Good practice

Reducing office and technical waste streams in France

Reducing office and technical waste streams in France
© Ralf Geithe, image #87755388, source: Fotolia.com
Resources:
Materials
Sector:
All sectors, Office and administration
Cost:
Low cost
Annual saving:
16 - 20%
Payback time:
0.5 - 1 Year(s)
Resource savings: Raw material:
16 % reduction in paper usage and 27 % increase in reusable filters
Premises and operation areas:
Office building
Size of company:
Small (less than 50)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Beginner

Turning over a page in resource saving

  • Waste monitoring table reveals areas for improvement
  • Measures reduce paper use by 16 % in the office
  • Increased reusable (dust) filter use by 27 %

Hervé Themique in Poitiers, France is an SME that started a programme in 2005 to cut office waste like paper and ink cartridges, as well as technical waste during its operations, such as the metal frames from dust filters. A running table of waste revealed where improvements could be made. The company started its green campaign by advising administrative staff on how to reduce paper usage (e.g. double-sided printing, recycling). Training was also organised onsite for technicians on the benefits of reusable filters or filters equipped with non-metallic frames. 

With the help of consultants, all waste flows and related quantities, costs and sources were identified and monitored. Special measures included installing printers in central locations to discourage printing (staff had to walk further to the printers), and code-protecting copiers to reduce thoughtless photocopying and longer print jobs. A scrap paper sorting system was introduced beside printers to encourage reuse of one-sided scrap paper.

Key results

The initiative proved successful, helping Hervé Themique reduce paper use by 16 % and increase the number of reusable filters installed by 27 % (from an estimated 40 % before to 67 % after). The results are expected to inspire the adoption of further resource-saving practices at the site and elsewhere. 

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