September 25, 2013

Shred-it urges UK businesses to combine waste streams

London, 25 September 2013: UK businesses need to combine waste streams in order to reduce their organisations’ negative environmental impact at the same time as protecting their reputation and bottom line, urges the UK’s leading document destruction company, Shred-it.

Shred-it customers take comfort in knowing that all information is recycled after it is shredded. This is the paper equivalent of over 1.5 million trees over the last two years, demonstrating that some UK businesses are taking the recycling of confidential information seriously and recognise the ease and environmental value of having a single waste stream.

According to industry estimates, every ton of recycled paper saves 18 new trees from being harvested for pulp and paper production, uses 64% less energy, 50% less water and causes 74% less air pollution than the same quantity of paper from virgin wood pulp. Closing the loop on waste is not only good sustainability practice but can also save UK businesses time and money if they combine these waste streams.

“UK companies are beginning to realise that saving costs, maintaining the highest levels of information security and protecting the environment are no longer nice to haves but a must for any organisation wanting to walk the walk in terms of operating responsibly. Businesses can reduce their organisations’ negative environmental impact at the same time as protecting their reputation and bottom line by hiring an information destruction provider that combines these waste streams” said Robert Guice, Executive Vice President, Shred-it EMEA.

“I’m surprised by the number of customers and businesses that do not realise that paper dropped in one of our locked bins is already part of the recycling loop. Shred-it recycles all the documents they shred, meaning that businesses are able to recycle and destroy confidential or sensitive information at the same time, without implementing two separate control systems. On top of that, businesses can work confidently knowing that they are compliant with regulations enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK” he added.

While businesses’ environmental values, philosophies and practices differ, most of them recycle paper – one of the easiest and most common environmental practices.  However, not all businesses realise they are also obligated to ensure the security of the information they have put into the recycling and waste bins.

Documents left in recycling bins for pick up by local authorities and waste contractors can leave businesses – and their customers - at risk of security breaches, and have the potential to cause cases of identity theft and fraud.

Without security procedures integrated into paper recycling, even documents that have been ripped and torn may lead to serious privacy and security breaches at any point in the document disposal process.  Such documents are vulnerable to being mishandled, lost or stolen.  Compromised information, no matter how small, can in turn lead to expensive litigation, damaged reputation and a loss of customer trust.
Experts from Shred-it have produced an environmental checklist outlining some important considerations for businesses when taking care of their document destruction needs: 

“Shred all – Recycle all” Top-tips for UK businesses

Environmental Needs:

  • Make sure to use an information destruction provider that understands environmental responsibility - ask about your supplier’s current environmental targets and goals
  • If your supplier truly values the environment, they’ll be able to provide statistics about the positive impact they’re making through their overall operations
  • Ask your document destruction provider where the shredded paper goes.  Make sure the shredded paper is recycled once it leaves your premise, and not just thrown in the landfill
  • Know and share the results of your recycling efforts. For example, calculate how many trees your office has “saved” by its paper recycling efforts. Then, you can keep tallies and try to increase this every year, and encourage employees to participate

Security Needs:

  • Place all waste paper in secure receptacles prior to their destruction and recycling
  • Educate staff on the importance of keeping discarded documents secure
  • Ensure your information destruction provider has a strict chain of custody to ensure documents are secure until their destruction
  • Ask to view your supplier’s document destruction process
  • Request a document certifying that your paper waste has been securely destroyed

By using Shred-it’s information destruction services, for each two shredding containers provided by the company that are filled, their customers save one tree. They also save their reputation and money, protecting themselves and their customers from the dangerous and expensive consequences of security breaches.


Notes to Editors

At the end of each year Shred-it award each customer an Environmental Certificate detailing the number of trees that the customer has saved by shredding their confidential documents through Shred-it.

Taking as an average that 1 tonne of paper is the equivalent of 18 trees, in 2012, Shred-it UK customers saved the equivalent of 729,164 trees.

About Shred-it

Shred-it is a world-leading information security company providing document destruction services that ensure the security and integrity of our clients' private information.  The company operates 140 service locations in 16 countries worldwide, servicing more than 150,000 global, national and local businesses, including the world's top intelligence and security agencies, more than 500 police forces, 1,500 hospitals, 8,500 bank branches and 1,200 universities and colleges.

Shred-it has branches in the following UK locations: Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, West Yorkshire, Chippenham, Waltham Abbey, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Portsmouth, Exeter, Stratford (London), Brentford, Nottingham, Cardiff and also has a branch in Dublin.