Furniture consultancy leader pledges to help end the ‘secret shame of the world’

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A SCOTTISH office furniture and workspace solutions consultancy is helping blue chip companies such as Skyscanner, Brodie’s LLP and abrdn tackle what has been described as the ‘secret shame of the sustainability” in the world.

In doing so, Bureau Group has now delivered over 30 Carbon Positive projects in 2022 alone.

The Edinburgh-based commercial furniture expert has become one of the UK’s most innovative and disruptive designer furniture companies with its strategy designed to reduce the millions of tonnes of tables, chairs and desks in perfect condition discarded annually across the UK. .

The company, which has completed 1,300 office furnishing projects across the UK and beyond, is now committed to ensuring that every project it delivers is Carbon Positive.

It is estimated that UK businesses redevelop or relocate their offices every three to five years, with most discarded equipment destined for landfill, regardless of its condition.

This has become particularly acute since Covid, with many companies downsizing following the shift of more employees to hybrid/flexible working from home.

Recent research has revealed that 1.2 million desks and 1.8 million chairs end up in landfills in the UK each year, with some companies attempting to ‘green’ this with carbon offset schemes which do not affect this massive contribution to landfills directly.

Office Group chief executive and co-founder Andy Russell described the widespread and shocking practice as “the world’s secret sustainability shame” and said he wanted to reduce office-related landfills to zero.

He said: “The waste involved in refitting, relocating and refurbishing corporate environments is shocking – but people don’t seem to know what is one of the world’s most pressing sustainability issues.

“This is environmental vandalism on an industrial scale, plain and simple. Every year, tens of millions of tons of furniture are needlessly sent to landfill and piled up in warehouses when they could be repurposed to drastically reduce the amount of new products and inevitably their embodied carbon from being pumped into the market.

“Too many companies are making token sustainability gestures, like planting trees or paying for carbon offsets, when they could be making progress towards achieving their sustainability ambitions by changing their approach to sustainability. buying furniture In many cases, this could be the biggest change.

“Companies are celebrating planting trees to offset their otherwise carbon-intensive operations, while relocating or downsizing office space, resulting in millions of chairs, desks, tables and other office furniture being sent to landfill, although they are often in perfect working order.”

“There hasn’t been an appetite to change the system because manufacturers need new products to come to market. The greatest need, however, is for circularity to be at the forefront.

The consultancy firm’s recent projects include a total refurbishment of the Edinburgh headquarters of financial firm abrdn. The Office team succeeded in redesigning and furnishing the new premises on George Street into a superb modern office built according to the principles of the circular economy. The unwanted furniture, still in excellent condition, was donated to charity.

Led by husband and wife team Andy and Jennifer Russell, Bureau Group’s 40 staff have over 200 years of combined experience in the commercial furniture industry. In addition to offering sustainability-focused design, procurement and renovation services, the agency offers a wide range of office services, including office moves, health and safety care and custom solutions. cleaning the workplace.

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