Demand for consumer goods is on the rise due to the rapid population growth. That increase in demand tends to place pressure on the supply chain, impacting the environment negatively. As a result, businesses are producing more waste than they did a few years ago. However, reducing that waste can benefit your business in many ways. It will contribute to corporate social responsibility by eliminating hazards in the environment and reducing greenhouse emissions. Waste reduction may also save your business on waste hauling costs and position your business as the industry leader. Research claims that an average household in the United States produces around 4.3 pounds of waster daily, a figure that seems nearly double the early 1960s’ rate. However, simple business practices and human behavior changes can make a significant difference in waste reduction. Here are a few ways businesses can reduce their waste.
Taking up around 25 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste, cardboard and paper remain the most prominent waste items. With new technologies, it has become easier to go paperless. Most paper alternatives can cut down on cost and have proved to be more efficient. Going paperless doesn’t just save a business on paper costs but also reduces its storage space needs and footprint. Paper alternatives can improve your supply chain efficiency as well.
Evaluate Your Packaging
Non-biodegradable packages account for almost a third of waste in the United States. Therefore, rethinking your packaging can make a significant impact on reducing your business waste. One way to achieve this is by switching to reusable packaging. For example, a business that often ships between warehouses should consider using reusable plastic containers to cut down on cardboard waste.
Another trick would be upgrading from low-quality packaging to stronger packaging that lasts longer. You will not only reduce waste but also save on packaging costs. While it might seem expensive, it will turn out to be cost-effective in the long run. You may also consider repairing worn-out shipping and packaging supplies instead of buying new ones. For example, pallets break down easily but are also easier to repair.
The first step when planning to reduce your business waste should be auditing all your facilities. Identify all the elements that create or turn into waste. Look for ways you can replace consumables you regularly use with reusable ones. You don’t have to send all your waste to a landfill. Instead, consider setting up a composting program or recycling system, and make sure everyone in your business knows where to put the reusable waste. You can even partner with recycling plants. For instance, you can partner with a company that repurposes damaged trees into live edge wood slabs in California. Encouraging composting and recycling can help reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill. You also need to monitor your disposable and waste production processes to increase your business efficiency and reduce the amount of waste it produces. Reduced waste disposal will have an impact on the environment and surrounding communities.
Training your staff and managers can help reduce waste. The training should include everything your staff should do to keep the factory environment clean. It would help if you also considered what the business should look for when procuring an item. You may start by teaching your staff the importance of sustainability so that everyone understands what is being imposed on them.
Anticipate Usage through Demand Forecasting
Demand forecasting has proved effective in helping avoid manufacturing-related waste. It is a technique used to analyze potential market demand to enable a business to make accurate production decisions. Businesses need a demand forecasting system to avoid overstocking or understocking, which may result in rush supply. Understocking puts further pressure on a business, leading to added waste and more losses. However, businesses can use forecasting to cut down on energy, fuel, time, and packaging in landfills. Forecasting will enable your business to anticipate demand and make the necessary adjustments.
You may not realize the resources that go to waste until you start to look around your business. The supply chain is still one of the areas that impact the environment. And until businesses own up to their mistakes and take the necessary steps to turn those wasteful processes into more efficient processes, things will remain the same. The benefits of reducing your business waste are two-fold. Reduced business waste translates to better forecast, which makes your supply chain more efficient.