Add Zero Waste to your office relocation checklist

Great CSR initiatives answer real needs, engage a significant number of employees, are aligned with a company’s expertise and promote a proactive mindset in the most natural way, without being pushy or patronizing. intive has decided to use the opportunity of a big office relocation in Wrocław, Poland, to go zero waste on used furniture, and created an app for browsing and picking old office items that deserve a second life. intivers were offered a chance to pay a symbolic price for most liked chairs or lamps, and all funds collected this way fueled a local tree planting initiative.

Project background: Office transition as a CSR topic

Moving two big offices into one, brand new space is a huge effort – as any big company surely understands – but it also comes with a lot of unwanted office furniture. A new office interior requires a new design, so old desks, chairs, cabinets and other items are usually being disposed of. Sure, landfill and recycling cost money but they’re the easiest option. Instead, intive has decided to take up the challenge of redistributing old office furniture, even at the cost of carrying out a very effort-intensive project that engaged many employees and required a considerable amount of internal time. Why? The task would result in minimal environmental impact and present a great chance to put mobile development and project management skills to a good cause. Furniture utilization contributes to CO2 emissions from waste burning facilities – the Zero Waste Project found a way to challenge a traditional office move and reduce the negative footprint.

Buildup: Zero waste, full collaboration

When people understand the cause and recognize a well-thought-out plan, they’re willing to participate in a project, even if it means extra work and commitment. In case of the Zero Waste Project, the scope of the initiative required a close collaboration of a number of departments. I was really happy to see intivers come together to work on our action. An environmentally-friendly office move was a clear goal people wanted to pursue and so the overall engagement was high. At first, it was all about a digital solution and furniture inventory but then we needed intivers’ support in promoting the idea and executing it till most of the items found their new home. – said Dagmara Perlak, Marketing & CSR Manager at intive.

The most important tool in this sustainable relocation was the Zero Waste App – an application designed by intive’s UX experts and built in-house by mobile developers. The endeavor wouldn’t have been possible without the engagement of administration, HR, and accounting. Creating a large office inventory was a challenge in itself: It was important to recognize the item-by-item value of all surplus furniture. The whole project was coordinated and supported since the very beginning by the marketing team and the CSR unit at intive.

Results: Exceeding expectations

The initiators of the CSR project assumed that around 50% of unwanted furniture would find a new home. There were two ways of going about it: used items could be either sold to intivers at a symbolic price or donated to local organizations like schools and NGOs. A decision was made to use both approaches to make sure that zero waste goals were reached, and the waste was minimal.

The project results exceeded expectations: Over 75% of used office furniture and equipment have been redistributed. Despite the logistic challenges during the pickup and thanks to tremendous efforts of the project team, 252 items found their new homes among intivers and 322 were donated to schools and organizations in need. A total of 15.000 PLN was raised through the initiative and the funds will be spent on planting 5,000 tree seedlings in the Wrocław area in 2020.

One of intive’s slogans in “Challenge everything!”. The Zero Waste relocation project has shown that a sustainable office move is possible, especially with the right digital tools and some good cross-company collaboration. CSR has the power to motivate staff and impact the company’s local footprint: With the Zero Waste App at hand and project experience, intive is ready for yet another green office relocation.

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