PFM 20 7 - Page 14

Waste Management Plans –
Tips for Proactive Facilities Managers
hen it comes to managing
waste, proactive facilities
managers can save their
organisations a lot of money while
also improving performance
As the saying goes, prevention is better
than cure – and this is as true for
facilities management as any other
profession. The ability to anticipate and
head off problems before they develop
into serious business issues is
Regardless of whether you are in charge
of a construction site, an office block or
a catering business, waste management
is an area that has the potential to
present significant challenges for
facilities managers. But a proactive
approach can make a real difference. A
robust waste management plan, for
example, will repay you amply in time
and cost savings.
Just think of the costs that organisations
incur. Take the UK hospitality industry,
for example. Figures from WRAP
Programme) suggest that this sector
faces a £2.5bn annual food-waste bill,
with 18% of all food served in the sector
wasted. According to WRAP, with more
effective waste management policies,
this figure could be cut to just 5%.
Aside from the obvious bottom-line
impact of overspending on supplies, this
kind of waste also has significant
consequences for the environment, with
much of it ending up in landfill. From the
perspective of an organisation’s
corporate social responsibility, this is far
from ideal – and with punishing rates of
landfill tax, it can prove even more
So what are the hallmarks of an effective
waste-management approach?
Identify problems – and nip them in
the bud
The ideal solution is to ensure that as
little waste as possible is generated.
This means that facilities managers
need to understand and address the
most significant causes of waste within
the business.
For example, is the equipment being
procured by the company long-lasting
and reliable? While it might appear
cheaper to buy less durable equipment
or materials, this could be a false
economy once waste-disposal and
replacement costs are taken into
account. Look also at the way the
business obtains its supplies - could
over-ordering be avoided by making
smaller but more frequent orders?
play a crucial role in managing waste.
As mentioned above, it is important to
strike the right balance between the size
and frequency of orders. But consider
also what kind of service your suppliers
are offering. Will they take back
unwanted stock, for example? And will
they offer you the flexibility to change the
size or timing of orders if necessary?
Ultimately, facilities managers who want
to successfully deal with waste must
work proactively and anticipate problems
before they have a significant impact on
profitability and efficiency. If you find
yourself reacting to waste issues as
opposed to heading them off, much of
the damage is likely to have been done
Take a collaborative approach
Facilities managers can also seek input
from around the business to help identify
Construction firm Carillion, for example,
has expanded its Don’t Walk By
Programme – originally set up to
encourage staff to highlight health and
safety issues – to cover unnecessary
waste generation. Carillion workers have
an app they can use to report any
instances of wastefulness or inefficient
use of resources to senior management. Takeaways:
• A reactive approach to waste
Reuse and recycle
management can cost your
When procuring resources, facilities
business a considerable amount
managers should also give serious
of money - and make it less
consideration to whether any excess
materials could be used elsewhere in the
• Facilities managers should
organisation, for example on future
identify the most serious
projects. Facilities managers may need
sources of waste and develop
to work with procurement teams to make
strategies to minimise them.
sure that purchasing decisions take into
• The most successful approach
account full life-cycle costs rather than
will involve collaboration with
just the initial price.
other parts of the business as
well as key suppliers.
Work with suppliers to find the right
Reader Reply No: 207033
organisation and its suppliers can also


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