John Pulsford Associates Limited - Redundant Furniture Recycling and Reuse Programme

The Asda Environmental Leadership Award, Finalist, 2016

John Pulsford Associates Limited (JPA) is reducing waste and making savings by offering furniture repair and recycling services.

Good for the environment

  • JPA's operation and its customers have achieved zero contribution to landfill for furniture.
  • The company has achieved a 100% increase in re-use and recycling of redundant furniture.

Good for business

  • JPA has seen an increase in profitability from 32% to 38% since the start of their recycling and reuse programme.
  • By developing their use of electronic media, the company has also made savings of over £110,000 from reduced print, postage and marketing spend.

John Pulsford Associates LimitedOverview

John Pulsford Associates Limited supply furniture to healthcare centres, educational institutions, and commercial businesses. They found that many of their customers were unsure how to dispose of their unwanted furniture, and saw an opportunity to provide a valuable service and reduce the amount of furniture going to landfill.

  • John Pulsford Associates Limited (JPA) created a set of new services, including:

  • Repair service to keep furniture in use for longer

  • Unwanted furniture removal and recycling service

  • Furniture re-homed in the community

  • 'Second life' furniture refresh option included in tenders

Sustainability is now integrated across the business. As well as reducing furniture landfill through recycling the scheme is prolonging the life of customers' existing furniture and saving waste, fuel, water, energy, and emissions. The company has also attracted a new customers through the publicity around the project and increased the potential for longer term relationships with existing customers through their furniture repair and refresh services.

Winning support from internal stakeholders

JPA created the post of Commercial & Sustainability Director in 2015 and invested approximately 3% of company turnover into the research and development of effective processes for second life furniture. The company realised it was important to demonstrate to their board that they were taking care of profitability and meeting short term financial targets as well as researching how sustainability could generate value in the future. 

The board are now committed to the second life furniture initiative as it offers a spread of financial value from leaner operating costs, margin maintenance, product differentiation, staff motivation, and additional brand value. It also reduces risk to the company's future: JPA score 93% and above on the CIPS Sustainability Index for financial, social and environmental sustainability.

Measuring performance 

Monthly reporting against agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) allows the JPA to measure progress towards their sustainability goals, celebrate success, and gain insights to direct activity. KPI progress is displayed on boards in JPA's building. Measures include: number of new accounts won, volume of redundant furniture items re-homed and diverted from landfill, operational costs and savings, increase in local media profile.

Engaging external stakeholders

JPA has grown a large network of influential external stakeholders and advocates including charities, local recycling organisations, community groups, local radio and press, and the local Community Voluntary Scheme. 

This network of influencers has enabled JPA to become a facilitator for redundant furniture and furniture re-use, connecting business clients with community users, maximising resources and circular economy principles, reducing landfill and associated emissions with minimal costs and mutual benefit.

What John Pulford Associates' Managing Director said:

“Our sustainability programme embraces environmental, social and financial elements to ensure a robust business moving forwards. Sustainability is integrated into our entire business across Operation, Services and Products, a huge investment for a company of our size. By identifying potential solutions for Clients’ redundant furniture recycling/re-use routes we are helping reduce waste, emissions and landfill costs whilst building bridges locally, establishing community links, and developing a new, profitable revenue streams for JPA. A triple win.” - Graham Pulsford Managing Director, John Pulsford Associates Limited