Cleaning Up Your Business: 7 ‘deadly’ Wastes ALL Companies Must Combat

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One of the key aspects of driving your business forward is being able to identify and tackle waste.

Taiichi Ohno is credited with being the father of the Toyota Production System. He created a Lean Manufacturing framework based on the idea of preserving or increasing value with less work. Anything that doesn’t increase value for the customer is waste and every effort should be made to eliminate that waste.

Environmental waste is any unnecessary use of resources or a substance released into the air, water, or land that could harm human health or the environment. Environmental wastes are often a sign of inefficient production, and frequently indicate opportunities for saving costs and time.

Lean efforts can lead to significant environmental gains since environmental wastes are related to Ohno’s 7 wastes.

TURNING WASTE INTO WORTH

Yet the latest draft of State of Waste Report and statistics from the CSIR show without a shadow of doubt that South Africa has a massive waste problem, which we are doing little to solve through our own initiates.

Quite shockingly, only 10% of the waste produced annually is recycled, leaving a staggering 54 million tons of general waste to be transported to landfill.

Much of the waste sent to landfill can be reused. These resources that we are throwing in the bin have an annual value of R17 billion according to the CSIR.

Waste management changes on the horizon

However, a raft of legislative and regulatory changes are looming on the horizon. These are set to radically alter the waste management landscape and are intended to move South Africa towards a more resource-efficient economy.

Various industries such as paper and packaging have already submitted Industry Waste Management Plans for approval by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, and retailers are busy phasing out single-use plastic bags to meet the 2020 deadline.

By the end of 2021, liquid waste and batteries will be banned from landfill sites. Targets for reducing organic waste disposal by 50% in 2023 have been set and include food and garden waste both produced in vast quantities by several industries.

Landfill sites are poised to increase gate fees as they become ever-more squeezed for space.

We have already seen the first phase of Carbon Tax implemented on 1 June 2019. Carbon Tax adopts the ‘polluter-pays principle’ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even if you’re not liable to pay Carbon Tax, you should be able to benefit if you invest in products and processes with lower carbon footprints and make use of National Treasury’s Carbon Offset Scheme.

But what steps can you take to improve your processes and manage all these changes?

How can I change the way I do business?

We recommend that the best way to manage the threats posed by the impending legislation is to understand the potential risks that they pose to your business. This knowledge can then be used to identify opportunities to alleviate the risks, increase your business’s resilience and ideally realise competitive advantage.

In our experience, it’s quite possible to decrease or stop generating certain types of waste by changing processes. You can achieve this by implementing policies and procedures that refine or change the way you run your business and are based on the clearly-defined principles of Environmental Management.

One of the biggest benefits of implementing an Environmental Management System is the potential it offers to reduce waste.

Click here to find out How ISO 14001:2015 can help your organisation achieve Zero Waste to Landfill.

THE 7 'DEADLY' WASTES AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

In nearly every organisation, 95 percent or more of the activities and time in business processes do not add value. Below are the 7 wastes according to Taiichi Ohno and their environmental impacts:
Waste TypeEnvironmental Impact
1. Overproduction (the biggest waste)
  • More raw materials and energy consumed in the making of unnecessary products.
  • Extra products may require disposal.
  • Extra materials used in production result in more emissions, waste disposal, water usage etc.
2. Waiting
  • Potential material spoilage or component damage causing waste.
  • Wasted energy from heating, cooling and lighting during production downtime.
3 & 4. Transportation & Motion
  • More energy used for transportation.
  • Emissions from transport.
  • More packaging required to protect products during movement.
  • Damage and spills during transport.
5. Over-processing
  • More parts and raw materials consumed per unit of production.
  • Unnecessary processing increases energy and water use and emissions.
6. Defects
  • More raw materials and energy consumed in making defective products.
  • Defective products require recycling or disposal.
  • More space required for rework and repair, increasing energy use.
7. Inventory
  • More packaging to store work-in-process (WIP).
  • Waste from deterioration or damage to stored WIP.
  • More material need to replace damaged WIP.
  • More energy used.

Source: Shmula.com

HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM ISO 14000:2015?

The ISO 14001 family and ISO 14000:2015 in particular can help you to measure and improve your environmental performance in a number of areas, including:

  • Resource management
  • Waste reduction and treatment
  • Recycling
  • Energy savings

Why should I care about the environment?

In short, because it’s what your customers want, and it can save you money. A lot of consumers care about the planet. A Unilever study reveals that:

  • 33% of consumers prefer buying goods and services from “socially or environmentally active” brands.
  • 21% of consumers prefer brands that use sustainable packaging.

Essentially, consumers want to know that their brand of choice is doing something to support the environment.

South Africa's waste management leaders

A handful of South Africa’s corporates lead the pack in waste management. One of these companies is Consol Glass. South Africa’s biggest glass manufacturer uses ISO 14001:2015 to manage a sizeable sustainability programme and has implemented clean production technologies to reduce energy consumption and their carbon footprint.

Since 2011, 80 South African companies became part of the National Cleaner Production Centre’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Project to implement cleaner production processes and use less energy, water and materials.

Together these companies have saved enough electricity to supply 120 000 middle-income South African families with power for a whole year!

A fantastic effort, don’t you agree? And the reason why more and more organisations are choosing to use ISO 14000:2015! This Environmental Management System encourages you to think about risks and opportunities and find innovative solutions to challenging problems that will ultimately provide you with a competitive edge and significant cost savings.

Want to find out more about the benefits of the fabulous ISO 14000 family of Environmental Standards?

Download our FREE Guide: ISO Environmental Management Systems 101: Basic Concepts & Principles Explained!

WORK WITH RISK ZA

We have collective experience of over 30 years in training, consulting and implementing ISO related management solutions for organisations of all types and sizes in the Southern African region. Our expert team has helped dozens of businesses transform their organisations, from simply assessing their risks, to helping them find sustainable solutions to challenging environmental problems.

Does your team need guidance on ISO 14001:2015? Contact us on +27 (0) 31 569 5900 or email info@riskza.com, and let us help you through the process.

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