside the financial aspect of landfill disposal, the undesired environmental consequences of landfill should be taken into consideration.

Landfilling waste can generate methane gas (which is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide), as well as leachate which can leak into and contaminate nearby soil and watercourses. In addition to this there can be noise, odour and pest issues as well as the negative visual impact of these sites.

Taking all of this into account I am baffled as to why any modern environmentally minded business would want to be associated with landfill!

Environmentally friendly = Good for business!

There is published evidence which suggests that environmentally friendly companies financially outperform those that aren’t. The 3% Solution: Driving Profits through Carbon Reductions report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and CDP estimates the return on investment (ROI) for lean and green interventions at 233%, although in my experience I think this could be considered a low estimate!

Research by Nielsen also states that brands with sustainability claims on packaging and those that actively market their corporate social responsibility efforts experience increased sales.

One of the easiest ways for an organisation to demonstrate its environmental credentials is to reduce or eliminate the amount of waste it sends to landfill. This not only saves money but also helps manage waste further up the waste hierarchy, increasing the associated environmental benefits. However, the research above indicates that simply being sustainable just isn’t enough in this day and age; companies increasingly have to demonstrate their environmental credentials and that of their products.

The bottom line is that reducing waste to landfill is a win-win for business and the environment.

Valpak support

If you would like advice on how to better manage your waste our Recycling Services Team can help. Valpak also offer a Zero Waste to Landfill Certification servicewhich can help businesses to demonstrate green credentials.

If you have any questions or would like further information call 03450 682 572.