the recycling logo

The following is a report on a meeting of the Charities Facilities Management Group which focused on recycing.

David Prestage of the BPR Group outlined how to design and implement an effective recycling scheme. The BPR Group is the parent company of Paper Round, the recycling company which was originally set up as a Friends of the Earth project in 1988.

Prestage outlined the main elements to look at when planning a recycling scheme. These include:


  • Reviewing your existing infrastructure
  • Measuring your waste volumes and weights
  • Assessing space availability

First steps

An important first step is to “bin the bin”:

  • Remove under desk bins
  • Install central banks of bins
  • Segregate recyclables and non recyclables


Prestige said a communication strategy was crucial to implementing a successful scheme. Prestage recommended obtaining senior management buy-in and engaging with staff and running regular communications campaigns. He also outlined some of the benefits of a good recycling scheme, including reduced expenditure on cleaning, improved office environments and reduced risks of pests.

Prestige ended his presentation with a case study of the National Theatre’s efforts to implement a recycling scheme. The recycling service at the Theatre caters for the public areas, café and bar as well as back-of-house storage areas and a large area of office space.

You can see a pdf copy of his presentation slides here. 

Ethical Procurement Policies

Many charities have introduced ethical procurement policies. These typically set out the standards which charities require from their suppliers, sub-contractors and sometimes also governments and communities.

Typical Standards

The standards may include the following requirements:

  1. Suppliers must comply with the law
  2. Suppliers must provide a safe and healthy working environment
  3. Suppliers shall provide acceptable working conditions, e.g.  clear terms of employment, limits on working hours
  4. Suppliers shall pay a living wage
  5. Employees must have the right to join unions and/or bargain collectively
  6. Suppliers shall comply with environmental regulations (Environmental concerns may also be covered in a Sustainable Procurement Policy.)
  7. Suppliers must respect human rights, e.g., they shall not use indentured labour,  they shall not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, etc.

Communicaton and Monitoring

These considerations may not only be relevant in third world countries like Bangladesh, but also in this country. 

It is important that organisations communicate their policies clearly to potential suppliers. 

Monitoring compliance is much more difficult if you are dealing with suppliers in distant countries.  Where resources permit, the most effective strategy may be to engage with suppliers and to encourage them to improve their standards.