top of page
Image 6.jpeg

Here at AMS Foundation, we help our clients 'give back'

Here at the AMS Foundation, we help clients ‘give back’ as part of their sustainable clearances by helping them to donate furniture, IT and electrical equipment from office clearances to local charities, schools and social enterprises through our Giving Back Project.

Making it easy for our clients to give back

The Giving Back Project, which we run as part of our sustainable clearance service, makes it easy for our clients to donate unwanted office furniture and equipment without creating further work.

We take the unwanted furniture, IT and electrical equipment and liaise with charity partners to ensure they reach those in need.

Image 9.jpeg
Image 31.jpeg
Image 3.jpeg
Image 4.jpeg

Audit & Consultation

Our team of experts will attend site location and conduct a fully detailed audit of all items that you are looking to remove.

Collection of goods

Our transport and engineers will attend site to remove and package all items agreed, we will then return them to our dedicated warehouse facility in preparation for redistribution

Redistribtion

We will contact our registered schools and charities with our new inventory and invite them to our facility to view or simply arrange the distribution of chosen furniture / equipment

Delivery and Installation

Once all solutions agreed we will deliver and install free of charge.

Will ensure all packaging is removed and reused for our next project. 

CSR Report

You will receive a comprehensive CSR report detailing carbon savings supporting your businesses ESG and Corporate responsible aspirations.

Once the project is finished, we provide our clients with a Certificate of Giving, which details the unwanted items donated and the charities supported.

 

This demonstrates to their staff and other stakeholders how they have been giving back through their clearance, relocation or refresh project.

We operate an online portal of items that are available at no cost to our registered schools, charities and social enterprises. These items are then delivered free of charge for local charity partners.

We offer charity and partners high quality reused or refurbishment office furniture with zero cost to help provide a professional working environment.

 

Are you a school, charity or social enterprise looking for office furniture, IT or electrical equipment donations?

Here at the AMS Foundation our team have developed a comprehensive CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) report

Providing you Carbon and Data relating to your kind donation in a format that you can present to the business stakeholders. 

Our AMS Foundation covers the entire UK and Scotland to enable reach for our clients, schools and charities.

We will always place furniture and equipment close to your location to support local communities where possible.

 

 Having the flexibility and coverage means that furniture and and equipment can reach anywhere evermore supporting our zero waste policy. 

Image 29-02-2024 at 10.07.jpeg
Image 29-02-2024 at 09.54.jpeg
Image 7_edited_edited.png

Reduce Landfill

One of the most significant benefits of recycling cardboard and plastics is that it reduces the volume of waste sent to landfill. Landfill sites are notoriously harmful to the local environment through air and water pollution, so by recycling more cardboard, less ends up in landfill which thus lessens the damaging effects.

The carbon footprint of office furniture is an important aspect of overall environmental impact. By reusing and refurbishing office furniture, businesses can reduce their carbon emissions, conserve resources, and save money. Implementing sustainable practices in the workplace is not only good for the planet, but it also contributes to a more positive and productive work environment.

Environmental Impact Transparency: CO2e Emissions Equivalent in Car Travel

 

When considering the carbon footprint of office furniture, it's helpful to understand the real-world implications of these emissions. Below, we detail the environmental impact of a refurbished office chair with 36kg of CO2e emissions by comparing it to the emissions from driving an average petrol car in the UK.

 

Vehicle Reference for CO2e Comparison:

 

  • Car Type: Average UK Passenger Car (Petrol)

  • Fuel Consumption: ~50.4 miles per gallon (mpg)

  • CO2 Emissions: 122 g CO2 per km (approximately 196.34 g CO2 per mile)

 

Using this average vehicle as our standard, we find that the CO2e emissions avoided by choosing a refurbished chair instead of a new one with 36kg of CO2e are equivalent to the emissions from driving this car for about 183 miles whereas a brand new office chair which emits on average 72kg CO2e which would equate to traveling 366 miles.

 

This transparent comparison aims to provide a tangible perspective on the environmental benefits of sustainable choices in office furnishings.

 

The data provided in the example was constructed using general figures that are widely recognised for such calculations. The specific figures for the UK would typically come from the following types of sources:

 

  1. Vehicle Emissions: The UK government periodically publishes figures on the average emissions from passenger vehicles. This data would usually be available through the Department for Transport or the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

  2. Fuel Consumption: Average fuel consumption figures can be sourced from the UK's vehicle certification agency or from transport data published by the government.

  3. CO2 Emissions Conversion: The conversion of grams of CO2 per kilometer to grams per mile is a straightforward mathematical conversion, using the fact that there are 1.60934 kilometers in a mile.

  4. Product Carbon Data: The data provided for the carbon footprint of common office furniture products has been gathered from a study report by FIRA: Benchmarking carbon footprints of furniture products and the WRAP report: Benefits of reuse, office furniture case study.

 

When considering the carbon footprint of manufacturing a new office chair for example versus refurbishing an existing one, several factors contribute to the difference in emissions:

 

Manufacturing Emissions (New Chair - 72kg CO2e):

 

  • Materials Production: The extraction, processing, and manufacturing of raw materials (metals, plastics, fabrics, etc.) are energy-intensive processes, often involving the burning of fossil fuels.

  • Manufacturing Process: The assembly of the chair in a factory setting often consumes electricity and sometimes fossil fuels, contributing to CO2 emissions.

  • Transportation: The components of a new chair are typically sourced from various locations and shipped to the manufacturing site, and the finished product is then distributed to retailers or customers.

 

Refurbishing Emissions (Refurbished Chair - 36kg CO2e):

 

  • Reduced Material Use: Refurbishing a chair uses fewer new materials, reducing emissions from raw material extraction and processing.

  • Less Energy Intensive: The processes involved in refurbishing (e.g., replacing parts, reupholstering, cleaning) typically consume less energy than manufacturing a new chair from scratch.

  • Shorter Supply Chain: Refurbished chairs often have a shorter supply chain. If the refurbishing happens locally or on-site, the transportation emissions are significantly reduced.

  • Waste Reduction: By keeping the existing chair frame and other usable parts, refurbishing reduces waste that would otherwise need to be processed, which also generates emissions.

 

Even with a 50% reduction in emissions during the refurbishment process, there are still emissions involved due to the following:

 

  • Materials: Even though fewer materials are used, some new materials are still required, such as new fabric or replacement parts, and producing these involves energy use and associated emissions.

  • Energy Use: The refurbishing process still requires energy, albeit less than manufacturing. This energy may come from fossil fuels, depending on the energy mix of the grid or other energy sources used.

  • Transportation: Components for refurbishing may need to be transported, and the refurbished chair may also need to be delivered to its new user.

  • Consumables: Cleaning products and other consumables used in the refurbishment process have their own carbon footprint associated with their production and disposal.

 

The key takeaway is that while refurbishing significantly reduces the carbon footprint compared to manufacturing a new chair, it is not a zero-emission activity. The reduction to 36kg CO2e represents the emissions avoided by not engaging in the more resource- and energy-intensive process of creating a new chair from scratch.

 

Converting Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e) to Kilowatt-hours (kWh)

 

To convert 1 kg of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) into kilowatt-hours (kWh), you need to know the specific activity or energy source that produces the CO2e. This is because the amount of CO2e produced per kWh varies significantly depending on the source of the energy. For example, coal-fired power plants emit more CO2e per kWh compared to natural gas or renewable energy sources.

 

In the UK, the average CO2e emissions per kWh of electricity can be used as a reference. The UK's grid average, as of the last update, was around 0.233 kg CO2e per kWh. This figure represents a mix of different energy sources, including fossil fuels and renewables.

 

One kilogram of CO2e is equivalent to approximately 4.29 kWh of electricity, based on the average CO2e emissions per kWh of electricity in the UK.

 

Office Furniture Material Recycling

 

Iron Recycling

 

The recycling of light iron, which is often a term for thin-gauge steel, can result in significant energy savings and therefore carbon emissions reductions when compared to producing steel from raw materials. The carbon savings from recycling steel come from a few different areas:

 

Energy Savings: The energy required to melt and reuse scrap steel is much less than the energy needed to produce steel from iron ore. Recycling steel uses about 60-74% less energy compared to producing steel from virgin materials.

 

Reduction of Carbon Emissions: Using less energy means that fewer fossil fuels are burned, which directly leads to lower carbon emissions.

 

Resource Conservation: Recycling steel conserves the raw materials (iron ore, coal, and limestone) that would otherwise be used to make new steel. This in turn reduces the carbon footprint associated with extracting, transporting, and processing these materials.

 

The exact figure for carbon savings can vary based on several factors, including the efficiency of the recycling process and the type of energy used. According to some estimates, recycling a ton of steel can save around 1.8 tons of iron ore, 0.6 tons of coal, and 0.05 tons of limestone. The CO2 savings are typically estimated at about 1.3 kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of recycled steel.

 

Using this rough estimate, recycling 1 kilogram of light iron could save around 1.3 kilograms of CO2. So, for example:

 

  • Recycling 100 kg of light iron could save around 130 kg of CO2.

  • Recycling 1 ton (1,000 kg) of light iron could save around 1,300 kg (1.3 metric tons) of CO2.

 

These figures are approximations and can change based on technology, the mix of energy sources used in the recycling process (e.g., the amount of renewable energy), and the specific processes at the recycling facility. Additionally, the carbon benefits of recycling can also depend on the transportation and collection efficiencies, since moving the scrap metal to recycling facilities also consumes energy.

 

Polypropelene (PP) & polyamide (PA6GF)

 

Recycling plastics like polypropylene (PP) and polyamide 6 with glass fiber (PA6GF) also conserves resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to the production of virgin plastics. The specific amount of CO2 saved can vary depending on the recycling method, the efficiency of the recycling process, and the source of energy used in the process.

 

For polypropylene (PP), estimates for CO2 savings from recycling can vary widely, but to give a rough idea:

 

  • The production of virgin PP can emit between 1.7 to 3.5 kg of CO2 per kg of plastic.

  • Recycling PP can potentially reduce these emissions by up to 80-90%.

  • Using the higher end of the emissions range for virgin production (3.5 kg CO2 per kg PP), an 80% reduction would mean savings of 2.8 kg of CO2 for every kg of PP recycled (3.5 kg x 0.8 = 2.8 kg).

 

For polyamide 6 with glass fibre (PA6GF), the calculations are more complex due to the additional processes involved in handling the glass fibre component. However, the principle remains that recycling this material is generally less energy-intensive than producing virgin PA6GF. The exact CO2 savings would depend on many specific factors, including the efficiency of separating the glass fibre from the polymer, the quality of the recycled material, and the subsequent applications.

 

There is less data readily available for the specific CO2 savings from recycling PA6GF, but considering that glass fibre reinforced plastics often require more energy to produce, the savings are likely to be significant as well, possibly in a similar range to or higher than PP when considering the full life cycle of the material.

 

For more precise data, you would need to refer to life cycle assessments (LCAs) for these specific materials, which take into account all stages of the product's life - from production through to disposal - to determine the total carbon footprint and potential savings from recycling. Manufacturers of these plastics may also provide specific data based on their proprietary recycling processes.

 

Melamine Faced Chipboard Recycling

 

Melamine-faced chipboard, often used in furniture and cabinetry, is composed of wood chips bonded with a melamine resin, which is a type of plastic. Recycling or repurposing it is more challenging than recycling untreated wood due to the resin content. However, when melamine-faced chipboard is recycled as biofuel — usually in waste-to-energy plants — it can offset the use of fossil fuels, leading to savings in carbon emissions.

 

The carbon savings from using melamine-faced chipboard as biofuel would come from two main areas:

 

Displacement of Fossil Fuels: When used as biofuel, the chipboard's energy content displaces that of the fossil fuels it replaces. Wood products are considered to be carbon-neutral over their lifecycle, assuming that the carbon released during combustion is offset by the carbon absorbed by replacement tree growth. The resin component, being a fossil-based material, would not be carbon-neutral, but it would still potentially offset fossil fuel use.

 

Avoided Methane Emissions: If the melamine-faced chipboard were to end up in a landfill, it could decompose anaerobically and produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By recycling it as biofuel instead, these methane emissions are avoided.

 

The exact carbon savings would depend on several factors, including:

 

  • The efficiency of the waste-to-energy process.

  • The type and efficiency of the fossil fuel being displaced (coal, natural gas, etc.).

  • The carbon content and energy yield of the chipboard.

 

A general estimate for wood as biofuel suggests that 1 ton (1,000 kg) of dry wood used as fuel can displace around 0.8 to 1.1 tons of CO2 emissions that would have resulted from coal. Since melamine-faced chipboard is not entirely wood (due to the resin content), its energy content and carbon displacement per ton would be slightly less than that of pure wood.

 

For a more accurate assessment of the carbon savings from recycling melamine-faced chipboard as biofuel, you would need to know the specific energy content of the chipboard, the proportion of melamine resin to wood, and the type of fossil fuel being displaced. Life cycle assessments (LCAs) tailored to the particular waste-to-energy facility and the specific type of chipboard being processed would provide the most precise figures.

 

General Waste or Refuse-derived fuel

 

Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) is created from various types of waste that are not suitable for traditional recycling, including non-recyclable plastics, paper, cardboard, and wood. The waste is shredded, dehydrated, and sometimes pelletised or fluffed to improve its consistency and burning properties. RDF is used as a replacement for fossil fuels in power generation and in industrial processes such as cement kilns.

 

The CO2 emissions savings from using RDF depend on several factors:

 

Composition of the RDF: Since RDF is made from a mixture of waste materials, its composition can significantly affect its energy content and the emissions associated with its combustion. Materials with a higher plastic content, for instance, will generally have a higher energy content and might produce more CO2 when burned compared to materials with a higher proportion of biogenic (plant-based) content.

 

Type of Fossil Fuel Displaced: The CO2 savings will also depend on which fossil fuel the RDF is replacing. For instance, natural gas has a lower carbon content per unit of energy compared to coal. Displacing coal will generally result in higher CO2 emissions savings.

 

Energy Efficiency of the Process: The efficiency of the energy recovery process impacts the net CO2 savings. Modern, high-efficiency incinerators that capture the energy generated for electricity or heat are more beneficial in terms of CO2 savings.

 

Carbon Neutrality of Biogenic Content: The plant-based portion of RDF is often considered carbon-neutral because the carbon released during its combustion was recently captured from the atmosphere during the plants' growth, assuming that more biomass is grown to replace it.

 

Considering these factors, general estimates suggest the following:

 

Coal Replacement: Burning RDF instead of coal can save between 0.8 to 1.1 tons of CO2 per ton of RDF used because coal has higher carbon emissions per unit of energy produced.

 

Natural Gas Replacement: Natural gas has lower carbon emissions per unit of energy, so using RDF in place of natural gas would result in lower CO2 savings.

 

In Europe, where RDF use is more common, the average CO2 emissions savings are estimated to be around 0.5 to 0.8 kg of CO2 per kg of RDF used when replacing coal. This is a broad estimate and actual savings could vary based on the specific conditions mentioned above.

 

It's important to note that while RDF can save on CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels, there are other environmental considerations such as the potential release of pollutants and the need for effective emissions control systems to minimise any harmful impacts from combustion.

 

The AMS Foundation is a leading provider of sustainable office furnishing services in the UK. Our mission is to support businesses in reducing their carbon footprint by providing eco-friendly solutions and alternatives to traditional office furniture acquisition and disposal methods. We specialise in placing your unused solutions to UK businesses and Charities by way of offering zero landfill office clearance services. By partnering with The AMS Foundation, businesses can create greener office environments while receiving value back from their existing assets.

Image 22-02-2024 at 13.51.jpeg
bottom of page