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Business & Zero Waste

Business and zero waste

Zero waste is one of the pillars of sustainable development. As long as what we discard cannot become a resource for another process without endangering health or the environment, it cannot be sustainable.

This is why the concept of zero waste is good for people (reducing pollution) and the business sector (reducing inefficiencies and costs).

The book "New Standards for Long-Term Business Survival" by J. Scott explains why waste is meaningless from a business perspective. Scott used a few examples and reviewed the recent history of the relationship between the company and waste, explaining how the business world has changed and is continuing to change towards zero waste.

It explains Walter Stahel’s great work on the “closed loop economy” and two ways to achieve it; by reusing, repairing or remanufacturing products and their materials, this helps to create jobs and reduce the use of original materials (through Reuse the molecule), or optimize the profitability of the product by transforming the product into a service, so as to keep the material of the product in the hands of the manufacturer to reduce the cost of raw materials and production. Safechem, Michelin or Interface are successful examples of the second option for selling services rather than commodities (sales square meters of cleanliness, the distance that tires can travel, or the number of meters of carpeted floors).

This book and other books by J. Scott can be downloaded for free from our ZW library.

We extracted 6 key teaching and learning points from this book

1- Eliminating waste and maximizing resources are two aspects of the same coin. It can't happen without the other. 2- Elimination of waste is a continuous process. There is no finish line. 3- Making trash is not the same as freedom, nor is it a basic human right: the world is interconnected, with limited resources-and waste hinders the well-being and safety of others. 4- Waste is an economic burden on businesses, customers, and local, national and international communities. 5- It is counterproductive, self-defeating, costly and meaningless to spend money to ask lawyers and lobbyists to oppose higher standards of efficiency or to fight for the right to create waste. 6- Taxation of waste has two purposes: (1) the money collected can fund and support infrastructure construction, and (2) encourage enterprises and industries to reduce waste.

Eliminating waste and maximizing resources are two aspects of the same coin. It can't happen without the other.

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