Remanufactured office furniture is a cost-effective and ethical choice for organisations, Phil Oram opines.
Remanufacturing office furniture makes ethical and financial sense.
There is a 70 per cent cost saving compared with buying new, so doing the right thing in this case is not the most expensive option.
By changing the ‘bin and upgrade’ culture, we reduce the 1.2 million ofﬁce desks and 1.8 million chairs ending up in UK landﬁll each year, according to Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
Meanwhile, the Health and Safety Executive estimates that two million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment, including IT and telecommunications equipment, are thrown out annually.
Crown Workspace remanufactured 7,750 items of office furniture in 2018/19, which meant 474 tonnes of CO2 were saved – with 218 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill. Sustainability is vital for businesses. They want to be seen to doing the right thing by their customers and by their staff. We cannot continue to operate the way we have for the past 40 years.
“Doing the right thing in this case is not the most expensive option”
Computers, laptops and monitors can also be refurbished or resold. We had a client who asked us to clear all of its IT from three buildings in London. The bill was about £23,000, but we were able to resell most of the items and return £8,000 to the client.
There’s certainly a shift in businesses’ mindsets and it’s not just big corporations that are engaging with us; start-ups also want to know how they can benefit society. Businesses are starting to see that refurbishing or moving offices doesn’t mean there’s a rush to modernise with higher-spec models and throw away old furniture.
We cannot continue to throw things away. We were brought up uneducated about sustainability and it is our children and social media that are educating us that we must change.
Phil Oram is regional director at Crown Workspace