The entire goal of investing is to see a return. You want to make sure that you will make a profit from whatever investment that you make. Because of this, it might seem strange to invest in something like environmental projects. How will investments into things like clean up projects, recycling, and waste reduction eventually yield a monetary return?
As it turns out, investing in the environment is something that not only brings a return, but it may also be imperative to the success of your business and, ultimately, the health of our planet. Although there are many ways to make green investments that have clear returns—such as green bonds or investing in sustainable businesses—investing in plastic credits or other environmental projects don’t offer a clear return. However, the returns can be great, even if it’s in ways that you don’t fully expect.
Here’s how you can see returns from your plastic credit investments and how to make them work for your company.
Money invested in plastic credits and other crediting systems may not at first seem like an investment. In fact, their main goal is not to earn money for the company but rather for the company to take responsibility for the waste that they produce. However, companies that invest in environmental issues, like plastic credits, do see monetary return, even if it takes some time.
Plastic waste is something that’s becoming more and more regulated. In fact, over 60 countries have introduced bans and levies on single-use plastic and plastic packaging. Most of the regulations deal with plastic waste rather than plastic production, which means that if your company uses low-value, post-consumer plastic, then it’s susceptible to financial repercussions in the years to come.
Plastic is also a wide-ranging issue that is gaining attention. A literature review surrounding sustainable business models found that there weren’t many strong sustainable plastic businesses represented. This suggests that our plastic waste strategies are weak. It also showed that the higher cost of sustainable plastic management was a hurdle; companies don’t want to set aside the budget to address the issue. However, as we discuss below, the initial investment into more sustainable plastic waste protocol and other sustainable business choices will save money in the long run.
In order for your plastic credit investment to come back to you, there must be an element of additionality; your plastic credits should only be one aspect of your sustainability strategy, and the ultimate goal should be to reduce or, better yet, eliminate your plastic waste production entirely.
Sustainable business models, the circular economy, and your company’s future
Investing in sustainability within your company is the ethical thing to do, but it’s also something that saves your company money and may be a requirement in the years to come.
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is the idea that producers are responsible for waste pollution. This means that it will be the companies that produce and use things like single-use plastics that will be financially and physically responsible to manage the resulting waste. Many countries in the EU are already moving forward with this type of legislation, and other countries are likely to follow. While implementation of EPR policies usually takes around five years, businesses must initiate changes now to anticipate these new policies. Those that don’t may see some serious financial repercussions down the line.
Furthermore, many countries are moving toward a circular economy (an economy which reuses its resources to their fullest extent and eliminates final waste products in a zero waste manner). In order for companies to survive within a circular economy, they need to be circular themselves.
Due to both EPR and circular economies, companies need to start making sustainable changes now to anticipate regulatory changes in the future. Failure to do so could result in massive financial repercussions in the future. Investing in a plastic credit system allows your company to strategize circular strategies and sustainable business practices to address your plastic waste and production while taking immediate action to help minimize plastic pollution.
Investing in the environment doesn’t just save you money in future taxes or regulatory fines. It can also help save your company on day-to-day operation costs and through increasing customer loyalty. For example, companies who have invested in energy-efficient LED lights saw more of an initial investment, since the LED lights are more expensive than standard bulbs, but over the course of a few years, they ultimately saved money through reduced energy costs. Additionally, customers not only enjoy supporting sustainable companies, but it’s also one of their driving decisions. If your company isn’t moving toward sustainability now, you will eventually lose customers.
Investing in sustainable business models, such as choosing to purchase plastic credits, is imperative to your company’s future. Failure to do so results in risks surrounding regulatory changes, reputation issues with your customers, and climate change affecting the cost and availability of resources.
What plastic credits through TONTOTON can do for your company
When you purchase plastic credits through TONTOTON, you’ll be funding projects that both clean up the environment and support the communities in which we work.
Through our projects, we’ve been able to monetize a type of plastic that’s been ignored by waste pickers up until now: orphan plastic. This low-value, post-consumer plastic cannot be recycled, and so recycling centers do not purchase them from waste pickers. Now that we have monetized this type of plastic, waste pickers and households can enjoy additional income while helping to remove plastic from the environment. Additionally, we provide personal protective equipment, training, and access to healthcare to all of our waste pickers, ensuring that they can enjoy the additional income in a safe manner.
Once we’ve purchased the orphan plastic, we deliver the plastic to cement factories so that they can use it as energy and raw material. Plastic provides more energy and is cleaner than coal, and the leftover ash is mixed into the cement, resulting in zero waste. Our projects are a win for everyone.
We’re also audited by a third party, and we have all necessary certifications, ensuring that we are addressing the plastic waste issue in a sustainable and regulated way.
When you purchase plastic credits through TONTOTON, you know that you’re funding meaningful projects that benefit the worldwide community as well as local communities. Furthermore, it provides you the time that you need to implement productive sustainable business strategies that the planet and your customers will love. Interested in taking your first step toward a healthier planet and more successful business model? Learn more about TONTOTON today.