Reduce at work

Less waste at work

Target Sustainability is a programme run by Christchurch City Council to assist businesses to be more sustainable by waste reduction, water and power-use efficiency.

The Natural Step framework for sustainability guides business and local government towards resource efficiency. This independent foundation has experience internationally and within New Zealand.

Simple principles for sustainability decision-making are displayed by Bioregional on their website.

Basics on recyling e-waste such as computers, printers, phones.

Use customer pressure

Encouragement can come from customers and users looking for waste-free services and facilities, such as Conscious Consumers, who reward low-waste cafes and environment-aware service suppliers with their custom.

Workplace cleaning and other chemicals could be selected for non-toxic qualities, so that they do not pollute waterways or hazard users. NZ Environmental Choice accreditation is a good starting point for buyers. Prefer packaging that is recyclable and buy in bulk to reduce the number of containers.

Paper for printing or copying which contains 50% or 100% recycled fibre, can be obtained in NZ although at a premium price. The more that is bought the better value it should become. NZ suppliers include Spicers (Reflex) and Staples.  Buying recycled paper is the logical follow up to collecting used paper at work to send for recycling. Close the loop!

100% recycled toilet tissue is available too - choose paper rather than cotton fibre for lower global environmental impact. Avoid using 'wet wipes' as they do not break down in the sewage treatment works.

Choose floor coverings of natural materials such as stone, wood,cork, bamboo or wool, or if synthetic ensure that they have been and can again be recycled, such as the nylon carpet tiles from Interface.

Select durable furniture and equipment, considering craft made new or second hand as an alternative to cheap short-life items which tend to use plastics and glued wood fibre such as MDF.