April marked the opening of Britain’s non-domestic water market allowing businesses to choose their water and wastewater supplier for the first time.

Whilst the recycling market has been open for thirty years, this new era of choice in water highlights the importance of a democratised environment market. The power of choice keeps competition healthy, ensuring standard of service is high and means businesses can work with partners that enable them to truly become planet savers.

At First Mile, we often find people and business leaders are already aware they can choose a waste management supplier, but often the fear factor comes into play. With the pressure to cut costs, save time and generate a profit, many business leaders still adopt a ‘stick to what I know mentality’. For example, as fantastic as the water market competition is, it is still the same water that comes out of the tap!

Fundamentally, the more environmentally conscious provider offering the best customer experience with the most convenient collection times and at the best price is going to be the most compelling service. We are a trusted partner to businesses, recycling 20% more rubbish than other service providers and saw a year of record sales and a record level of recycling in 2016; collecting 10,000 tonnes of London’s business waste. The statistics are there for all to see – working with us makes sense from a planet-saving and commercial perspective.

To promote choice in the waste management market, recycling suppliers must be more aggressive in convincing businesses owners as to why their service is superior above the competition and convince people to take advantage of the transparency in the market to switch providers.

There is a case for the development of a waste collection provider index – a hub where businesses can visit to see the overall environmental score of a waste management company. This would allow businesses to align themselves with organisations they can be sure are delivering what they say they will deliver. This type of transparency is the surest way to get around the lack of understanding related to what does and doesn’t get recycled.

If London is to be truly open for business, there needs to be a culture of businesses switching their environment suppliers in a hassle-free, cost efficient way. It is the only way for them to become planet, as well as pocket, savers.