‘It’s an easy win’: environmentally-friendly Lancashire recycling business facilitating the green office of the future
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Garstang-based Coggin Sustainable Office Solutions is a family business which diverts office furniture away from landfill by either repairing damaged items to resell them or by recycling materials such as wood, metal, plastic, and foam from unsalvageable items. In their own small way, they are contributing to the good fight.
"It's obvious from the conversations we have with businesses that, while they often want to go green, they can feel a bit overwhelmed by all the talk of sustainability and net zero,” says Director Sam Coggin. “Many [are] just baffled by what it means to them and how they can incorporate it into their business models while worrying about the potential cost implications.
"It doesn't have to be complicated or costly,” he adds, with the company having diverted over 150,000 items from landfill. “By recycling unwanted office furniture, they can cut down on the environmental impacts they're responsible for [and] it helps avoid the emissions associated with manufacturing brand new components, many of which are made from plastic.”
Promoting sustainability and saving companies money, Coggin Sustainable Office Solutions can also now - following recent investment - granulate plastic from redundant office chairs in-house and sell it back into the polymer industry for use in place of harmful and polluting virgin plastics.
“We also work with businesses to avoid waste in the first place, reupholstering existing chairs and resizing and re-edging desks,” Sam continues, also pointing out that recycling furniture helps businesses avoid landfill taxes and disposal gate fees of around £30 per tonne. "Our office furniture is also significantly less expensive than buying brand new.
“For instance, we sell refurbished, high-quality ergonomic office chairs from £100 to £600 and desks from £80 to £150 that would typically retail at around four times as much when bought brand new,” he adds. “Our clients have collectively saved more than £13 million with us this way.”
One of those clients is energy giant E.On, which recently engaged Coggin for a clear-out of their Bolton office. “It's great to know 1,909 items of redundant furniture have been recycled and diverted from landfill,” says Project Manager Robert Kendall. “This is exactly what we wanted to achieve to match our ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and sustainability goals.”
With world leaders having recently gathered in Egypt for Cop27, the tide is slowly turning: business leaders in the UK are increasingly looking for sustainable solutions, but are often dismayed by issues around cost and accessibility - a recent British Business Bank survey found the biggest barriers to action are cost (35% of respondents) and feasibility (32%).
In response, Coggin Sustainable Office Solutions is on a mission to address these barriers and make the pursuit of sustainability both easily accessible and financially beneficial. And, for Sam, the equation is a simple one: “It’s an easy win for any business that wants to be more sustainable,” he says. “And it makes financial sense, too.”