Recycle Week 2021 – the 19th annual event led by sustainability charity WRAP – is focused on ‘stepping it up’ against climate change by getting industry on the same page to reduce its carbon footprint. The agency estimates that between 2018 and 2025, recycling practices can eliminate up to 5.1 million tonnes of CO2e – putting the country on track to achieve its overall carbon budget target.
“The climate crisis has really come to the fore in 2021 as the UK government aims to not only ‘build back better’ but build back greener following the coronavirus pandemic,” said David Murray, business unit manager for Sustainability at bureau Veritas.
“And, with COP26 being hosted in the UK this year, too, the focus on sustainability has never been greater. That’s why this Recycle Week, it’s vital for businesses to focus on changes they can make in their day-to-day operations, that help towards the target to become net zero.
“Adopting a circular economy business model requires a holistic approach, which considers emissions across the entire supply chain – from product development and procurement to disposal. We have seen businesses in various sectors placing a greater emphasis on recycling their waste, as well as innovating their product design to utilise recycled materials.”
Prepared to compromise
While prioritising sustainability may seem a complex task, Murray said the advantages are vast.
“The business will benefit in terms of efficiencies, reducing cost and meeting inevitable future legislations are significant.”
More importantly, the demand is being driven by an increasingly eco-savvy public, with a growing proportion of consumers choosing brands that demonstrate an ethical corporate conscience.
According to WRAP, 73% of Brits are prepared to make lifestyle compromises to benefit the environment, while 93% agree everyone has a responsibility to help clean up the environment.
“For businesses that aren’t sure where to start, Bureau Veritas offers a suite of sustainability auditing and certification services to help companies develop a powerful approach to the circular economy,” added Murray.
The services includes a range of advisory, training, independent verification and certification products and is aligned to the ISO 14001:2015 standard for environmental management systems.