Happy as a sandbox – the circular economy in action

Happy as a sandbox – the circular economy in action

Throughout the COP26 summit, we were told in no uncertain terms that the clock was ticking and we all have to do what we can to save the planet. The message was loud and clear, particularly for those who had not quite got it yet.

However, for those of us who were already on board, we know only too well the difference between talk and action.

Of course, every call to arms to tackle climate change and cut carbon emissions is to be applauded but for a multitude of businesses, the question they ask is: what we can we do about it?

Quite a lot, actually.

As the office sector grapples with getting people back into offices, a great deal of thinking is going into how best to accommodate employees, satisfy their needs in terms of space they can enjoy in the era of hybrid working – as well as being sustainable.

If charity begins at home, then sustainability should too.

We’ve been delighted to be working with Charlie Gallienne Schmidt and his team at Sandbox Workspace https://thesandboxworkspace.com/ which specialises in taking unused buildings and bringing them back to life in a sustainable way.

For their latest project in the shadow of The Shard in South London, they wanted to create a sustainable and affordable office space over 6000sq ft in Southwark Street.

Sandbox was fully aware of the difference that can be made by avoiding the carbonfest which results from specifying and ordering new furniture. In case you don’t know, It takes 72kgCO2 to manufacture a new office chair. Buying just recycled office chairs is the carbon equivalent of saving a 300mile journey in a family car.

Sandbox turned to 2ndhnd to supply them with 40 workstations comprising wholly refurbished chairs and desks.

The result? A pristine and bright office space that will serve a team for years to come. When they first walk in, I doubt they will think anything other than their chairs and desks are brand new.

This is the circular economy in action. The people who actually use this kit on a daily basis will be happy. Their employers will be happy. The company providing the office is happy – and all for a fraction of the price and the carbon cost of new equipment.

If you’re a small business looking to fit out space in a sustainable and affordable way, think ahead. If you’re a large business and looking to dispose of an office you may think is redundant, think twice.

Everyone’s a winner is an easy cliché but it can be true and as we try to live up to the spirit of COP26, it’s well worth thinking about.

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