CarbonNeutral’s new office
Natural Capital Partners (formerly The CarbonNeutral Company) decided to move office and create an attractive, ergonomic, sustainable workspace without the huge carbon footprint or high prices of brand new furniture, with the help of Rype Office.
To accommodate the company’s growth, Natural Capital Partners selected a new office in Fleet Street and asked Finance Manager Louan Mouton to oversee the project. His brief was to rapidly create an attractive, ergonomic, workspace with a minimal environmental footprint – consistent with the company’s mission to deliver solutions for positive impact on the world’s natural capital.
For the major furniture items, the company turned to Rype Office for assistance. In a collaborative design process, involving multiple members of Natural Capital Partners’ team in design discussions, showroom visits, and sample testing, furniture was selected as follows:
For task seating, Natural Capital Partners chose remanufactured Orangebox G64s. These are top-of-the-range chairs with full ergonomic adjustability, remanufactured to an A+ standard (i.e. indistinguishable from new), with a five year warranty (same as new).
Remanufacturing involves taking the long-life elements of used furniture (such as aluminium frames), checking and resurfacing them, and then rebuilding around them to create a chair that looks and performs as new.
Because the long-life elements have the biggest economic and environmental cost, remanufacturing creates substantial savings compared with new. For example, the lifetime carbon footprint of a remanufactured desk chair is 22kg CO2e, less than one third of the 65 to 67kg CO2e of one made from virgin materials.
For the fabric, Natural Capital Partners chose Camira X2, a hardwearing 100% recycled polyester in Calculus blue to complement its corporate colours.
To accommodate the ergonomic needs of its staff members, Natural Capital Partners chose remanufactured height-adjustable Misura desks. Italian-designed, these are both beautiful and functional, with a desktop height range from 690mm to 890mm.
The legs were re-powder coated in a mid-grey to match the carpet tiles. New tops were made in durable white laminate to maximise the light in the office, with a scallop cut-out in the middle of the back of each desk to accommodate cables and monitor arms.
The cost saving from remanufacturing these desks was matched by the environmental benefits. While new desks have a lifetime carbon impact of 97kg CO2e, these remanufactured desks are around half that at approximately 50kg CO2e.
Meeting Room Chairs
During the design meetings held in Natural Capital Partners’ old office, the Rype Office team noticed that the meeting room chairs were of good quality, but had substantial damage to the chrome plating on the arms, and scratching on the legs.
So Rype Office stripped the chrome, polished the arms and repolished the legs – at a significant environmental and cost saving compared to buying new. The leather upholstery was cleaned and rejuvenated with a natural cleaning product, and the mechanisms were checked and replaced where necessary.
The result was beautiful, as-new chairs.
Meeting Room Tables
Selecting from the latest laminate patterns and colours, Natural Capital Partners chose a grey oak top for meeting tables to match the décor of its new office, with black edging to provide a contemporary corporate finish.
These new tops were combined with remanufactured frames and legs from used Herman Miller tables, and new power/data modules.
The tables give the finishing touch to the company’s two client-facing meeting rooms, with a smart, professional look at a fraction of the environmental impact of new.
Installation and Set-up
Rype Office managed the installation to fit Natural Capital Partners’ tight move timeline. In addition to making sure the office looked clean, smart and ready-for-work from day one, Rype Office also spent time with every team member, setting up their chair and desk ergonomically to ensure comfort, while educating them on how to use their new furniture to benefit from its features.
Leading by Example
Total carbon emission savings were over 2.4t CO2e, waste furniture was avoided, and a cost saving was achieved of well over 50% of the list price of equivalent new furniture.
“We are delighted with the new office,” says Louan Mouton, “Rype Office made it easy for us with their advice and design assistance. They managed all of the remanufacturing, transport, and installation. They demonstrated that remanufactured furniture is a high quality, cost-effective, and easy alternative to new.”
“It is important for us to show that moving office and building out a new facility doesn’t need take a heavy toll on a company’s environmental footprint, and through our work with Rype Office we were able to achieve our goal, ” said Natural Capital Partners’ CEO Stephen Killeen. “Through this office design we hope to demonstrate to our staff, clients, visitors and others, that there are high quality furniture solutions which have a substantial, positive impact on our environmental footprint, ” he added.
ABOUT NATURAL CAPITAL PARTNERS
Natural Capital Partners, formerly The CarbonNeutral Company, works with clients to combine business success with positive impact on the environment and society. Through collaboration with global project partners, the development of innovative solutions, and understanding the specific goals of its clients, the company delivers a broad range of products and services for carbon, energy, water, biodiversity and communities in direct operations, consumer markets and supply chains – the world’s natural capital. The company was founded in 1997 and has more than 300 clients in 34 countries.
Contact: Rebecca Fay, Chief Marketing Officer, 020 7833 6000, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT RYPE OFFICE
Rype Office believes that workspaces can and should be attractive, sustainable and cost less. The company exists to make this easy for customers. Rype Office provides high quality, better value, more sustainable furniture as well as office design services to collaboratively create wonderful workspaces.
Contact: Greg Lavery 079 0016 3409, greg.lavery@RypeOffice.com
 Sources: Orangebox, Carbon Footprinting: G64 Swivel Task Chair, accessed 30 Jan 2016 at http://www.orangebox.com/img/prod/task_seating/g64/literature/PDF/G64_Carbon.pdf; Defra, Revised Government Buying Standards for Furniture, Nov 2013, p. 12, accessed 30 Jan 2016 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341462/Furniture_GBS_impact_assessment_1407.pdf.
 Note: Research indicates that a remanufactured desk has a lifecycle carbon footprint 30% of a new desk. However, given that the desk tops for CarbonNeutral were made new, this figure has been estimated to be around 50%. Sources: Defra, Revised Government Buying Standards for Furniture, Nov 2013, p. 12, accessed 30 Jan 2016 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341462/Furniture_GBS_impact_assessment_1407.pdf; WRAP, Remanufacturing Office Furniture, accessed 30 Jan 2016 at file:///C:/Users/Greg/Downloads/Remanufacturing%20office%20furniture%20case%20study%20(7).pdf