Published May 20, 2017

Efficient way to repurpose office furniture

Value and resources are wasted when still usable office furniture ends up in incinerators or recycling centres. The RealGreen concept aims to address this problem by supplying used office furniture. The concept is based on cooperation between furniture manufacturer, transport company and the operator. It is the only concept of its kind in Finland which focuses on high volumes of office furniture.

Problem

When organisations refurbish their offices, perfectly usable furniture often ends up at recycling centres, reprocessing for materials or waste-to-energy incinerators, even if there is plenty of life left in it. The manufacture of new products requires virgin resources and energy, which causes greenhouse emissions.

Solution: Efficient way to repurpose office furniture

Pa-Ri Materia in cooperation with Isku and Niemi Palvelut operates the RealGreen circular economy concept aimed at extending the useful life of office furniture. Pa-Ri Materia receives, restores and sells high volumes of old office furniture. In 2016, the RealGreen concept helped redirect one thousand lorry loads of office furniture back into use. Sold products have a one-year warranty.

Revenue logic and benefits to Pa-Ri Materia/RealGreen

Depending on the usability of the items, either Pa-Ri Materia buys them in, or the owner pays a fee for recycling and repurposing. Pa-Ri Materia takes ownership of all pieces, which is why large storage facilities are essential. RealGreen is the only concept in Finland focused on redirecting high volumes of furniture back into use.

Benefits to customers and end users

Office furniture purchased via RealGreen is more affordable than new furniture and quickly available. Items can be collected with short lead times, and they are available in large quantities. Some customers specifically want to use recycled furniture. Organisations that supply furniture to RealGreen are motivated by the opportunity to pay a smaller fee than those charged by landfill sites or incinerators, as well as being able to ensure that items are used in a more environmentally friendly way.

Facts

Pa-Ri Materia in a nutshell

Main business: recycling of sorted materials

Established: 1997

Net sales: €1–50 million

Launch of circular economy solution: The RealGreen concept was launched in 2015. 

Share of the circular economy solution of the total business: 90 % 

Employees: 10-250

Headquarters: Helsinki

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