Business Model: Accountability
Thinking Out Loud with Bertie Lourens
Zero waste to landfill is an absolute focus for us. And we believe it’s achievable. Most clients that have no programs in place will have 80% to landfill. And then we’ll do the basic things, the low hanging fruit and quickly get someone to 50%. And then we have to go to work at moving it from 50, eventually up to 80, 90 and 95%. We also have clients that have other service providers helping them with their waste reduction programs. And then it gets to a point where that gets stuck around 70% or 80%, and then they contract with us because they believe we can help them into the 90s. So we get a variety of clients, but I think clients buy our promises because they believe we can get them close to zero waste to landfill, or actually on the number of zero one day. Some of our clients have taken this serious and they are on five, six, 7% to landfill right now. But we have to do it in partnership with the client. It cannot just be the contractor that needs to sort out the client’s waste. It needs to be an entire culture in the company to make sure that they waste less, they think about what they waste and they think about in which compartment to put the waste. That last five, six, 7% that now goes to landfill, we just need the right technology where we can take that waste and we can turn it into something else it’s valuable. So our job is to go find, we call it, it’s industrial symbiosis. We try and find someone who buys a specific type of chemical. And by accepting this contaminated chemical that we give him, maybe he can just apply one cleaning process and he can get the chemical for a much lower cost or free, and that will help our client with his recycling environmental performance, but it might also help the buyer because he’s part of the solution to a much wider environmental problem. So our promise is we will continue to go to work at diverting more waste away from landfill. Ultimately with a goal of achieving zero waste to landfill status for our clients. And as long as we keep moving closer to that target every year, the clients remain happy.
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