Problem Addressed

Furniture holds significant amount of embodied carbon, and its production contributes to the depletion of natural resources. Millions of items are sent for recycling each year when, instead, their use could be extendedreducing their overall carbon intensity through an extended lifespan. Further, many items are not able to be fully recycled and so there are elements of furniture that will end up in landfill causing additional environmental damage.  

There is also considerable social and economic value lost when furniture is recycled rather than reused. For example, furniture poverty is an issue across the UK, but domestic applications can be found for many workplace items, as well as for charities, schools and social enterprises with limited spending budgets. In addition, the number of ‘green jobs’ that can be generated from increased segregation, furniture auditing, refurbishment and remanufacturing is considerable, and these jobs can be highly skilled and rewarding for those that do them, as well as contributing to our national economy.  

Solution Overview

Crown Workspace supports organisations to reduce the carbon impacts of changing workplace through the provision of a sustainable range of furniture services. Services include extending the lifespan of existing furniture assets, offering quality refurbished/remanufactured items to displace new items, and providing quality refurbished furniture assets ‘as a service’ to meet interim needs sustainably.  

Detailed audits of existing assetsFurniture audits help identify items that can be used for future projects. Items are photographed, their condition scored, and their details captured in a database to help manage clients’ assets most effectively. 

Storage for reuse – For clients who will regularly reuse items across estates a storage system is provided alongside an online inventory, enabling the reuse and management of these assets, so items can be readily ordered and delivered within 24 hours.   

Refurbishment and remanufacturing at the Renew Centre – growing team are employed and trained in a variety of areas of expertise including upholstery, metal spraying, CNC operation, carpentry, CAD design and planning, and furniture fitting.  

The Renew Centre Each year Crown Workspace remanufactures and refurbishes tens of thousands of items through the Renew Centre. 

  • Provides high-quality remanufactured and refurbished furniture 
  • Reduces the cost of updating furniture 
  • Extends the lifecycle of clients’ assets 
  • Provides cost effective quality refurbished assets with a warranty 

Reuse through resale to gain rebates  – The clearance of a workplace is often an end-of-project consideration, but early involvement from Crown Workspace allows an assessment of furniture resources, outlining of market level rebates and pre-catalogue items for sale, to provide clients with the maximum financial rebate. 

Selling Reused – sustainable procurement  – Crown Workspace support clients to procure remanufactured and refurbished office furniture that can meet quality and performance requirements through their retail channel 

Reuse through donation to benefit society – Crown Workspace gives clients the opportunity to ‘give back’ by donating unwanted furniture to charities, schools and social enterprises through their Giving Back Project. This initiative has distributed over 25,000 items across charities, schools and social enterprises to date. 

Recycling and recovery – Crown Workspace has a network of local recycling and reprocessing partners around the country to ensure that where resources cannot be reused, as much as possible is recycled.  

Management of information and reporting – Crown Workspace provides information e.g. Economic savings, certificate of giving, carbon savings within a Client Savings ReportIn 2020 Crown Workspace’s services enabled clients to make the following savings: 

  • Renew Centre – 15,394 items of furniture remanufactured, saving 1,013 tonnes of CO2e when compared to purchasing new.
  • Renew IT – 10,630 items of IT reconditioned, saving 1,568 tonnes of CO2e when compared to buying new.
  • Giving Back Project  3,826 items of furniture donated to good causes, saving schools and charities £190,000 and 255 tonnes of CO2e when compared to buying new.  

Crown Workspace also offer the provision of quality refurbished office furniture on “as a service” basis or with a guaranteed buy-back option.  

Services on offer can be provided independently or as a full sustainable clearance service that would include operational costs associated with logistics, varying greatly depending on individual project requirements. Crown Workspace provide quotes at no cost unless a detailed audit is needed. If they proceed with working on the project the cost of the audit is taken off the final bill.

Buying Refurbished – Crown Workspace quote cost savings of approximately 70% when comparing the cost of remanufacturing and refurbishing furniture to buying new.

Sustainable Clearance – By maximising reuse, Crown Workspace estimate a typical 40% cost reduction over traditional linear approaches.

Furniture as a Service – Crown Workspace’s furniture service can save clients up to 76% compared to buying new and 54% compared to buying refurbished.  This is based on providing 50 high quality branded chairs and desks for a 6-month period.  Whether it’s a temporary requirement or marginal capacity to scale up or down, clients only pay for furniture when needed.  Excess furniture can be returned to Crown Workspace with no need to pay for storage or disposal, and no hidden costs.

Case Study

JLL – sustainable clearance services managed the reuse of over 90% of the redundant assets, despite being during the Covid19 pandemic.  This partnered approach delivered considerable savings all round.

City YMCA – the Renew Centre, combined with the Giving Back Project helped furnish this charity hostel for young homeless saving them thousands of pounds and delivering carbon savings.

CANVAS – Crown Workspace has been providing refurbished office furniture for over five years to Canvas, a company managing, renovating and furnishing office spaces in desirable areas of London. In 2020, Crown Workspace sold Canvas 93 items of furniture, diverting 3.09 tonnes from landfill and creating a carbon saving of 5.27 tonnes of CO2(e).

Barts and Skanska – On a monthly basis Crown Workspace refurbish furniture identified as waste from across the UKs largest NHS Trust and refurbish this back into reuse savings hundreds of thousands of pounds and considerable carbon savings.

Investec – Crown Workspace provided a full sustainable clearance of the client’s property collecting just under 2,000 items of seating, including 1,700 office chairs and various sofas and stools, which were refurbished and resold on behalf of Investec. This reused furniture represents a carbon saving of 134 tonnes.

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