February 21, 2024

3 ways shredding can reduce your carbon footprint

How to securely dispose of documents? Is confidential shredded paper recycled? Can shredding both be secure and reduce carbon footprint?

You asked, we answered – these are just some of the questions businesses have put to us as they continue to work towards their sustainability goals and find new ways to minimise their environmental impact. When it comes to disposing of confidential items, such as paper documents or old hard drives containing sensitive information, organisations often worry about balancing the need for data security with reducing their carbon footprint.

However, there’s no need to choose between the two – reliable processes exist which means confidential materials can be recycled securely. This provides a crucial bridge between security and sustainability, offering a way to recycle confidential items in a secure, compliant and environmentally friendly manner.

But how? Here are three keyways shredding your confidential items using a secure recycling process contributes to reducing your carbon footprint.


1. Embracing the circular economy with confidential shredding

From customer data to bank statements and confidential business information, businesses generate a substantial volume of paper documents daily. Documents can pile up and it’s often assumed that they cannot be recycled securely. Of course, they shouldn’t go out in the regular recycling, as the incorrect disposal of confidential files poses a significant information security risk, along with issues related to regulatory compliance and reputation management.

However, Shred-it recycles 100% of securely shredded paper, transforming it into a valuable source for the production of high-demand products such as toilet paper. This helps businesses in both achieving their sustainability goals without compromising on data protection as well as contributing towards national environmental goals, with nations across Europe setting net zero targets.

Additionally, all customers will receive a certificate of destruction and an environmental certificate. These documents not only help in demonstrating an audit trail for compliance, but also show green data offering insights into how partnering with us can actively contribute to reducing your business' carbon footprint.

2. Achieving a secure and sustainable recycling process

Have you ever wondered what happens to your confidential files after secure collection? Our seven-stage recycling process sheds light on the journey of your paper waste and its environmental impact:

  • Secure collection: Confidential documents are deposited into a tamper-proof container, ready for collection by our trained and background-screened team.
  • Regular service:  On a scheduled basis, containers are emptied and all confidential documents are destroyed.
  • Certificate of destruction: Customers receive a certificate of destruction, providing an audit trail for compliance with regulations, including GDPR.
  • Paper mill processing: Shredded paper is transported to a paper mill for recycling. The fibres are separated and screened, removing impurities and preparing the pulp for ink removal.
  • Paper separation: Pulp is made as the fibres of the shredded paper are separated.
  • Process screening: The pulp is put through a screening process that filters out impurities and prepares it for the removal of printing ink.
  • Pulp mixture: The recycled pulp is mixed with fresh pulp to manufacture new, high-demand paper products.

This secure, compliant process ensures that your waste paper becomes a new product, contributing to the circular economy while maintaining the utmost confidentiality. Furthermore, a similar secure process is in place for disposing of old hard drives containing confidential digital files. The entire hard drive is broken down and shredded into small pieces using industrial grade destruction equipment. The process completely destroys the drive platters, mechanisms and the electronic components so the device can never be rebuilt and data can never be retrieved. The metal parts are also able to securely enter the circular economy.

3. Reducing your carbon footprint with confidential shredding

A secure shredding process can also help companies reduce their impact on the environment. By recycling each shred of paper, materials are diverted from landfills minimising greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use. In 2022, by partnering with our customers, we were able to shred and recycle an impressive 1 billion pounds of paper, safeguarding both confidential information and the environment. Recycling paper waste not only aligns with environmental goals but also improves an organisation's carbon footprint. Importantly, it achieves this without compromising information security, making it a win-win solution for businesses committed to sustainable practices.

Helping you meet your environmental goals

As we’ve seen, Shred-it’s confidential shredding services can offer a viable answer to the need for security and sustainability. Working with a professional shredding company, such as Shred-it, shredding, and recycling of your confidential documents, files and more can be done safely and sustainably – this means businesses do not need to compromise on privacy and security when looking for new ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Contact us to discover how you can help you reduce your carbon footprint.