Bringing campus furniture full circle

Posted on: 25 September 2023 in Issue 6

The University has recently saved an estimated £50,000, diverted more than 4 tonnes of waste from landfill and saved over 8 tonnes CO2e by reusing and repurposing furniture on campus.

The University’s Foundation Building recently underwent refurbishment works by ULCCO (University of Liverpool Construction Company) Special Projects. Though originally confined to an upgrade of the ventilation system, the project grew to a full mechanical fit-out worth £4m. Included in this, was an office remodel to better meet the needs of staff working in the building following a post-COVID return to the office.

A sustainable success 

To minimise waste and reduce the project’s environmental impact, a circular economy approach was taken, ensuring reuse of existing, unused furniture on campus was prioritised ahead of new purchases. Through ULCCO’s careful planning and the support of the University’s internal Mail and Transport team, 241 tables, chairs, sofas and other items of furniture were reused and repurposed, sourced from the Foundation Building’s original stock and that available in storage across the campus. It is estimated that this not only saved the project over £50,000 in costs, but also prevented approximately 4 tonnes of waste from being generated, with a carbon saving of over 8 tonnes CO2e.

Next steps

To drive forward reuse of furniture and equipment on campus, and to formalise the process, the University of Liverpool’s Environmental Sustainability team are launching Warp It in the Autumn of 2023. Warp It is a platform that makes it easy for staff to redistribute surplus items to other staff, saving time, money and resources, whilst reducing waste. If items are not required within our organisation they can also be passed onto partner organisations using the tool. Likewise, we can claim from others.

Find out more

For further information, please contact Circular Economy Manager, Rhiannon Hunt, or contact the sustainability team,