Creating a sustainable office space with IE: 5 ways we can help you

Sustainability is rapidly becoming a priority factor for companies refurbishing their office space.

But choosing sustainable office furniture solutions can be overwhelming. With so many products available in the market, it's hard to decipher between truly sustainable solutions and clever marketing.

This is where working with an office furniture consultancy can be really valuable. They will help you make the most of your existing assets and offer product recommendations that both meet the sustainability criteria you're looking for and work for your space and your people.

At Insightful Environments, we've supported hundreds of clients to create a smarter, healthier, and more sustainable workplace. 

With a dedicated team to guide you through the procurement process, from strategy and design to delivery and installation, you'll have peace of mind that your project is on track to meet your sustainability requirements.

Here's how we can help.

1. Furniture audit

In a furniture audit, every physical asset in your possession is photographed, digitally catalogued, and assessed for its condition and repurposing potential. You will have access to details of the brands, condition and composition of all the assets in your possession in an easy-to-access digital format.

The audit will enable us to identify:

  • Furniture assets that can be adapted for reuse
  • Where current stock can be deployed to best meet the needs of your business
  • Furniture assets that need to be removed, stored or ethically disposed of
  • What additional furniture assets you may need for your space

As part of the audit, each physical item is labelled with a unique barcode for future reference. So if an issue arises, you can find out all the important details, such as the warranty period, parts that can be replaced, and recommendations for recycling. 

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2. Adapt and reuse

The furniture audit allows us to spot opportunities on how you can reuse or extract value from your existing assets. After all, the most sustainable office furniture products are those that already exist.

On average, a single task chair generates 72 kilos of CO2e over its lifespan. That means that for every task chair you reuse instead of buying new, you save pumping another 72 kilos of CO2e into the earth's atmosphere.

Tired assets can be cleaned and refurbished or completely reinvented to look like new and serve different purposes. Those old chairs with fabric coming away from the seat? They can be reupholstered to as good as new. And those desks, screens and storage units that are underutilised because they're fixed in one spot? By adding casters, you enable people to move them around and 'hack' the working space to suit their needs. 

Reusing your existing furniture is not only great for the environment, but it can also save you money.

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3. Leverage the value in your surplus furniture

You may have existing furniture that you simply no longer need. 

New ways of working mean rows upon rows of identical workstations aren't fit for purpose. Workers need access to various spaces that help them fulfil the range of activities throughout the day, from individual focused work to in-person meetings to collaborative sessions with remote colleagues. 

Or, you may simply have excess furniture because you've downsized your office space and now operate a hot-desking system.

At IE, we can help you leverage the value left in any surplus furniture. One way we can do this is by buying back the used furniture from you to offset project costs. Other ways include storing, donating or recycling your unwanted furniture to release the value and real estate space they occupy.

4. Sustainable furniture procurement 

With so many products calling themselves 'sustainable', it can be hard to truly decipher between those products that actually live up to the label and those that are just jumping onto the hype. 

With so many labels and certificates out there, it can sometimes be hard to tell how sustainable a product really is.

Our extensive knowledge of the furniture market, combined with our knowledge of the environmental standards like BREEAM and SKA, allows us to scour the market for the best products to meet your sustainability needs. We'll find the best products that meet these needs while also making sure they fit the needs of your people and the design aesthetics of your space.  

At IE, we have access to more than 300 suppliers with a growing database of products graded by certification and carbon footprint. We've done the hard work assessing just how sustainable they are, so you don't have to.

Download our free Furniture Procurement Guide

5. Reducing waste

New furniture items will need to be packaged and shipped to your office site. That can mean you end up with a lot of waste.

Many manufacturers are using recycled packaging to reduce their impact on the environment. We can help reduce the amount of waste brought to the site even more by getting suppliers to take back and reuse packaging, make direct deliveries, and have products delivered unassembled.

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Summary

Companies today are being defined not just by how they treat their employees and customers but by their impact on the world. And your workplace plays a pivotal role in your carbon footprint. 

But the benefits of creating a sustainable workplace go beyond the environmental impact. A sustainable office will serve your people as well as the environment. It can enhance their working experience, boost productivity, and improve the quality of their lives. It can even help you attract and retain the best talent, as people want to work for companies committed to sustainability. 

To find out more about what it's like to work with IE, get in touch. You may also like to look at some of our case studies

You can also read about our ESG journey and what we're doing as a company to become more sustainable and to continually improve how we help our clients with their ESG goals.

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The sustainable Office