Recycled Products – How Green Is Your Business?
Thursday, 23rd January 2003 at 12:01 pm
The Buy Recycled Business Alliance (BRBA) has carried out a survey that reveals attitudes towards the purchase and use of recycled content products (RCPs) among 250 decision makers from businesses in New South Wales and Victoria.
Key findings of the unique survey are:
· 81% of large businesses purchase RCPs.
· 64% of small to medium businesses purchase RCPs in the last year
· 92% of surveyed businesses supported dedicated labelling of RCPs
. 60% of businesses say they will increase the amount of RCPs they purchase in the future.
· Recycled content paper office supplies recorded the highest level of product awareness (66%), followed by printer cartridges (35%) and packaging and storage supplies (21%).
· 92% of businesses supported dedicated labelling of RCPs.
· 73% considered that caring for the environment was the major benefit for purchasing RCPs.
· 81% of businesses do not have a ‘buy recycled’ purchasing policy.
· The barriers to increased purchasing of RCP’s are perceived high prices and low quality of RCP’s and a lack of information on the types of recycled content products available.
· The attitudes of businesses varied with 30% classified as ‘advocates’ of RCPs. Others were classified ‘quality conscious’ (22%), ‘indifferent’ (23%) or ‘change resistant’ (25%).
BRBA – whose members include ACI Glass, Amcor, Australia Post, Coca-Cola Amatil, Coles Myers Ltd, Corporate Express, Fosters, Interface, IBM, McDonalds, Sydney Water, Telstra, and Visy – pursues the greater use and purchase of RCPs to deliver sustainability outcomes such as reduced waste, conserved resources, sustainable domestic job growth, and voluntary corporate environmental performance.
Peter Shmigel, the Executive Officer of the BRBA, says the survey results show that – when it comes to buying recycled content products – the train has left the station but it can still take on more speed and more passengers.
Shmigel says BRBA sees the opportunity to particularly assist businesses that are ‘quality conscious purchasers’ in achieving greater market penetration and development for RCPs.
He says more businesses need to know about the broad range of currently available RCPs, particularly beyond office paper and printer cartridges. There are now more than 1500 RCPs in the Australian marketplace, including everything from furniture to carpets to building and construction products.
He says incorrect and outdated perceptions about RCPs need to be tossed out. Over the last five years, RCP quality has increased due to manufacturer consolidation and many RCP prices are now more competitive due to growing demand. The number of office copy papers alone has nearly doubled in the last two years from 9 to 16 and a wide range of performance warranties are available.”
With 92% of businesses supporting dedicated labelling for RCPs, there is a clear desire within many to include RCPs as part of their future purchasing policies.
Shmigel says BRBA will tap into this enthusiasm by developing initiatives formed around the basis of the report findings.
It’s also important to further develop the right internal systems, such as ‘buy recycled’ policies, reporting mechanisms and implementation procedures.
A PowerPoint version of the survey report can be downloaded from the BRBA’s website at www.brba.com.au.