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27 Recycling And Sustainability Quotes For The Ethical Business

Today’s corporate business needs to be both eco-friendly and ethical whilst also being proactive with recycling and other sustainability measures. Many corporations have recognized this and have taken positive action.

For those who are being left behind or those who need a little extra inspiration, don’t worry.  I have collated 27 recycling and sustainability quotes, especially for the forward-looking ethical business, to help you on your way.

I urge you not to dismiss these quotes but to read and learn from them, for as Benjamin Franklin said:  

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

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“The case for recycling is strong. The bottom line is clear. Recycling requires a trivial amount of our time. Recycling saves money and reduces pollution. Recycling creates more jobs than landfilling or incineration. And a largely ignored but very important consideration, recycling reduces our need to dump our garbage in someone else’s backyard.”

 – David Morris

“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to be dispersed because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”

 – R. Buckminster Fuller

“Not long ago, the concerns of ecologists were as irrelevant to business planners as those of ethicists are today. “Green” has gone from being a disparagement to becoming a badge that no smart company would risk being without. Ethics are similarly en route to becoming a strategic imperative.”

 – John Dalla Costa 

“Recycling, packaging, businesses are changing all of those things because that’s what consumers want.”

 – Jerry Greenfield

Business quotes- social problems and reputations

FACT

Recycling one ton of paper saves 2,584 liters of oil, 26,498 liters of water, and 2.5 cubic meters of landfill space.

Recycled paper produces about 25% fewer total emissions than conventional paper.

“Sustainable development is a fundamental break that’s going to reshuffle the entire deck. There are companies today that are going to dominate in the future simply because they understand that.”

 – Francois-Henri Pinault

“If you want change, you start local; then you go big. You need the support of local government officials to get started, and then the next step is the county commissioners. State and national leaders also help a lot if they are pushing for recycling and believe in it. Their influence lays the groundwork for cities to start new programs and initiatives.”

 – Colleen Sinclair

“Recycling more plastics can help local businesses and expand jobs while supporting the goals of sustainability.”

 – Kevin de Leon

“If recycling is the future, then we must focus our efforts on mitigating negative impacts to our community while protecting the environment.”

 – Tony Cardenas

Recycling and sustainability quotes ethical business - staff

FACT

36 million people live in modern slavery today, many of who are working in the supply chains of Western brands such as that of the fast fashion industry.

“There is much work to be done if recycling is to be developed to a stage where it has become as routine an activity as landfill is now, but this work has to be undertaken if we are to realize the contribution that appropriate recycling can undoubtedly make to improving and sustaining our environment.”

 – Richard Waite

“The concept of Shwopping is so clever, I think. The idea is that every time someone goes shopping. they can take an unwanted item of clothing and pop it in the recycling bin in their M&S store for Oxfam.”

 – Joanna Lumley

“We have a project with Unocal here in Los Angeles, where we as an environmental organization, the oil company, and the state all get together to promote the recycling of used motor oil.”

 – Ted Danson  

“After all, sustainability means running the global environment – Earth Inc. – like a corporation: with depreciation, amortization, and maintenance accounts. In other words, keeping the asset whole, rather than undermining your natural capital.”

 – Maurice Strong

Charity worker feeding those in need - sustainable and ethical business

FACT

Germany has the best recycling rate in the world, followed by Austria, South Korea, and Wales.

 Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees.

The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling; it’s reuse.

 – Issey Miyake

I’ve talked to several CEOs – from a recycling company in Indiana, a furniture company in Kentucky, a brewing company in Colorado, and more – who believe paying higher wages is both the right thing to do and part of a successful business model.

 – Tom Perez

“Obviously, everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted, and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.”

 – Sergey Brin

“Sustainability has to be a way of life to be a way of business.”

 – Anand Mahindra

Recycling and sustainability quotes ethical business - activist who takes action

FACT

The right to safe drinking water was first recognized by the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council as part of binding international law in 2010.

The use of water-efficient fittings and fixtures has the ability to cut water use in homes by 45%.

“Recycling is more than just a response to the environmental crisis and has assumed a symbolic role in beginning to change the nature of western societies and the culture of consumerism. Indeed many environmentalists assume that there will be an inevitable shift from our “throwaway” society to a post-industrial “recycling” society of the future.”

 – Matthew Gandy

“Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract – sustainable development – and turn it into a reality for all the world’s people.”

 –  Kofi Annan

“The more moral the people are in their business dealings, the less paperwork you need, the more handshakes you can have, the more the wheels of capitalism work better because there’s trust in the marketplace. Business ethics is not a joke. And, in fact, I think most businesses that I’ve dealt with encourage exactly that type of behavior.”

 – Rick Santorum

“The notion of ‘reduce and refine’ is one I’ve pursued. I truly believe that by making things less complex, by finding innovative ways to make sustainability affordable, we can advance the notion that it is possible.”

 – Yves Behar

Recycling and sustainability quotes ethical business - defined by what it refuses to destroy

FACT

The process of Aforestation (creating new forests where there were none) creates a carbon sink. This draws in and holds on to carbon and distributes it into the soil.

“Some makeup companies have really good recycling policies, and it’s worth finding out whether your favorites are among them. With MAC, for instance, you can take any of your old makeup containers into its shops, and the sweetest deal is that, once you’ve racked up six containers, you get a free lipstick or lip gloss.”

 – Beth Ditto

“Ethics is the new competitive environment.”

 – Peter Robinson 

In Summary

I hope my selection of 27 recycling and sustainability quotes for the ethical business has inspired you to become more eco-friendly. 

However, if you require more guidance, then there is one more quote by an anonymous person that you should learn. And it is simply this – Recyclers do it over and over again!

There are many other articles and quotes on this website to help and motivate you. But to give you a boost, here are a few of my links to related articles. 

27 Famous quotes on plastic pollution that stir the mind.

37 Thought-provoking environmental quotes that inspire change.

27 Fantastic quotes about sustainability, Eco-living & the environment.

77 Thought-provoking quotes about ethical, sustainable, and fast fashion

27 Incredibly short but powerful sustainability quotes.

sustainability dad

Mark Aspland is a proud father of two boys and an amateur actor and green living enthusiast. He has been sharing hints, tips, and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019. 

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He now has an army of like-hearted individuals passionate about the environment and positive change through peaceful action.