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Recycling, Reuse and Measurement to drive Sustainable Consumption

The measurement of our office waste, and initiatives to increase recycling commenced in January 2022 at K2’s UK Office in Guildford, before being rolled out globally. These actions were in line with the drive to further measure and reduce the environmental impact of our business.

Office waste is visible to all of us and so it became a key discussion area: how do we best understand the impact of our habits and how far is each of us prepared to go to make a change? The K2 approach is to engage in dialogue and understand reasons for habits; not to judge or demand change, but to educate and nudge people towards making positive decisions they feel comfortable with and are proud of. We believe this approach leads to greater engagement over time and change that is genuinely sustainable.

Linda Rafferty, Global Head of Compliance & ESG, has worked with managers and empowered our sustainability champions to ensure colleagues are aware of the ongoing initiative to measure and reduce waste generated at our offices.

Office  Month Measurement Commenced  Total Waste (KG)  Total Recycling (KG)  Emissions (kg CO2e) 
Guildford   January   714.627   617.533   346.878  
Malmo   March   125.92   180.11   62.639  
Singapore   July   30.004   42.178   14.78  
South Africa   June   100.6   79.3   48.669  
Pittsburgh   June   0   0   0  
Houston   June   170.941   68.198   72.905  
France   June   7.775   7.355   3.788  
Dubai   June   24.325   37.7   12.162  
Australia   December   1.542   0.88   0.739  


We have been working on changing our mindset: to think before purchasing stationary, office equipment, food and drink – have we gone for the option that will come packaged in single-use packaging, or the option that will minimise the level of subsequent waste?

In certain locations such as Dubai, there is no facility to recycle within the office and so employees have committed to taking their recycling to a nearby recycling point. In Q4 of 2022, feedback from colleagues prompted us to plan a series of articles about waste and recycling at K2. The articles are published on our intranet, MILO, and incorporate systemic nudges in the form of a) data from well-known sources which relates to the impact of waste, and b) visualisations of K2’s waste. 

Focus areas for the series include:

  • What goes into our waste and recycling bins
  • Feedback on our actions
  • Education on recyclable versus non-recyclable items
  • Education on food contamination when recycling
    • Yearly cost of contaminated recycling to the local council
  • Explanation of common recycling symbols
  • Where colleagues buy lunch?
    • The sustainability credentials of those establishments

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