The University of Cambridge has saved £418,000 in just six years by using the Warp It reuse system.
The organisation joined Warp It in 2016 and during this time has extensively redistributed old and unwanted stationery, office furniture, and lab equipment throughout the university and to local charities.
Items often reused include stationery, lab equipment like glass beakers, bottles, and flasks along with office chairs, desks, and tables.
The financial savings equals 46.2 tonnes of waste diverted and a reduction of 227 tonnes of carbon.
Above: The University of Cambridge has extensively redistributed old and unwanted stationery, office furniture, and lab equipment throughout the university and to local charities.
Ambreen Jahangir, Environmental Coordinator, has recently started to lead The University’s Warp it service. Ambreen said:
“With more than 370 buildings, 20,000 students, and 11,000 staff there are immense resources used within the professional services, teaching, and research activities. Reduce and reuse is an important part of our waste reduction and sustainability strategy.
“The most effective way to reduce waste is to avoid creating it in the first place and Warp It makes this an easy task and helps us to see where resources are and rehome them in an efficient way. It is a brilliant tool for circularity of resources.”
The Warp It redistribution system has proven so effective, that a major refit for one of its lab and office areas saw 100 percent of all furniture used was provided through reuse.
Above: a major refit for one of its lab and office areas saw 100 percent of all furniture used was provided through reuse.
Ambreen said: “We had a huge amount of redundant office furniture to dispose and, by using Warp It, all items were reused throughout many different departments throughout the university.
This is particularly impressive as the university doesn’t have a central storage system, so all exchanges were organised entirely through the Warp It system.”
All Warp It members are given their own portal where staff can view and exchange items. The portal can be customised, and listed items are uploaded along with a description, an estimated weight, deadline, and other relevant details.
“We use all features available on the system and find the wish list function particularly helpful. Another advantage is that Warp It crunches the numbers so we can easily calculate the financial and carbon savings reusing assets generates. This is a huge support to the university’s sustainability and waste reduction targets.”
The next steps are to increase the number of people using the system throughout the university and embed reuse as much as possible in all operations. Ambreen explained:
“Currently, around 17 percent of all staff use Warp It so there is a lot of scope to increase this. I am looking forward to building the reuse community here at The University of Cambridge and building upon our ethical procurement, resource circularity, and general sustainability success to date.”