Overwhelming majority of businesses say waste management is important to minimise climate change

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over four-fifths (85 percent) of UK businesses believe that recycling and waste management are essential in minimising the effects of climate changeA new poll from waste management company Biffa suggests that over four-fifths (85 percent) of UK businesses believe that recycling and waste management are essential in minimising the effects of climate change. Moreover, almost 9 in 10 (88 percent) see waste management as central to being a sustainable business. The survey of over 1000 UK business decision-makers, conducted by YouGov, explored attitudes towards sustainability and the circular economy. The results showcase the clear importance placed on waste management in the battle to combat climate change.

The poll also suggests that firms are acting on their claims. When asked how they measure sustainability, almost two-thirds (60 percent) of businesses confirmed using at least one waste stream to track their progress against green goals.

Over 4 in 10 (44 percent) respondents say they measure sustainability by ‘reductions in general waste’, tying with ‘reduction in carbon emissions’ as the most popular means of measuring sustainability. Meanwhile ‘increase in recycling volumes’ emerged as the third most popular metric, used by 39 percent of businesses surveyed.

The strong positive attitude towards waste management and recycling in sustainability are largely mirrored across business sizes, though large businesses have been more effective than smaller enterprises in embedding waste metrics into their sustainability strategies.

Over four in five (85 percent) of small businesses believe that waste management and recycling are important to preventing climate change, in line with 87 percent of large businesses. However, less than half (44 percent) use at least one waste stream to measure their sustainability in comparison with 67 percent of larger enterprises.

Maxine Mayhew, Chief Operating Officer – Collections and Specialist Services, Biffa, commented on the findings: “Over the years, businesses have shown a real commitment to reducing their environmental impact through responsible waste management and recycling practices. It’s clear from Biffa’s research that SMEs are facing challenges in stepping up their recycling.

“Last year’s Recycling Tracker Report by WRAP revealed that while recycling is an everyday behaviour for 89% of people, there are still clear barriers for businesses. It’s understandable that cost is considered the biggest barrier, but being more sustainable does have financial benefits – from attracting eco-conscious talent and customers, to incurring lower fees for lighter bins due to separating recyclables.”