UWE saves money and carbon with reuse of furniture and equipment

Published on in Sustainable Sourcing by UWE and Warp-It.

UWE is keen to reduce waste, maximise the value of its assets, and support the development of a local sharing network, or circular economy.

Changing the norm of “buying new” when second hand might be fine is a mammoth task but things are changing! Having a mechanism like Warp-It, where staff can add and claim items in a convenient way, is making sustainable asset use much easier. Where, in the past, skips would be filled with surplus furniture, they now make every effort to rehome the items internally and if that is not possible they can donate to charity partners via the Warp-It system.

UWE think disposal of furniture and equipment should be the very last option. If it can be reused internally or donated then that is what they try to do. Signing up to Warp-It is easy and inexpensive, and the savings outweighed the costs within weeks. More than 230 staff are now signed into the system, and can actively advertise or claim surplus items. Advertised items are claimable internally first, but if they aren’t claimed then they are offered to external partners – thereby creating a sharing network of interlinked organisations.

“The scheme has been a real success. It allows UWE to reuse items which previously would have gone into skips for disposal. It’s a circular economy initiative that is here with us now, and we are pleased to be supporting that, and at the same time to be supporting local charities with surplus items we no longer require.”

Paul Roberts, Waste Manager, UWE
  • Direct procurement and waste savings: £44,505
  • Waste diverted from landfill: 11 tonnes
  • CO2 emissions avoided: 22 tonnes
  • Supply chain waste avoided due to not buying new:  990 tonnes
  • Total value of items donated to local charities: >£10,000

As well as the obvious benefits listed above, there are other reputational benefits derived from being able to safely and legally donate surplus items to local charity partners (as well as not filling skips with perfectly usable products).