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Your Clients Don’t Know How Recycling Helps the Environment

how recycling helps the environment

Do you know exactly how recycling helps the environment? As the CSR manager of your company, it’s your job to know. But we’re here to tell you that your clients don’t know. Getting them onboard means successfully communicating recycling benefits in new and creative ways.

That’s what today’s post is about – building fresh and innovative touchpoints that help your clients get past apathy, so that they can join you in taking serious go-green action.

In a recent Forbes post, Blake Morgan wrote that “a disjointed system with uneven access and unequal services is frustrating people and hurting the environment.” She accurately states that while 94% of Americans support recycling, only 35% do it – because of confusion and inconvenience.

At work, recycling can feel like even more work. That’s why it’s important to clearly communicate the ‘why’ – to reinforce and clarify the benefits that recycling offers us all. Here are 3 ways to teach your clients how recycling helps the environment.

#1: Make a Clear Statement About Greenwashing

In Europe, a recent report discovered that 42% of companies exaggerate sustainability claims. Here in North America, brands like Starbucks, Nestle and Evian have all been called out for this practice. It’s no wonder that recycling is often seen as something to have, instead of do.

group of people holding recycling arrows

Your clients may see that you have recycling initiatives, but without the drive to improve and optimize these internal (and essential) sustainability programs – they will be dismissed as insincere.

As we take a running leap into 2022, consider taking steps to eliminate greenwashing in your company. It’s not enough to simply know how recycling helps the environment anymore. Now is the time to cast off appearances, and double down on genuinely making a difference.

A great side effect of this includes increased consumer trust!

#2: Invite Your Clients to Green Events

Whether you’re planning a 5km fun run, with proceeds going to an environmental non-profit of your choice, a sustainability craft fair, or a local beach cleanup – invite your clients. Doing this calls them to become actively engaged in your green mission, which can open dialogue between you.

Team recycling cleanup

If your clients don’t have a green team of their own, don’t be afraid to invite people from HR, or the leadership of the department that you’re working with. As a CSR manager, it’s easy to lose sight of such a simple mission, but ultimately your goal is to be an environmental warden. Teach your participants about your vibrant green culture and show them how recycling helps the environment.

#3: Team Up and Achieve Recycling Goals Together

Nothing facilitates positive change like sharing a common goal. This year, consider doing more than just sharing your views about recycling with your clients. For maximum benefit, ask their green team to unite with yours (and other client teams if you have capacity) to achieve a recycling goal.

Recycling conference or event

This could be a company-wide push to reduce recycling contamination (with waste audits to prove it), plastic waster bottle collections, or good old fashioned fundraising to support a local recycling center. Make a big deal of it and promote cross-company recycling education during the competition – then host an awards lunch or evening to celebrate the results and the winner.

Forming Relationships Then Knowledge Sharing

Your clients may be grappling with greenwashing issues of their own, or trying their sincere best to make their company more sustainable. Whatever stage of maturity they are in, they will benefit from engaging with a team like yours.

Some 90% of executives believe that sustainability is important, but only 60% of companies have any sort of active strategy that supports this belief. The disconnect exists because people don’t know how recycling helps the environment. If they did, it would be their #1 priority and a critical part of their business culture – not a ‘nice to have’ – a must-have.

A while back we wrote a great post on office recycling myths that you can check out here.

If you find yourself facing resistance to the idea of investing more time or money on recycling, this is a great place to start. So many of these myths are pervasive, persistent, and easily disproven.

Think about how recycling benefits your clients and the people in your niche. Find creative ways of connecting and sharing this information with them. The term ‘environment’ can feel impersonal, so create ways to personalize the impact recycling has in your local business communities.

It takes a single match to start a wildfire. It could be your green team that gets employees, clients, and partners on board with reshaping how recycling is perceived in your city. When you share valuable recycling education with those around you, you instigate change.

What if right now, your clients don’t know how recycling helps the environment? We can help you share what you know, as part of a community of people dedicated to making things better.

How do you start the conversation with your clients? Tell us below.    

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