One of only a handful of businesses of its kind in the UK, the firm based near Garstang is on a mission to divert unwanted and redundant office furniture from landfill, but knows it all starts with educating others about the recycling options that exist instead, an area Fifty2M has been employed to help with.
Having recently rebranded from The Coggin Group to Coggin Sustainable Office Solutions, the family business helps divert redundant office furniture away from landfill by either repairing and repurposing desks and chairs to resell as better than new, by recovering components to use for spares or repair, or by breaking down furniture that is unfit for reuse into material form such as metal, plastic, wood and foam.
Director Sam Coggin said it’s been a challenge raising awareness of reuse and dedicated furniture recycling when it’s so easy to just throw unwanted furniture items into a skip destined for landfill or crude forms of recycling.
“Whether it’s the ultimate client or the businesses involved in generating and dealing with unwanted office furniture like office re-fit contractors, facilities management businesses and waste management firms, most just don’t realise that it’s possible to give things like desks and chairs a new lease of life or to at least make sure they’re properly stripped-down so as to recover serviceable components and materials of value.
“We’ve invested heavily in digital marketing over the years to raise our profile and attract clients, and that’s helped us win work from those that are already more enlightened when it comes to sustainability. We’ve also seen a lot of growth from businesses that have embraced permanent homeworking and therefore downsized or evem closed some offices. But it became obvious that we needed to do more to educate all the other businesses out there, the ones that don’t yet have zero to landfill targets, and that’s what Fifty2M are helping us with.
“It was very obvious from the start that they just ‘get’ what we’re all about and what we’re trying to do, but also how best to go about taking our core messages to new audiences to let them know there is a better, less costly and greener way to deal with redundant office furniture.”
Long-time Chamber member Fifty2M is no stranger to the world of sustainability, waste and recycling. Its founder, Lee Petts, won the IoD’s Director of the Year Award for Corporate Responsibility in 2016 and, despite leading a PR and marketing agency, is also a Chartered Waste Manager thanks to a stint in the industry earlier in his career.
He said: “As soon as we started talking to Sam it was clear he was facing challenges we’ve seen before.
“There’s still a lot of hesitancy about sustainability among business leaders, with the results of one recent survey by the Capgemini Research Institute finding that a substantial proportion see it as a cost burden.
“But as Coggin Sustainable Office Furniture Solutions can ably demonstrate, it’s cheaper to send redundant office furniture to be remade or properly recycled than it is to dispose of it via conventional means. The task now is to focus on getting this message to a broader audience and that’s what we’re looking forward to doing in the year ahead.”