Award for recycling social enterprise
21 April 2008
Green-Works, the pioneering social enterprise and environmental charity ,has been recognised for its contribution to sustainable development with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Green-Works provides a national service managing and recycling redundant office furniture on an industrial scale. Many high profile major firms such as Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, EDF Energy and BT are accredited members and have all donated their old furniture to the company instead of sending it to landfill. Green-Works then either remakes the furniture into new items which are sold on their website, or they sell on recycled office furniture to other not-for-profit organisations, charities and social enterprises at specially discounted rates.
At a time when businesses are increasingly looking at their wider impact it is clear this innovative approach provides companies with the opportunity to improve their environmental performance and cut costs whilst delivering real social benefits at the same time. Colin Crooks, the founder and CEO of Green-Works is proud that the company has been recognised at the highest level.
He said: ‘Since 2000 we have diverted more than 60,000 tonnes of redundant office furniture away from landfill and redirected second hand equipment to over 5,000 organisations including schools, charities and small businesses, saving them around £2.5 million in the process. This in itself marks Green-Works’ success but it is fantastic that this achievement has been recognised and this award will provide us with a platform to continue our work not only in the UK but across the globe. We are proud of the company’s development during the last eight years and this prestigious award pays tribute not only to our own work but to the support of our members and partners who have been invaluable to our success.’
The Green-Works service is provided through a growing network of delivery partners, each established charities and social enterprises in their own right, that work to support their local communities and tackle some of the most intractable issues facing society. Green-Works also continues to participate in a variety of employment and training programmes and in the process has created more than 80 jobs for marginalised people across the country. Green- Works’ impact also extends beyond Britain as large quantities of furniture have been donated overseas to some of the most deprived areas of the globe.
Crooks believes Green-Works shows that businesses can be both successful and socially responsible and hopes that their royal recognition will inspire others to act: ‘Green-Works is proving that being green works. Whether it is from a business perspective or a social one, the company is making a difference through every aspect of its operation. This award recognises that successful business practice and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive and we hope it will encourage traditional businesses to recognise the contribution that they can make to society.’
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