Chamber member JPA Furniture have been short listed for CSR Team of the Year in the 2016 Third Sector, Business Charity Awards announced earlier today, following their outstanding contribution to both charitable and socially responsible business activities over the past 12 months.
“Our primary function is as a commercial business but as a family business we feel very strongly that community integration is fundamental to future success and we are committed to increasing the economic, environmental and social value that we generate through our business activity” says Graham Pulsford, Managing Director.
Following the introduction of an end of life redundant furniture solution for clients in 2014 we were horrified to the amount of still serviceable furniture items going to waste – although we were managing to divert items from landfill we decided to see if we could actively find second life furniture homes within the areas in which we operate.
We also identified that the key factor preventing maximum take up of redundant furniture was transport, which we included free of charge to both donors and recipients, fitting collections and deliveries in around existing schedules, keeping emissions/operational costs low in the process.
Simultaneously we started to actively look for potential furniture donors, seeking permission for re-distribution and second life use, also facilitating and strengthening business to community partnerships.
Our supporters helped us to locate second life recipients and over the year we have managed to re-home over 1000+ items of furniture (diverting a further 1049 items from landfill, and prolonging the life of many more items though our serviced based activities).
We conservatively estimate that the 1000+ furniture items that we rehomed in 2015 have saved our clients organisations a minimum spend of £100,000.00 excluding transport, vat and administration releasing valuable funds to be spent on other much needed items. It will also have saves the client who donated furniture in the region of £10,000 landfill or disposal costs (an added bonus is the landfill savings of 28,188kg and carbon emissions equivalent savings of with 35,646kg).
Wendy Henrys Chair of CVS Connect St Albans said “we are always on the lookout for ways in which the voluntary and business sectors can work closely together building long term supportive relationships. We were delighted to hear from JPA with their generous idea and doubly delighted to work with them so many of our member groups could benefit. A great idea AND one with an environmentally friendly outcome”
Rob Pearman Chairman of the St Albans & District Talking Newspapers said “Many thanks JPA for the opportunity to pick up some chairs. It will be very helpful to have these in our recording studio for when we have meetings of editors and others. I was also able to take away a swivel chair which we can use to replace our extremely worn out 'Editor's Chair'! This is an excellent scheme and I am also grateful to CVS for its role in this process”.
The legacy that has been created is a network of contacts and influencers to further develop our second life homes and community links. The more that we have developed these relationships the more rewarding they have become and the bigger our project has become.
JPA has confirmed its status as the an industry leader in sustainability having won FSB Green Business of the Year and St Albans Chamber Green Business of the Year in 2015.
We would like to offer sincere thanks to our supporters who have helped our activities have real impact locally and include St Albans CVS, The Green Triangle, FIRA, The Sustainability Department St Albans District Council, Sustainable St Albans week.