Assistant Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

December 2, 2019

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Environment

The use of communications to enhance company recycling scheme

SafetySigns4Less, a safety sign manufacturer, is encouraging employers to use different forms of communication method to encourage employees to recycle to create a sustainable work environment.

workplace recycling binsRecycling bins in the workplace are a simple solution that companies can implement to reduce the effects of pollution by decreasing recyclable waste being deposited to landfills.

Although the installation of recycling bins is an extremely positive move for any organisation, the success of any workplace recycling scheme is dependent on the motivation of the workforce to ensure their waste is separated and deposited into the correct bins.

But it’s not just conventional offices that are recycling, the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Spotlight on plastics and packaging campaign comes after a survey revealed 81% of people working in the construction industry believe it is not doing enough to reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging.

Imogen Palmer, Marketing Communications Manager, SafetySigns4Less, outlines below some ideas of how certain internal communication channels can be used by facilities managers to promote a company-wide recycling scheme and motivate the continued use of bins.

Email

Emailing is an easy way of disseminating information to all your staff at once but doesn’t come without its downfalls. Email communication will inevitably form a large part of any internal communications plan. If written well it will encourage discussion and increase motivation amongst your employees.

Facilities managers implementing a recycling scheme can use email communication to relay the project objectives, intended goals and tracking measures before the bins are put in place. This may include the current cost of general waste disposal and the savings target that is hoped to be achieved following the installation of recycling facilities.

Upon implementation, concise monthly updates, including easy to read statistics on how the bins have increased levels of recycling and reduced general waste would be interesting and may help to motivate the team as they see their recycling efforts come to fruition.

Signage

Unlike email, signage cannot be avoided. By implementing clear signage at eyelevel above the bins, staff are continuously reminded of the types of waste for each bin, and the message that the company is taking recycling seriously is reinforced.

Printed newsletters

Printed company newsletters, using recycled paper of course, are still a great way of communicating to staff in a more visually appealing and personable way.

The use of good imagery can show details of the recycling project such as bin locations and statistics, meaning that the text about the campaign can be summarised into an easily digestible piece.

Intranet & internal social media

Intranet sites provide employees with a go to place for all company documentation and news items. Details of the recycling scheme can be clearly stored so employees can find the original project objectives and up to date performance results, whenever they choose to do so.

Internal social media is now also prevalent in many larger organisations. This is great for regular short snippets of information and could be used to show images of team members sorting their waste in front of the new bins, providing approval has been sought from those appearing in the picture.

Promotional gifts

Low-value staff gifts are always well received within an organisation. Internal gifts are often used daily when they are applicable to the working environment.

Imogen concludes that: “When thinking about any internal communications, put yourself in the shoes of employees around your organisation to ensure that your messaging is applicable to everyone. It should be clear, concise and free of errors. When you are asking for feedback or suggestions, make sure that you follow it up and communicate the outcome to your staff. This will make your team feel part of the project and therefore motivate them to do more to achieve your recycling scheme targets.

“It is also worth remembering that a recycling scheme is an ongoing project and your communications plan should reflect that. It’s easy to start off all guns blazing and then fizzle out when your next project takes priority. For continued success, regular updates are necessary.”

Sustainability at Safety & Health Expo

Safety & Health Expo is committed to provide a sustainable experience to both exhibitors and visitors. It aims to continuously improve its event through a number of ways, including the use of renewable electricity to reduce its carbon footprint, recyclable carpets and resources.

Visitors are also encouraged to take trains to the event instead of planes or taxis, to reduce pollution and to be aware of what waste they are generating and reduce it by using recycling bins.

Access health and safety technical education

Stay aware of the latest developments, key legislation and most important regulations in health and safety with free, exclusive Barbour guides. Barbour works alongside SHP and Safety & Health Expo to provide specialist guides and education to health and safety professionals; the most up-to-date guidance in the industry is available here.

Visit the Barbour website to learn more about the technical guides and eBooks available from Barbour.

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