On the Ground

Protecting the Environment

‘It’s critical for businesses to rethink their approach to sustainability in workplaces’

COFF includes all forms of interior furniture and fittings commonly comprising the commercial office environment – in addition to office chairs and desks; this includes partitioning, carpets, kitchen fit-out and Information Communications Technology (ICT: computers, printers etc).

Office furniture and fittings may impact negatively on the environment throughout their lifecycle. The University of Michigan, Centre for Sustainable Systems has identified that office furniture and fittings impact the environment through five phases of its lifecycle:

Raw material mining/extraction and material processing – Initial production of the materials used in construction (steel, aluminium, plastics etc)
Manufacture of production materials – Manufacture of steel tubing, fabrics, wooden panels and plastics
Fabrication – Energy used in fabricating products associated generation of waste
Use – Energy use associate with use of COFF in the workplace
End of life – Low rates of recycling leading to land-fill use.

Low rates of recycling occur due to the costs associated with removal and disassembly, the difficulties involved in separating conjoined material types and corporate desire for new fit-out over the re-use of existing furniture and fittings. This leads to corporate requirements for new furniture and fittings thus creating a repeating cycle of environmental impact including the generation of significant landfill.

Improving the lives of people in developing countries

Developing countries seldom have the resources to equip public sector office environments with modern COFF. In hospitals, schools and emergency services offices productivity is limited and potential efficiencies available through modern office environments is not able to be leveraged thereby limiting the service able to be provided to the community.

High quality and fully serviceable office furniture and fittings:

Improves employee interaction and engagement
Increases the efficiency of service delivery
Improves security and personal privacy through effective document storage
Reduces workplace health and safety impacts.

Enhanced work environments in the public sector (and in non-government organisations) increases efficiency and effectiveness thus allowing the employees to better serve their communities.

This allows (for example):

Teachers to become more effective
Hospitals to manage workflows and treat patients more efficiently
Emergency services to better serve and protect their communities.

The provision of high quality recycled office furniture and fittings through the Heilala process also allows for the often limited government revenues in developing countries to be directed to areas of community importance rather than to the provision of such equipment to their public employees.

Working with Partners

Heilala has leading expertise identifying, acquiring, disassembling relevant products and facilitating its transport and reassembly.

Heilala recognises that government and non-government organisations operating in the international development environment have significant understanding of the needs of civil society and the capacity to engage them in the Heilala process.

Heilala will partner with government and non-government agencies to:

Identify key areas of need
Support the transport and reassembly of products
Evaluate outcomes in recipient organisations, and
Identify and implement lessons to maximise the positive impact of the Heilala process

Our recent projects in the Media

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