Westpac’s goal in its refurbishment is to divert as much waste from landfill as possible — not just in the demolition, but by giving unwanted loose office and furniture items a ‘second life’ through donation to community partners, re-use elsewhere within the group and take-back and re-use options from suppliers.
Armed with the upcoming project schedule, detailed inventories of items available and a list of supported community partners, Westpac began the process of matching supply and demand, subsidising the transport of items to willing recipients.
As of September 2017, six of the floors have been refurbished, and 40-plus not-for-profit, charity and community partners have received more than 1400 items, including 600+ chairs, 390 tables, 252 filing cabinets and 60 kitchen appliances. However, with 13 floors to go, the project is far from over.
Now entering its third tranche, Second Life is more refined, but remains incredibly manual, and, at times, challenging from a scheduling perspective.
Word is spreading and many of Westpac’s staff are now recommending potential recipients within their networks to share the opportunity more broadly. Feedback received from recipients has been extremely positive — with a number of community organisations ‘kitted out’ with Westpac furniture.
“Westpac has been a strong supporter of community organisations, particularly through its foundations for many years, and this is another expression of that support,” said Jason Flanagan, integration director on the project. “Our donations of goods provide real benefit to these organisations enabling them to direct their funds to their cause, whilst also creating a fantastic environmental outcome by taking unwanted items out of the waste stream.”