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green office

Thinking Green

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

While we’re all thinking green, let’s discuss greening your office.  Keep reading to learn the benefits of buying used furniture:


When you buy used office furniture:

  • Furniture is being diverted out of the solid waste stream and back into the market so it can be used again
  • There are fewer raw materials used; Remanufacturing conserves energy and natural resources
  • You are recycling, which extends the lives of resources already in circulation such as wood, aluminum, steel, plastics, and fiber
  • You are keeping metals out of the remelting process, which conserves labor and manufacturing energy
  • You are saving up to 60 percent off the cost of new furniture, which means conservation and waste reduction is an important corporate goal

If your office isn’t already green, we hope you plan on making it happen soon! Please contact us with any questions you may have.


Furniture Recycling Facts vs. Myths


Conserving Natural Resources:

Because fewer raw materials are used, remanufacturing conserves energy and natural resources.  Office furniture recycling extends the lives of resources already in circulation such as wood, aluminum, steel, plastics and fiber, using them over and over to the fullest extent possible.  Industry experts estimate that for each pound of natural resources used in remanufacturing, five to nine pounds of original material are conserved.

Solid Waste Stream Reduction:

By recycling office furniture, the products as well as the natural resources are diverted from the solid waste stream.  The EPA has estimated that approximately 3 million tons of office furniture and furnishings are discarded each year.  For example, fabrics in panel systems tend to wear out and the colors become outdated.  By remanufacturing, the fabrics can be replaced and the office furniture returned to the market for a second life.  Recycling results in fewer products filling up limited landfill space.  It is estimated that remanufacturing just one cubicle saves more than 1000 pounds of landfill waste.  Remanufacturing just 40 cubicles diverts one tractor-trailer load of furniture from a landfill.

Energy Conservation:

Recycling office furniture conserves manufacturing energy.  The amount of energy required to alter an existing product during remanufacturing is 85 to 95 percent less than that required to manufacture a new product.  And, since much of the product has already been manufactured, remanufacturing saves the enormous amounts of energy required for production, especially when metals are kept out of the resmelting process.

Furniture Recycling: Common Myths and Misconceptions

Don’t let concerns about product quality or costs keep you from considering recycled and remanufactured furniture as an option.  Here are some common misconceptions and the facts you need to make an informed decision.

MYTH: Recycled products are inferior in quality.

Since remanufacturing restores worn furniture to “like new” condition, recycled office furniture is equal to new furniture in quality and reliability.  Additionally, instead of a pre-determined selection of OEM finishes, the finish options are available, including many made from 100% recycled content, enable you and the designer complete freedom.

MYTH: Recycled products cost more.

Prices of recycled office furniture typically range from 30 to 70 percent less than new furniture!  The conservation of energy and natural resources means that office furniture can be remanufactured for less than it costs to build new product.  This savings is passed along to the consumer.

MYTH: Remanufacturing is not recycling.

Actually, remanufacturing is the ultimate form of recycling!  Remanufacturing conserves natural resources, reduces the amount of product sent to the landfill, and saves manufacturing energy while adding value to the post-consumer product.  Remanufactured office furniture is made to function and look like a new product – at a lower cost!

With environmental goals and “going green” becoming an ever-increasing priority in today’s society, purchasing recycled office furniture for your business can be a very good step in the right direction. Not only does it help companies in becoming more eco-friendly, it will also save money in the long run, while still maintaining the high quality look one always wants for their business.

See the article here


Office Furniture Buyer’s Checklist – ✔✔✔

Check-list-007Here are a few helpful hints from The Office Furniture Recyclers Forum to make sure you’re getting the best office furniture value for your company:

✔ – Ask Questions
What are their quality standards?
Can they meet your job specifications? (timeframe, budget, job size, & any special requirements)
Is there a warranty?

✔ – Take a Tour
Visit their facility and see where the work will be done.
Ask to see what inventory they have in stock.
Ask to see finished products and visit a recently installed project.

✔ – Check References
How happy are past customers with both the products and services
Would they select this vendor again?

✔Other Factors to Consider
Do they use clone or Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) parts?
How do they manage their inventory?
Do they do the work in-house or is it out-sourced?
Does the support staff seem professional and easy to work with?
Is the company financially stable?
Are they members of their industry trade association, the Office Furniture Recyclers Forum?

✔ Before Committing
Follow sound business practices—make sure all pricing, warranties, job
specifications and delivery dates are in writing.



The Office Furniture Recyclers Forum. Recycled Office Furniture: Good for the Environment, Good for Your Business. Greenbiz.com. Retrieved from http://www.greenbiz.com/sites/default/files/document/O16F3340.pdf

5 Practical Father’s Day Gift Ideas

business-card-holder-for-dadOne of the hardest holidays to shop for is coming up on June 16th- Father’s Day. Who ever knows what to get for dad? (Uh, another tool kit?) This year, try stepping outside of the box and giving him something he’ll appreciate much more than a tie to add to his overflowing stash. Below, you’ll find a few ideas that beat store-bought gifts by a longshot. Here at Office Furniture Outlet, we’re all about reusing and recycling, so of course we support the notion of taking old items and giving them a new life.  Make it a fun family event and give your special guy a great, practical gift. Let us know if any of these were helpful!

1. Make him a business card holder out of an Altoids tin: click here to see how

2. A pillow out of old shirts: click here to see how

3. An office supply holder: click here to see how

4. A “stache” candy jar: click here to see how

5. DIY checker board: click here to see how


5 Simple Steps to Creating a Zero-Waste Office

1. Schedule a waste audit or assessment.
“Entrepreneurs don’t have time to dig through the garbage and determine what’s in there,” Coalson says. “They probably don’t realize, however, that nonprofits and government agencies will come to your workplace and assess your waste stream for you.”

An audit will provide a detailed analysis of what’s being thrown away during a given time period, measuring types of discards as well as recycling efforts. Coalson suggests contacting city offices, local environmental nonprofits or area colleges that have environmental studies programs. He also says some waste haulers offer audit services.

2. Understand your waste stream.
Once you have assessed your waste, evaluate the results. “This goes beyond just saying we recycle this much and we throw away this much,” says Coalson. “Instead, figure out where and why waste is generated in the first place.”

Coalson says anything that ends up in your waste stream is a signal of inefficiency. “You might discover your office is collectively throwing away five copies of same newspaper every day,” he says. “Even if you are recycling the newspapers, it’s a financial drain and it’s going out the backdoor without any real benefit.”

3. Determine what you can eliminate.
Coalson says once you measure and understand your waste stream, you have the whole picture. “Talk to your team about what is going into garbage cans that can be recycled or composted,” he says.

“Also talk about what is going into the recycling bin that can be eliminated altogether.” He urges people to think of the bigger picture behind waste saying, “If you’re wasting paper, you’re also wasting the time and money that goes into the creation of those materials. Waste begets waste.”

4. Take action.
Coalson says the next step is to set targets for eliminating waste. For example, a small office might try to cut its weekly trash in half while increasing its recycling efforts by a third.

He also suggests setting up systems that redefine processes. Share files electronically instead of printing to distribute. Set printers to the duplex setting, automatically printing on both sides of the paper. And use a free service such as Catalog Choice to remove your business from lists to avoid unwanted mail.

5. Share your success.
Coalson says offering tangible statements about your business’s green practices can foster better relationships with clients. “It demonstrates a culture of efficiency and that can attract business,” he says. “There are no downsides to working toward zero waste. When’s the last time you heard someone say they were pro-waste?”

Read the article: 5 Simple Steps to Creating a Zero-Waste Office | Entrepreneur.com.

The Link Between Plants & Productivity


According to the article by Caroline Webber, studies have shown that the environment we work in has a huge impact on how we think, act, and feel. Sure, painting the office green will boost moods, but we could take it a step further than that.  A study was done in which bees (whose brains have very similar molecular structures to humans) were exposed to the smell of recently cut grass. Within a few minutes, the behavior of the bees changed from agressive to calm.  So what does this mean for you? 

Plants not only improve air quality, they improve your well-being.  According to an article posted by Leading Company, when you increase the amount of greenery, the complaints about things such as being too cold or having headaches decrease.  Productivity is said to increase by at least 12% when people have plants in the room that they are working in.  Is this enough to make you want to buy more plants?

For more details, click on the following links:

Click here for full article

Click here for full article


We Offer Open Plan Workstations

Office Furniture Outlet offers workstations by Open Plan Systems.  They are a leading distributor of seating, case goods, and filing systems, and are also the largest remanufacturer of Herman Miller AO2 cubicles, with dealers carrying their product lines across the country.  Remanufactured Herman Miller cubicles are a high-quality, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly option for modular furniture.  Cubicles receive new fabric, top caps, and plastic bases on panels, connectors and components are sanded, pre washed, painted and cured, work surfaces and pedestals are new, and flipper doors are covered with new fabric.  You can choose from our 5 standard paint finishes, 2 base colors, 185 fabrics, and 7 work surface finishes.

To arrange a free consultation, email contact@ofova.com
or call us at (757) 855-2800


Why Buy Used Office Furniture?


Top 5 Reasons to Buy Used:

  1. Environmentally Friendly: Office furniture recycling extends the lives of resources already in circulation such as wood, aluminum, steel, plastics, and fiber by using them to the fullest extent possible. Recycling also conserves labor and manufacturing energy, especially when metals are kept out of the smelting process.
  2. Cost Benefit:  If you buy used, you are saving up to 60% off the cost of new furniture. This is a great way to promote waste reduction.
  3. Design Benefits: With Office Furniture Outlet, you get complete creative freedom. There’s no pre-determined selection of fabrics, colors, or finishes.
  4. Usefulness: Instead of going into a landfill, the furniture is put back on the market. Used office furniture can be considered refurbished, remanufactured, recycled- all of which mean being used again.
  5. Quality: Older furniture is often made with better quality than newer furniture is, and only furniture with good quality gets resold.  The fact that it is still in tact proves that it can stand the test of time.

Are these reasons enough for you to make the switch to buying used furniture? If so:

Visit our website: www.OFOVA.com
Call us: (757) 855-2800
Stop by our showroom: 1124-B Kingwood Ave. Norfolk, VA 23502

Wood and Wood Products Magazine – August 2012 : National Office Furniture ‘LEEDS’ in Sustainability

National Office Furniture ‘LEEDS’ in Sustainability
Karen M. Koenig

The casegoods and table manufacturer recently became Indiana’s first LEED-certified office furniture plant.

Sustainability is a culture at National Office Furniture. Not only is the contract furniture manufacturer registered with an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, certified under the BIFMA level® standard for product sustainability, as well as Chain-of-Custody certified under the Forest Stewardship Council, but its casegoods and table manufacturing facility in Santa Claus, IN, was recently named Indiana’s first LEED®-certified office furniture plant.

Headquartered in Jasper, IN, National Office Furniture is a brand unit of Kimball International Inc. The Santa Claus location is the seventh National Office Furniture facility to earn a LEED green building rating. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

According to Mendy Claridge, director of Sustainability, LEED AP ID+C, the company’s environmental commitment is part of its corporate framework. It includes: Product Stewardship, Environmental Preservation, Green Building Development, Regulatory Compliance, Social Accountability and Economic Responsibility. “Within the Green Building Development focus, we have committed to adhering to LEED standards throughout our facility network including new construction, major renovations and existing buildings. As the Santa Claus facility progressed in its sustainability performance, we were ready to take the next step and apply for a LEEDCertification. Our continuous improvement culture and having a strategy in place that has corporate responsibility woven throughout the initiatives led us to pursuing implementations at Santa Claus that would help us achieve a LEED building rating,” she says.

After an 18-month period during which National’s Santa Claus plant implemented new processes, Claridge now says, “Santa Claus is a near-zero waste facility as it recycles or reuses 97.2 percent of its waste.” As an example, she cites more than 5.5 million pounds of materials recycled by the facility in 2011, resulting in a landfill cost avoidance of $330,000; National Office Furniture as a whole last year recycled more than 13.5 million pounds of material — saving the company more than $810,000 through landfill cost avoidance.

Sustainable Manufacturing

National’s long-term environmental commitment also is evident throughout its manufacturing process. The company uses a Design for the Environment approach including life-cycle assessments, Claridge says. It has been ISO 14001 and FSC Chain-of-Custody certified since 2008, and BIFMA level certified since 2009.

Approximately 6,500 SKUs are produced at the Santa Claus facility. Casegoods account for 80 to 85 percent of product sales, with tables the remaining 15 to 20 percent; there is a three-week lead time to ship. Both laminated and veneered products are produced at the plant, which has 359 employees; National employs approximately 1,200 people company-wide.

Inside the 342,320-square-foot Santa Claus facility, laminated panels are cutto- size on a CNC panel saw, which has the capability for cutting several stacked sheets at a time. The company uses CNC machining centers for horizontal and ver tical routing, boring and drilling applications, with edgebanders and foilers in the plant for applying edge treatments.

Fasteners, drawer slides and other hardware used in the laminated casegoods are installed in the assembly area. Doors and drawers are added as needed, and a final quality control check is performed prior to being packed in a fan-fold box and shipped.

It is a similar process for manufacturing veneered components. Various sizes, thicknesses and species of veneered panels are shipped to the facility and cutto- size on the panel saw, which has the capability to cut multiple parts from one panel. Edge treatments are applied and CNC machining centers are used for routing, drilling and other processes; National has specific machines for horizontal and vertical processing.

Continue reading Wood and Wood Products Magazine – August 2012 : National Office Furniture ‘LEEDS’ in Sustainability