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Sustainability Within a Small Business

How Method Strives to Embrace Sustainable Action

This post is part of our Sustainability Series -- an ongoing series where our co-founded Steven Korner discusses various issues relating to sustainability and business.

Last month Method Recycling was once again named as a “Best for the World” B Corp in the environment category. This got me thinking about how circularity has shaped everything we’ve done and continue to do here at Method.

From the beginning, when India and I were working to design better bins, circularity and sustainability drove how we designed them. We wanted clear fit-for-purpose products that would hold up well and impact how our customers worked to divert their own waste. We also wanted a material that was easily recyclable, durable, and circular, while still looking beautiful. Plastic – despite all its controversy – fit this bill best as we could easily draw from recycled sources to make our bins as circular as possible.

Today, we continue on the journey to full circularity within our business. I’m heartened by the number of discussions I see within the waste industry, the New Zealand business community, and the world. The tide is turning, and while it’s not a quick transition, we are moving toward a more sustainable future.

But for small businesses, in particular, there are still many hurdles to overcome when it comes to embracing a circular economy. For us particularly, we’ve found the biggest challenges to be:

  • Product stewardship logistics: it’s important for us to have end-of-life solutions for our bins, but shipping them back from overseas markets causes different sorts of environmental problems.
  • Ensuring a good supply of materials: many recyclers package plastics together, but for us, we have to work with recyclers to find a clean, ample supply of PP that is separate from other plastics.
  • Overcoming past mindsets: there are still many people that are stuck in old thought patterns, and we’re constantly having to challenge ourselves and others to do better.

Our work at Method isn’t done. While we’ve definitely improved on our bins since day one, we still have work to do.

We’re trying to find alternative streams of materials to enhance our circularity.

We’re looking at our processes to see how we can increase efficiency.

We’re challenging old assumptions and thinking big.

Only from these can innovative solutions emerge.

What challenges has your business faced when embracing circularity?

#circulareconomy #circularbusinessmodel #productstewardship #bcorp #thoughtleadership

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