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Zero waste to landfill – taking the first steps

05 June 2019

We’re all aware of a growing demand for action on climate change. Sir David Attenborough’s recent documentaries have highlighted the urgent need for us all to co-operate and take action to save the planet before it’s too late. It’s something we’ve acknowledged in our latest TV advert, which shows our lead character doing some very satisfying recycling.

With natural resources being depleted at unsustainable rates and landfill space in the UK rapidly filling up, we have been paying close attention to the waste generated by all of us in the Bank. As a result, we’ve set an ambitious strategy to achieve ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ by the end of 2020.

What we do to reduce waste to landfill

Our aim is to recycle and recover as much material as possible, and anything not recycled will be sent to generate energy through incineration. By 2022 we aim to go even further, by reducing the amount of waste we produce and to eliminate incineration wherever possible.

It’s an ambitious plan but by working together and embracing change, it’s definitely achievable, especially with Mandy Keepax at the helm.

Mandy is our Soft Services Manager with responsibility for catering, cleaning, waste, recycling and vending. She joined the Bank two years ago, having previously worked for an organisation aiming to become zero waste to landfill within five years. Mandy’s team achieved the result in three, so with our people with purpose behind her, she’s set to do even better this time.

Reducing single use plastic and paper waste

Mandy is constantly on the lookout for things we can change to bring us closer to our goal and this includes the plastic cutlery and individual sauce sachets in our head office cafe.

“We’ll be removing all of this,” she confirms. “Sauce and condiment sachets are being replaced by bottles and dispensers. This not only reduces the amount of plastic and paper waste we produce, it’s also a more economical and practical way of dispensing both sauces and condiments. The next step will be to buy more stainless steel cutlery for colleagues to use, even if they’re eating their food away from the café area.”

Some of the environmental changes we make will be ground breaking, Mandy tells us: “We’re going to be one of the first businesses to use 100% recyclable cups throughout our estate and we’ve got some great initiatives lined up that will get our customers involved too.”

While there will be some pretty big changes when it comes to things like separating our rubbish to maximise our recycling, other changes will be small and barely noticeable. Big or small, every change is significant and will help us to achieve our goal.

Mandy and her team really are ‘people with purpose’ and we’ll keep you up to date as new initiatives are rolled out over the coming months. We’re committed to working together on this ambitious plan, because we believe in the power of ‘we’ and when we co-operate, we can change things for the better.

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