One of the many ways organisations can address and minimise the environmental impact of their operations is the adoption of a zero-waste management policy.

Zero-waste represents a form of sustainability management that involves reusing all company resources to eliminate waste and decrease the total environmental impact of business operations, from the production process to the supply chain.

Zero-waste management requires a new environmental approach that may have been seen as utopia decades ago. However, new advances in environmental science mean that a zero-waste policy – starting with the enforcement of recycling initiatives – is not only possible but should be a priority.

There are many benefits to implementing a zero waste policy but also various challenges that require re-strategising operations with this environmental focus in mind.

Firstly, companies adopting a zero-waste philosophy need to ensure that leadership and stakeholders view this policy as a way of waste prevention rather than the traditional waste management process, with the goal of reusing, recycling and minimising resources that pose a threat to the environment.

ENVIRX enables organisations to manage their risk based material environmental impacts in an integrated manner, enabling GRI G4 en standard management and reporting requirements according to the processes defined in the ISO 14001: 2015 standard. ENVIRX uses the same dynamic framework to measure, trend and report on their impact area, i.e. materials, water, energy, biodiversity, effluents and emissions amongst others.

Secondly, companies need to reconsider the lifecycle of their products and services to ensure a more efficient process where every part of this cycle reuses wastage instead of sending it to landfills. For this to happen, the company needs to integrate all its data and connect its operations in a singular source to enforce end-to-end visibility and collaboration.

If properly implemented, the zero-waste policy can lead to clean, ethical and efficient business operations, eliminating toxic waste and promoting a sustainable life cycle where discarded materials are reused as resources in a circular economy.

Thirdly, the correct management, tracking and monitoring of the total waste across the entire organisation are essential for its success. In this regard, it is recommended to rely on an integrated environmental sustainability system that allows continuous assessment and reporting to determine the effectiveness of environmental strategies.

Finally, companies implementing a business management system should consider an integrated environmental system with the added benefit of keeping up with the latest environmental regulations and compliance guidelines such as GRI G4 and ISO 14001.

ENVIRX, part of the XGRC Software product range, enables organisations to manage their risk-based material environmental impacts in an integrated manner. ENVIRX is built on GRI G4 standard management and the ISO 14001: 2015 standard framework.

ENVIRX uses the same dynamic framework to measure, trend and report on their impact area, i.e., materials, water, energy, biodiversity, effluents and emissions among others.

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