Swansea Council leads the way in circular choices

Swansea council is on a mission to modernise the way in which staff work.  Social businesses Greenstream Flooring CIC and Ministry Of Furniture is supporting them by providing upgraded modern open plan interiors at the councils’ office via the use of high quality unique re-used and up-cycled flooring and furniture.

Swansea’s plan to modernise staff working practices means the council is creating open plan and hot desk spaces within their existing Civic Centre building to make better use of space.  In addition a spokesman for the council said today, ‘when the council offices move in future years, the furniture and flooring will be re-used in any new office’

Using enterprises ssuch as Ministry of Furniture and Greenstream Flooring CIC on the project means that the authority make both financial and environmental savings through re-using existing furniture and saving CO2  by not using all new flooring and furniture.  All this while continuing to deliver the services people need.

In addition to the environmental and financial savings of using re-use the council is also supporting Greenstream Flooring in its social outputs.  These include providing free carpet to social housing tenants on low income and supporting people with disabilities and a range of additional needs on work placement and volunteers involved in the sorting and grading of carpets making them suitable for re-use.

Councillor Clive Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Transformation and Performance, commented, Agile working of this nature will give officers better opportunity to work together, will release valuable office space to potentially generate income and will decrease the cost of running our estate. …. It will help us adapt to the reality that there is less government funding for councils’ he added.

Currently a pilot office for around 130 staff has opened in the Civic Centre; further transformation will take place across the building up to the end of 2018.

Ministry of Furniture managing director Graham Hirst said, Our business emerged from Remploy Furniture. We are a company with social aims, and half of our staff are people with a disability.  “We were excited to win this furniture contract because it focused not only on delivering agile and flexible working spaces but also on a pioneering approach to the re-use and re-manufacture of old furniture stock.  Less than 10% of the furniture pieces supplied in the pilot scheme were brand new, yet we are proud of the stunning outcomes that have been achieved in working with the council team.”

Ellen Petts, Greenstreams managing director commented,Swansea has shown great leadership in choosing to minimise the waste and maximise the social value of this project. We are proud to have supplied and fitted  a fifty percent mix of new and upcycled commercial carpet in this space – saving both money and the environment.  I hope it inspires other councils in Wales to follow Swansea’s example.” 

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