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Case Study

Close Brothers – sustainable solutions

Sustainable furniture solutions for Close Brothers

Close Brothers, a leading UK merchant banking group were planning to carry out an extensive refurbishment across five floors of their headquarters in central London along with a smaller project in Manchester, with the objective of utilising available space more effectively to create a dynamic workplace in which 200 additional employees could be accommodated via department “neighbourhoods”.

Sustainability was a top priority for the firm, who were looking to create as little waste as possible, repurposing existing furniture and buying refurbished where feasible.

Crown Workspace’s award-winning Renew Centre, Office Resale and dedicated sustainability team were engaged to meet the project needs.

Saving 29 tonnes from landfill through sustainable procurement

Crown’s Project Manager met with the client to understand their existing office furniture and assess how we could best support the organisation in meeting their desired outcome. They were keen to utilise as much existing stock as possible but ensure there was a consistent look and feel across the newly refurbished space and a proposal was made on this basis which would deliver significant cost and environmental savings.

To fulfil the project requirement, Crown Workspace furnished the renewed offices with quality used furniture from our award-winning Renew Centre through our own retail channel, Office Resale.

We refurbished 316 operator chairs from their original HQ, while providing an additional 622 items of furniture including desks, tables and storage units. All items were finished to an “as good as new” standard, with appropriate warranties for each of them.

Delivering a positive social impact through donation

In 2020, our Giving Back Project donation initiative became more challenging with the onset of many charity and school closures. However, we kept many items from this project in storage and have recently been able to make donations to 5 different institutions in need.

Over 50 items—from items of furniture to miscellaneous goods like fridges, monitor arms and leads—were delivered to nearby schools and charities who were hugely appreciative of receiving much-needed assets.

Cost and environmental savings

It is estimated that by utilising quality used office furniture from Office Resale the average client saves in the region of 70% of the original purchase price, across a significant project such as this considerable financial savings were achieved. In this instance, we estimate that around £185,000 was saved when compared to the retail cost of the items we provided.

In addition to a financial saving, there were also significant carbon savings achieved by reusing existing furniture stock and donating where possible.  For this project alone, a CO2e saving of 64 tonnes was made along with the diversion of 29 tonnes from landfill. This is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by growing over 1,000 tree seedlings for 10 years.

Through proactive early discussion at the planning stage of this office refurbishment, the reused and remanufactured furniture provided by Crown supported the client’s requirements and budget whilst also aligning with their responsible approach to considering the environment.

The services we provided included:

  • Audit by Office Resale
  • Refurbishment of existing office chairs
  • Procurement of high-quality reused furniture through Office Resale
  • Redesign of furniture to fit client requirements
  • Donation of redundant assets where possible

“On behalf of Broomfield School, thank you for your generous donation. We are thrilled to recieve this furniture which will be put to good use throughout our school. You truly make the difference for us and we are extremely grateful!”

Jay Jebri, Facilites Manager, Broomfield School

“We are looking forward to testing our new workspace when the offices can re-open. Through this project we have developed a close working relationship with Crown Workspace that we hope will last.”

Project Coordinator, Close Brothers

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