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October 2020
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There is a growing consumer consciousness that consumption based on finite resources is not viable, and for the first time the public are maybe even linking economy to resource use.

UKplc has made great strides in recycling and composting. For many people and organisations it is now time to look further up the chain and improve efficiencies there. More and more organisations are developing waste minimisation and resource efficiency strategies.

There are massive carbon and waste gains to be made by improving manufacturing and procurement efficiency. The real environmental effects of making a product sit just below the surface.

For the average consumer product, 10% of the raw materials used to make a product are found in the final product. That means the chair you are sitting on actually generated a further 90% of waste during primary and secondary manufacture. More alarmingly, the amount of waste generated for a single laptop computer is close to 4000 times its weight.

All the good stuff we throw away represents just a small proportion of the waste taken to make it.

That is why it is so important to get maximum value out of surplus resources by redistributing the resource to someone who can use it.

Redistribution is the 5th R. Reduce Reuse Recycle Repair and Redistribute

To deal with business to business resource redistribution Daniel O’Connor, an ex Local Authority waste and sustainability officer, at Scarborough BC and Durham CC respectively, has developed

WARPit is a bespoke online resource redistribution network. WARPit makes it very easy for individuals in an organisation to share loan or give surplus resources to individuals inside the same organisation in the first instance. If resources are not required within the primary organisation they can be stored or passed onto local national and international partners, including large organisations, schools, charities and SMEs.

Daniel said -This tool is great to redistribute resources in one organisation- but really comes into its own when organisations start reciprocally sharing surplus resources- it means lower costs on a few counts. The tool is great for LSPs.”

WARPit brings the unused into use, saving money, freeing up space, avoiding carbon emissions and landfill.

The obvious environmental benefit of WARPit is that it keeps stuff circulating, maximising use and extending the life span of equipment. The big environmental saving is that we do not have to buy new products- saving waste carbon emissions and of course purchasing costs.

Daniel says -We are seeing savings in the order of hundreds of thousands of pounds- and payback times are measured in days- rather than years!”

He went on -But the collaboration between organisations is the really exciting part. The WARPit network enables resources to be transferred legally and safely from areas where they are not needed to somewhere where they are. That might be in the same organisation- or it could be to an organisation carrying out similar activities locally such as universities, councils, hospitals, SMEs charities or schools.”

-And because of the reciprocal sharing nature of the social network- users feel that they can declutter and give away or loan resources they would usually keep because they know they will be able to get the same resource back later when they need it. Users learn that -what goes around comes around” literally.”

-People embrace this co operative collaboration behaviour to be more efficient but also much more connected with their colleagues within the organisation and with partner organisations. This will have great potential to improve work between organisations”

So the concept of ownership is changing, instead of purchasing new equipment organisations are seeking to use what is already there or share resources. As Mark Levine said in the NewYork Times, sharing is clean, crisp, urbane, post modern. Owning stuff is dull selfish and backward” A bit extreme but it shows where we are going with the concept of ownership.

The effectiveness of the system increases as more join, as there are more resources circulating and the system serves its community better. The co- operative principle is always the same- many hands make light work, and the greater the collective benefit to the community.

-In these times of improved efficiencies organisations must look across the road at their neighbours and look to share resources both physical mental and social.” Said Daniel

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