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The Impact Of Sustainable Vending In The Workplace

Considered by 72% of UK consumers in their purchasing decisions, sustainability is fast becoming one of the biggest factors for business.
Sustainable Vending Meeting At Work

As sustainability in the workplace becomes an increasingly critical issue, businesses of all sizes are recognising the importance of reducing their environmental footprint. New regulations, incentives and market shifts towards sustainable products are driving the need for robust corporate social responsibility policies. And among them, sustainable vending is climbing the ranks of popularity.

In the last decade, many large companies have led the charge in developing a green agenda; Microsoft is focused on carbon, water and ecosystems, whilst Hyatt Hotels have promised to deliver efficient, environmentally conscious properties. But for smaller organisations, these ambitious targets are hard to follow. 

At Oasis, we believe that every business can reduce their impact on the environment. And sustainable vending is a great place to start.

 

Worker Writing In Notebook

What Is Sustainable Vending In The Workplace? 

Sustainable vending refers to the practice of using vending equipment that has been designed and implemented with the environment in mind. As a rule of thumb, the equipment tends to be energy efficient, but may also provide a range of eco-friendly food and drink options that have been packaged in recyclable or compostable goods. 

Sustainable vending is also known as ‘reverse vending’, whereby consumers deposit bottles, cans or plastic packaging to receive a voucher for future use. 

The concept aims to reduce the environmental impact of traditional vending practices, whilst meeting the needs of consumers who seek out more sustainable choices. 

 

Sustainable Vending & The Built Environment

The Environmental Impact

As the built environment generates 40% of annual global CO2 emissions, the switch to sustainable vending methods can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your organisation. It can; 

  • Decrease energy consumption; Some energy efficient vending machines use as little electricity as a domestic freezer. They reduce the amount of energy wasted, and therefore any associated greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Minimise waste generation; Sustainable vending machines typically stock products packaged with recyclable or compostable materials, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. 
  • Promote greener products; Locally sourced and organic options reduce the environmental impact associated with producing and packaging snack foods. 
  • Encourage sustainable consumer behaviour; As sustainable options require limited travel from source to destination, they are likely to be more accessible and affordable. Sustainable vending can also help to kickstart a conversation about environmentally conscious choices among consumers. 

 

Desk With Calculator, Piggy Bank & Papers

The Economic Impact

Sustainable vending in the workplace can even result in a positive economic impact. Efficient vending options with energy ratings of A+ can reduce your energy consumption by around 5 kWh daily. Moreover, by prioritising products packaged in compostable or recyclable materials, sustainable vending can reduce the waste disposal costs of your business too. 

Further than that, it can; 

  • Lead to new revenue streams; By offering healthier and more sustainable product options, sustainable vending machines can attract an emerging market concerned for the environment. 
  • Create a positive brand image; If your brand is perceived well by the public, it’s more likely to benefit from customer loyalty and increased sales. 

 

Employee Meeting At Work

The Social Impact

Did you know that sustainability in the workplace has been proven to decrease employee absenteeism by 30%? As colleagues, consumers and the community alike shift to an era of sustainability, your vending programme can result in great social impact.

It can; 

  • Promote awareness of environmental issues; As an employer, it’s up to you to educate your workforce on the issues that could impact the business – sustainability being one of them. 
  • Encourage local sourcing; Sustainable vending machines may offer locally sourced products, which support local farmers and small businesses. 
  • Provide access to healthier options; As employees with unhealthy diets are up to 66% less productive than colleagues who prioritise health, sustainable vending can provide access to a range of food options where convenience is typically the only choice.
  • Build community partnerships; By working with local organisations and community groups, businesses can use sustainable vending to engage with their local community as part of their corporate social responsibility.

 

Sustainable Vending In The Workplace

How To Implement Sustainable Vending In The Workplace 

At Oasis Coffee & Vending, we understand the importance of implementing sustainability in the workplace. But we also recognise that changes must be made to see the environmental, economic and social benefits that a green focus can achieve. That’s why we’ve outlined a four-step framework, built from some of the simplest and most effective practices that you can introduce into your organisation. 

1. Conduct A Vending Audit 

Begin with an audit of your current vending practices to identify key areas for improvement. Here, consider factors such as the products sold, the energy efficiency of your existing machines and the waste generated. 

Use your findings to highlight the immediate changes that can be made, and any longer-term projects.

2. Refresh Your Current System 

Research efficient machines with energy saving modes or LED lighting, such as Westomatic’s Easy 6000. Additionally, look for machines made from sustainable materials or with sustainable features. 

Don’t forget your stock either! Look to purchase cold drinks packaged in recycled materials or sandwiches enclosed in compostable packets. 

You may even decide that a Micro-Market is the right choice for your workplace, as it provides a wide range of options without the need to install lots of machines.

3. Partner With Sustainable Suppliers 

You must also consider the supplier who stocks your vending machine, and the journey your products take from A to B.

At Oasis Coffee & Vending, we are UTZ certified via the Rainforest Alliance. On top of that, we drive a complete electric fleet of delivery and maintenance vehicles to limit our environmental impact on the planet. 

4. Educate Employees 

Finally, educate your employees to continue promoting your efforts. Tell them about the benefits of sustainable vending and encourage them to make better environmental choices. You may even consider hosting a training session surrounding sustainability in the workplace. 

 

February 22, 2023

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