Sinking Myths Isn’t Easy
Myths and misconceptions are one of the biggest challenges I personally think is a barrier to enhancing environmental performance across the globe. Shifting them can be like turning around a ship.
For example, I recently came across one worth sharing. One in two Australians think that single use (domestic) batteries are less expensive than rechargeable batteries. But as Brad Gray, Planet Ark’s Campaign Manager says, if you take into account the number of times they can be reused, rechargeable batteries end up costing as little as two cents each (PDF-22KB) and that includes the recharging cost. And the impacts of this type of waste adds up. For example, 150,000 tonnes of batteries are purchased in Australia each year with a weight equivalent to that of the Queen Mary 2 Ocean Liner.
What are we doing at Telstra?
The release of our Corporate Citizenship Report was timely particularly from the perspective of it being Recycling Week. The reason I say this, is that as I reflect on our performance in the specific area of waste management, Telstra has turned around its performance dramatically.
- Staff are now using (on average) 500 sheets of paper (i.e. 1 ream) less than they were 5 years ago. For every 100 reams of recycled office paper that is printed doubled-sided, the savings are estimated at two trees, more than one tonne of greenhouse gases, and almost a cubic metre of landfill space. This is compared with using 100 reams of non-recycled paper or printing single-sided. Read more on the Planet Ark website.
- Telstra’s total waste to landfill (or for treatment) is now a third of what is was 5 years ago.
- Total waste per staff member has dropped from 0.87 tonnes per staff member 5 years ago to 0.34 now.
Visit our environment website for all the facts on our current and historic waste data.
Getting the Message Across
Did you know waste bins can talk? For some comic relief on this very serious subject (of waste management and recycling) I encourage you to look at the work of Telstra’s very own Creative Communications Specialist, Alan Pentland, who prepared a vblog especially for me on waste management.
What ways do you encourage people in your own organisations to better understand waste management and recycling?