Home' FMCG Business : FMCG DEC 2015 Contents [ waste management ]
Smarter management of waste is vital
Tom Nickels is Managing Director
at Waste Management New
Zealand, and is responsible for all
Waste Management businesses
comprising Solid Waste (Waste
Management), Recycling and
Liquid & Hazardous Waste.
He has a strong focus on
environment, health and safety,
customer service and operational
efficiency. Tom has a Bachelor of
Engineering from the University
of Adelaide and an MBA from
Customers these days don’t just want a good
product. They want to know the company
they are buying it from is doing the right
thing. This applies to how you treat your staff and
suppliers. And as a lot of recent consumer activism
makes clear it is also crucial when it comes to your
impact on the environment: the wasteful or careless
practices of the past can no longer apply.
For a sector like FMCG, which has intimate contact
with its consumers, showing good environmental
stewardship is important. Worth $570 billion globally,
the sector also affects nearly every aspect of how
people interact with our environment every day.
To date there has been a lot of focus on how
FMCG goods are sourced or produced. But in
caring for our environment what happens to those
goods when we are finished with them is a huge
consideration as well.
A key concept in this discussion is the “circular
economy”: keeping goods in use as long as possible,
extracting maximum value, and recovering as much
as possible when their original purpose is exhausted.
Modern waste management clean-tech processes
contribute to this through reduced emissions, better
environmental protection and capturing and treating
waste by-products at landfills.
To improve environmental outcomes FMCG firms
can draw on these advances by ensuring they use
modern, sustainable waste management technology
and by opting for production processes that enable
smarter recycling and sustainable energy production.
Obviously every effort needs to be made to
reduce waste at source. Recent legislation in the
UK and public discussion here about levying
supermarket plastic bags shows how close this is
to public minds. As a sector FMCG can contribute
to reducing waste through new approaches to
packaging and product design. This works best
when the product’s future impact on waste stream
is considered right across the supply chain from
development though to end use and disposal.
Then comes a focus on recycling. We work with
clients and their product manufacturers to choose
products and materials to make sure they can be
easily recyclable. Separation at the source is critical
for recycling, and this can be put into practice by
educating your staff on best practice and driving
And finally, when waste does need to go to
landfill, it is important to understand how you
can use modern landfill technology to best
Once, you might have associated landfills with
seagulls and smells. But the truth is modern landfill
facilities represent an investment of $200 million.
They contain and treat all liquid residues and can
turn 95% of waste gas into power that is supplied to
homes via the national grid.
First, you should choose a provider who meets
good standards and most major companies
do. But incredibly, in my view, there is still no
single, national New Zealand standard for landfill
development and operation.
And second you should think about the goods
you use. True, some materials, like previously
contaminated soil, go to landfill because there is no
other way to safely store them. But thanks to the
carbon cycle and normal organic processes, most
compounds will break down over time, taking up
little space and producing waste gases that can be
captured to generate electricity.
Materials that readily fit the natural cycle include
food, newsprint, cardboard, and most materials
from a biological origin such as wood, cotton and
wool. Materials to avoid include, clay in paper and
most inorganic plastics and synthetics like inks,
waxes and glues.
The FMCG sector will want to show good
environmental credentials. Using modern
sustainable waste management technology will give
your customers products they enjoy and feel good
about as well.
THE SOURCE IS
THIS CAN BE PUT
YOUR STAFF ”
38 FMCG BUSINESS - DEC/JAN 2016
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