Sustainable Office Furniture from Rype Office

Environment

Currently, one third of office furniture is sent to landfill. WRAP estimates that in 2012 this amounted to 75,000 tonnes in the UK, including 11,000 tonnes of office chairs and 19,000 tonnes of desks. That is 300 tonnes of office furniture going to landfill every working day.

For more sustainable office furniture, we remanufacture items, returning them to their original condition, continuing to use undamaged parts for the purpose that they were intended.

Avoided raw material mining reduces damage to biodiversity and preserves finite resources, avoided transport saves greenhouse gas emissions and avoided processing from virgin raw materials saves substantial energy and water.

Experts have quantified these benefits from remanufacturing to be:

  • 85% production energy use reduction (Giuntini & Gaudette, 2003)
  • 80% materials saving (McKenna, 2012)
  • >90% water saving (Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC))
  • >80% reduction in emissions (ARTC)

We are happy to quantify these benefits for our customers to include in their sustainability reporting.

Social

Because our remnufacturing occurs here in the UK, skilled local jobs are created. The remanufacturing process requires a range of skills and technical know-how to disassemble each item, assess the condition of each component and re-assemble the furniture to a high quality standard.

And because remaking involves both disassembly and re-assembly, it creates twice as many jobs as assembling from virgin materials.

The economics of remaking mean that these jobs must be local – transport costs to ship overseas and back again prohibit off-shoring of remanufacturing.

For more on remanufacturing, see What is Remanufactured Office Furniture.

National

Remaking improves the national balance of payments – which means we are sending less of our country’s wealth overseas.

It also creates jobs, stimulating the national economy and increasing the tax base to benefit everyone.

A further benefit is improved resource security, so we rely less for our prosperity on the supply of raw materials and goods from other countries and are less exposed to commodity price rises in the future.

References:

Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, Singapore, website http://www.artc.a-star.edu.sg/about-artc/remanufacturing.aspx [accessed April 2014].

Giuntini, R., Gaudette, K. Remanufacturing: The next great opportunity for boosting US productivity, Business Horizons, Nov-Dec 2003, p. 44.

McKenna, R. President and CEO, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Testimony before the International Trade Commission on: Remanufactured Goods: An Overview of the U.S. and Global Industries, Markets, and Trade, Investigation No. 332-525, Feb 2012.

Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), Furniture Mass and Product Flow Data to Inform Re-use Market Development in the UK, Oct 2013.