Member Highlight: MTE Consultants London Tackling Office Waste
July 14, 2023
The member highlight showcases sustainability projects or initiatives by a Green Economy London Member. This highlight features MTE Consultants London office and their recent waste audit completed with support from Green Project Support.
MTE Consultants is committed to reducing waste and promoting sustainability in all aspects of our operations. We believe that a sustainable future is achievable only through collective action and collaboration, and we are proud to be a part of this movement.
Our efforts towards waste diversion are multi-faced and we are looking at various ways we can change our operations to help us achieve our sustainability goals. During winter 2022, we received Green Project Support through Green Economy London. We used this funding toward the completion of a waste audit in March. This was helpful for us, as we were able to officially document what it is we are doing well and various areas for improvement. To inform staff, we created an infographic that was communicated, outlining the results of the waste audit. Some of the initiatives that MTE, and in particular our London office, have recently implemented the following initiatives;
Organic Waste Collection: We have recently implemented a composting system that is maintained by a dedicated team of Green Team Members. Compost is collected and brought to Urban Roots on a weekly basis. Since we began this initiative, we have successfully diverted approximately 900 L of organic waste from the garbage that would have been sent to the local landfill.
E-Waste Drive: We are committed to reducing the amount of waste generated from our business operations, while also encouraging staff to do the same in their homes. Our Green Team organized an e-waste drive over a one-week period. We encouraged staff to bring in items from their home and at the end of the month we brought the collected items to Goodwill Industries for donation. They take electronics that are donated through their donation centres for recycling and refurbishment.
Office Supply Waste Recycling: We have encouraged staff to reduce waste generated from our day-to-day operations by taking advantage of several commercial programs. In 2012, Staples Canada launched a writing instrument recycling program. Customers are encouraged to drop off used writing instruments at local stores, such as pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters, which are sent for recycling. We have placed bins on each floor of our office and encourage staff to discard old writing instruments, which are then brought to Staples once the bins are full.
Every year over 300 million ink cartridges are improperly discarded and end up in North American landfills. Through our ink and toner supplier, Canon, we began collecting used toner cartridges for proper recycling through their program. Since Canon launched this program, they have collected more than 435,000 tons of empty toner cartridges from around the world.
Terracyle: We have introduced Terracycle Zero Waste Boxes in our offices for recycling personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks and hard hats. Single-use PPE is hard to recycle in traditional recycling systems as they cost more for local recyclers to collect and process than the resulting materials are worth. Terracycle is able to recycle such waste streams through its paid recycling service. The program fees fund the actual cost of collecting and recycling this waste stream, minus what the resulting recycling materials are worth.
We have provided our staff with clear instructions on what can and cannot be recycled to ensure that the process is efficient as possible. The PPE is collected in their Zero Waste Box. Once the box is full, it is sealed and sent back to Terracycle.
Employee Engagement: We believe that employee engagement is critical to the success of our waste diversion initiatives. Green Teams have been established in all our offices, including London, to help develop and implement environmental sustainability initiatives across the company. These teams help encourage sustainable habits by showing their co-workers how they can reduce their carbon footprint. They communicate and educate each other on waste reduction and sustainability.
Corporate Sustainability Policy: We recognize that a culture of sustainability needs to be supported at all levels of the organization. We have implemented a policy that prioritizes environmentally friendly products and services. To do this, we are actively integrating environmentally sustainable principles into:
- What we do: by advocating to and for our clients to apply low-impact technical solutions.
- How we work: by reducing carbon emissions and improving our operational footprint.
- Who we are: by fostering a culture of environmental sustainability leadership.
Our waste diversion efforts have resulted in significant reductions in our waste generation and disposal. We are proud of our team’s efforts and believe that it has made a significant contribution to reducing our environmental impact. We have seen a reduction in the amount of waste generated by our office, and we are committed to continuing to improve our program.
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