Environmental Waste Policy

10 Dec 2013 Alex Hastings    Last updated: 4 Jul 2014

This article outlines NICVA’s policy with regards to environmental waste and recycling.

NICVA is committed to protecting the environment. In doing so, we will try to improve the quality of life for all, both now and for future generations. All of us realise that by carrying out our everyday work we have an influence on the environment. We will commit to adopting working practices that will help to have a positive effect, assist in continued environmental improvement, prevent pollution and reduce any avoidable negative impacts caused by NICVA activities.

NICVA recognises that good environmental management is an essential part of overall good practice in voluntary sector management. NICVA will therefore strive to adopt the highest available environment standards.

This environmental policy is the first step in trying to implement the above. NICVA will:

  • Reduce the amount of waste generated by reusing and recycling where possible.
  • Endeavour to buy and use products which cause least environmental damage.
  • Use energy and water in an efficient way
  • Encourage staff to opt for the most environmentally friendly modes of transport.
  • Update staff on ways to encourage good environmental practice.
  • Ensure full compliance with environmental legislation relevant to the organisation’s activities.
  • Ensure organisations we associate with are aware of our policies and encourage them to develop their own good environmental practices.

Environmental guidelines


NICVA will aim to minimise the amount of waste it produces, re-use as much waste as possible (or find someone who will), recycle what cannot be reused and dispose of the remainder of the waste safely.

NICVA recognises that reduction is preferable to recycling or waste disposal and, as a charity, NICVA is well aware that other voluntary organisations may be able to use furniture, equipment and materials that NICVA can no longer use. In particular, NICVA will continue with the following initiatives:

  • Paper recycling scheme both white and other.
  • Recycling plastic bottles and any other plastic material.
  • Tin can recycling.
  • Toner cartridge recycling.
  • Cardboard recycling.
  • Ask suppliers to reduce packaging, complain about over-packaging where it exists and return such packaging to the supplier wherever possible.

Office practice, products and services


  • Encourage staff to use scrap paper (eg used on one side) for drafting, notes etc.
  • Encourage staff to use labels for used but still serviceable envelopes.
  • Continue use of email for communications both internally and externally.


  • Avoid solvent-based marker pens – use water-based colours instead.
  • Buy refillable toner cartridges for laser printers and photocopiers – and get them refilled.
  • Review its purchasing policy to ensure that environmental impact is taken into account on all purchases (as well as price, quality, availability).


  • Encourage staff to use their own cups/glasses.
  • Continue to recycle plastic bottles.
  • Use only fresh local food for training courses, conferences and other events.


  • Clear litter on or near the premises.

Energy Use

Heating and ventilation

Bear in mind the needs of individual staff members with different preferences in temperature and light levels when reviewing the current system, and link any recommendations to NICVA’s health and safety policy. In the meantime, staff will continue to be encouraged to report any problems with the heating and ventilation system and improvements will be introduced as soon as possible.


  • Maintain low energy bulbs.
  • Maintain sensors and ensure they are in operation.


  • Check the energy efficiency on all new equipment, especially machines (such as photocopiers) which have standby switches that turn off when not in use.
  • Ensure all equipment is maintained regularly.
  • Use mains electricity rather than batteries wherever possible.  When batteries are used, use rechargeable ones and avoid mercury and cadmium-based batteries.
  • Use timers on electrical products where practical, eg water boilers.
  • Continue to use the most energy efficient means of electricity.


Seek to reduce the need to travel for both staff and suppliers. NICVA will aim to encourage its staff to use environmentally sound forms of transport as much as possible, including measures such as:

  • Take into account environmentally friendly practices when reviewing mileage allowances so that incentives are not given to people to buy cars with larger engines or to do more miles.
  • Continue to provide allowances for public transport, taxis and bicycles as well as for car mileage. Current bicycle allowance (on NICVA business) is 20p per mile.
  • Continue to offer safe parking facilities for bicycles and changing facilities for staff using them.


NICVA will aim to adopt the three principles of water efficiency, ie efficient equipment, fitting controls and improving operating practices, including:

  • Installing tap water filters for drinking water in all kitchens.
  • Providing tap water only at events and conferences.
  • Removing all bottle water fountains from the premises, apart from one for use by visitors in foyer.
  • Asking staff not to let water run needlessly.
  • Asking staff to fill the sink to wash dishes.

It is the responsibility of all employees to fully support the environmental waste policy through their active co-operation and participation.

We share NICVA’s policies to assist organisations in drafting their own. However, our policies are relevant to NICVA and are not samples. They should not be replicated, but may be used for reference purposes, in conjunction with other guidance available. NICVA cannot accept any claims arising from error or misinterpretation.
alex.hastings@nicva.org's picture
by Alex Hastings

Human Resources Manager

[email protected]

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