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Reuse saves University of Plymouth £60,000 in just one year

The University of Plymouth has saved £60,000 in 12 months by using the Warp it reuse initiative.

Savings came from reusing office furniture and stationery, instead of purchasing new. Reuse has also helped the university avoid 10,000kg of waste and save 19,000kg of carbon.

The University joined Warp It in 2022 and has since embedded reuse into its procurement and waste policies.

Commodities frequently reused include office chairs, desks and storage units, as well as stationery, including a ‘Box of Many Staplers’.

Matthew Tosdevin, Environment Officer (Engagement & Projects) at the university, manages the Warp It reuse programme. He said:

“We have embedded Warp It into our Waste Policy and Action Plan and Procurement Strategy. This supports our transition to a circular economy with a focus on preventing waste generation in the first place or buying new.

“Reuse is at the top of the waste hierarchy so preventing items with potential for second life going into the waste stream is our priority. As well as reducing waste, this also removes the requirement to purchase brand new furniture and other items.”

Sustainability is at the core of the University’s activities as it strives to achieve net zero. When it declared a climate emergency in 2019, the University made a pledge to achieve net zero for scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025.

The University has many accolades for its work around sustainability, including seven Green Gown Awards since 2011 (most recently for Reporting with Influence, last week) and achieved PAS 2060 verification for carbon neutrality – externally verified by NQA – earlier this year.

And the University’s team of facilities, estates and finance professionals behind Warp It – Michael Todd, Matthew Tosdevin, and Sharon Foster – were recognised in the sustainability category at the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards, recently.


Above: Matthew Tosdevin Environment Officer (left) and Michael Todd Procurement Analyst (right) collect an award.

Reuse is central to the University’s target to reduce its Scope 3 carbon footprint associated with waste generation. Scope 3 comprises emissions that are predominantly produced outside its own operations.

The redistribution of furniture and stationery also helps manage limited storage, with stock itemised and tracked to improve the way resources are shared.

The University is now building on its success by increasing staff engagement and extending the reuse system for use by external organisations including schools and charities.

Matthew added:

“As a recognised leader in sustainability, we’re constantly looking for ways to enhance the way we manage our environmental impact, and reuse is proving to be a smart way achieve this.

“The Warp It system is simple to use and has proven to a fantastic tool to reduce waste, while interacting with staff. User engagement has been brilliant with over 400 members of staff – around 16% of the workforce – already swapping or donating items.

“This is a huge support to helping us reach our net zero, waste reduction, circularity, and general sustainability goals.”

Start reusing today and register with Warp It.

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Jennifer Clair Robson

Jennifer Clair Robson

Writing to make a difference because climate change, sustainability and the environment are issues close to my heart.


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