A Green Solution for Old Office Furniture

Five years ago, Staples launched a partnership with Davies Office Furniture. We spoke with the team involved to learn more about this successful venture.

Image courtesy of Davies Office.

When Staples, one of the largest office furniture distributors in the U.S. and Canada, noticed a gap in their industry caused by a lack of proper furniture recycling options, the long-time recycler of technology, ink, and toner jumped at the opportunity to further their sustainability efforts. This opportunity was a partnership with Davies Office, a nationally recognized leader in green remanufacturing and sustainable office solutions.

The Davies Office solution provides innovative offerings designed to make the most of existing assets and future investments. By disassembling used office furniture to recover the valuable structural components, Davies Office restores items to brand-new condition at a fraction of the cost. Instead of keeping old furniture in storage or discarding it in a landfill, Staples customers today can benefit from the Davies Office solution by earning credit toward green building standards, receiving detailed reports quantifying environmental benefits, and reducing overall costs.

The partnership between the two companies is a perfect example of how remanufacturing is vital to a circular economy as it offers significant economic and environmental advantages. The objective of a circular economy is to produce goods and services while limiting consumption and waste of raw materials, water, and energy sources. There is strong evidence that transitioning to a circular economy can lead to higher economic growth while reducing the impact on the environment.

Too often, people don’t realize that old office furniture can be easily recycled, reused, or remanufactured to like-new condition. In fact, the EPA has estimated that nearly three million tons of office furniture and furnishings are thrown away each year. This small effort does wonders for the environment including:

  • reducing the demand for materials (such as metal, plastic, and wood),
  • reducing carbon emissions (a result of manufacturing new materials),
  • prevents reusable materials from ending up in a landfill.
Image courtesy of Davies Office.

Davies provides a detailed analysis of the benefits of their remanufacturing process, quantifying and validating benefits for their customers. Davies is the only re-manufacturer to create products certified to the BIFMA level™ sustainably standard. An independent Life Cycle Analysis by the Rochester Institute of Technology shows that Davies’ products take about 83 percent less materials and 93 percent less energy to manufacture compared to manufacturers of new furniture.

The Davies solution goes far beyond simply “recycling” used furniture assets. Davies’ products are fully remanufactured look just like new furniture, and customers can exchange one brand for another and also mix and match a variety of brands across their facility if they like, something you can’t do with traditional office furniture companies. The New York based company has been remanufacturing since 1948 and has always been focused on delivering high quality products at a great value. Davies specializes in taking existing dated office furniture and modernizing it, from completely re-indexing the height of panel systems to refreshing all fabrics and finishes. The end results are brand-new, modern units that happen to be made with the core raw material frames of the old outdated furniture.

“At the end of the day,” said Davies Office President, Bill Davies, “our clients get a solution for turning their old furniture into credit towards remanufactured furniture from any major brands that looks brand new, performs as well or better, and costs less. Our relationship with Staples has helped us introduce our value proposition to many more potential clients who already do business with Staples.”

Image courtesy of Davies Office.

Through this partnership, Staples has become a trusted sustainable business partner for companies across North America. Davies products sold by Staples are sustainable in their design and use, while also altering the way we think about used materials at the end of their life and the ways we can we reuse them. By using their prominent position in the market place, Staples has made affordable sustainable products widely available to businesses large and small.

“Our work with Davies Office gives Staples customers the resources they need to not only generate value from their old furniture, but help the planet,” said Mark Buckley, VP sustainability, Staples. “The sustainability landscape is ever-changing, and Davies helps us close the gap between where we are and where we need to be.”

Companies that are currently using the Staples & Davies Office solution include Federal Express, who is on their third five-year contract, and Bank of America. Those interested in learning more about the Staples & Davies Office solution can click here.

This article was written in partnership with Staples and Davies Office. 

Note: Mark Buckley is no longer with Staples. 

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