Circular Economy: Furniture Reuse

In line with circular economy initiatives, it’s important to consider all aspects of society including the physical working environment of businesses and organisations. According to a report by Eunomia on behalf of the European Environmental Bureau, every year 10 million tonnes of furniture are discarded by businesses and consumers in the EU, the majority of which is destined for landfill or incineration.

Refurbishment, repair and remanufacture of furniture allows value recovery, economic growth and job creation whilst reserving resources and benefitting the environment. Understanding the economic, environmental and social advantages involves implementing appropriate demand and supply chain models, ultimately supporting an important change in mindsets and methods throughout industry and beyond.

Warp-it provide an online network that enables organisations to keep their equipment, assets and office supplies in use and “circulating”. This helps reduce costs, waste and supply chain environmental impacts such as carbon footprint.

Warp-it have multiple case studies available that highlight the benefits of redistributing resources legally and conveniently within an organisation and also externally.

Case studies

Northumberland County Council: The local government review forced department mergers and therefore multiple office moves, resulting in a significant excess of office furniture and office accessories. After blocking the purchase of new furniture and working with local social enterprises, Northumberland County Council saved £68,000 on internal purchasing in the first 4 months.

Tayside NHS: With 60% of NHS carbon emissions coming from the supply chain, the NHS are looking at ways to reduce purchasing demand. Warp-it encourages collaboration between departments, and with the support of the senior management at Tayside NHS they managed to achieve savings of £30,000 in one 2-month period.

St Andrew’s University: Due to space and time pressures, only a small number of resources at St Andrews were being reused within the University or deployed to local schools or charities for reuse and/or refurbishment. The Environment Officer at the University of St Andrew’s was keen to change this. Using Warp-It, they were able to move away from their outdated, underused message-board system.

These case studies will help inspire you when considering an office refresh or even if you have surplus items you no longer require.

Circular office

In line with our mission to ‘influence, inform and inspire the sustainable management of resources and waste’, we managed to divert 2.6 tonnes of furniture from landfill during our recent office move working closely with Rype Office. Read more about our office move here.

You can also read an article by Rype Office’s relationship manager Jamie Harbour, where he looks at how remanufacturing contributes to the circular economy and creates employment.

He says remanufacturing creates twice the employment of traditional manufacturing using virgin resources. This is because remanufacturing requires that products be disassembled as well as assembled, doubling the labour requirement. Read more on employment and the circular economy here.

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