EcoVadis Canada, a sustainability rating company, has opted for remanufactured, preowned furniture instead of buying new office furniture for its new office in downtown Toronto. The company expects to save at least 40% of total cost by purchasing preowned furnishings versus new and has set a target for 90% of the office furniture to be preowned on this project. The office will include 75 refurbished workstations and open, flexible work areas with reupholstered chairs and refinished movable tables to create a home-like feel.

The COVID era has converged with the increasing interest in used office furnishings, as companies facing a hybrid work future downsize their office space. Organizations are also setting sustainability goals that calculate the carbon footprint of office furnishings, with the extraction of raw materials being the most carbon-intensive phase of its lifespan.

Syllable Inc., a Toronto design firm, recently outfitted a 55,000-square-foot Canadian headquarters of a multinational company in Toronto with certified preowned and remanufactured furniture, resulting in an estimated 50% reduction in the calculation of embodied carbon emissions and nearly $1-million in savings compared to the cost of a traditional new furniture build-out.

Mississauga-based Envirotech Office Systems has recently opened a showroom on King Street West, near Toronto’s financial district, and has acquired the contents of several floors of offices furnished with new workstations, desks, and lounge chairs purchased just before the start of the pandemic lockdowns. Much of the inventory comes with warranties, but priced at a fraction of the cost of new.

The trend to open and collaborative workspaces has increased the demand for lounge chairs and movable tables. Envirotech repaints and reupholsters furniture to order, and is looking to find new uses for cubicle dividers, custom-made private office furniture, and large boardroom tables.

Envirotech aims to be a one-stop shop for clients, providing remanufactured or preowned office furniture, as well as new pieces that are not available used but can be sourced from Envirotech vendors. The company aims to educate companies and designers that the fusion of certified preowned, remanufactured, and new office furniture is not just a trend but a crucial strategy for decarbonizing workplaces and steering towards net-zero goals.

Source: Globe and Mail