Recycling has social as well as environmental benefits says visiting expert
At the invitation of Style Office, the CEO and founder of Green-Works, yesterday told a seminar of Jersey business leaders and politicians that recycling can have significant social as well as environmental benefits.
Style Office partnered with Green-Works, an office furniture recycling organisation, in August 2007 to offer all clients the opportunity to send their unwanted furniture to the UK for recycling, a service previously unavailable in the Channel Islands. Since Style Office launched the scheme many locally based businesses have used the service.
Colin Crooks, who founded Green-Works in 2000, yesterday told of the business benefits of corporate social responsibility. He cited examples of how his organisation has partnered with others to offer people from disadvantaged groups an opportunity to work and gain skills. As a not for profit social enterprise Green-Works is unique in providing a national service managing and recycling redundant office furniture on an industrial scale. The service is provided through a growing network of delivery partners, each established charities and social enterprises in their own right, all working to support and regenerate their local communities often in deprived inner city locations.
Green-Works partners tackle some of the most intractable issues facing society, Kibble in Scotland work with "young people at risk", ASAN in the midlands is seeking to regenerate inner city Wolverhampton and First Fruit in London provides accommodation employment and training for the homeless and long term unemployed. Green-Works continues to participate in a variety of employment and training programmes and is currently working with HM Prisons to help prisoners find work.
Mr Crooks also stated that being socially responsible could also attract high flying potential employees. According to the 2006 High Fliers Graduate Survey (an annual survey of graduates carried out by research company High Fliers) graduates ranked social responsibility as their number one required attribute in potential employers!
Mr Crooks has many years of experience in the sector. His first business was Papercycle, a successful commercial paper recycling business which he set up and ran for five years, employing up to fifteen people, primarily long term unemployed and ex-offenders. In 1994 he founded a consultancy called 3Re to provide waste auditing services in the business sector.
The partnership with Style Office enables customers of the local company the option of recycling unwanted furniture, which traditionally is dumped or incinerated. The service forms part of Style Office’s policy of promoting environmentally friendly practices. The company already supplies office furniture made from recycled or recyclable materials.
In addition to the environmental benefits of this scheme, Style Office is committed to helping the local community. For every container of furniture shipped to Green-Works a donation of £250 is made to Jersey Hospice Care, to date pledging in excess of £5,000.
Paul Watson, Director, Style Office, commented:
“We are delighted that so many attended the seminar, I hope they spread the word on the importance of recycling – even your office furniture. Since we partnered with Green-Works nine months ago we have sent them 22 containers of office furniture, preventing more than 200 tonnes of carbon entering the atmosphere. Not bad for a little island, but we can do more!”