Six social benefits of businesses developing a circular service
Journey into circular service development
The social benefits of developing a circular service
- Increased employment: Auditing, segregating and managing assets is much more labour intensive than handling them, but in protecting their value the cost of additional labour can be recovered and additional value still achieved. When we changed the way that office clearances were delivered, we immediately increased the work resource needed.
- Multi-skilled roles: Repair, refurbishment and reuse of assets creates the needs for a more skilled workforce than in simply managing waste. At our renew centre – where we fulfil the refurbishment of office furniture – we have 15 full-time staff covering a range of highly skilled roles. We are learning and teaching how to remake items and help improve them for future extended use. The team’s expertise increases with investment and becomes an asset.
- Apprenticeships into new dynamic roles: Business operations leading to new roles and circular services can require a different approach regarding skill development. We have created IT apprenticeships focused on the repair, reuse and reselling of IT and AV equipment, enabling it to be securely data-wiped and put back into reuse.
- Significant financial and wellbeing benefits to charities: Donating unneeded resources to those who are in need and have limited budget is a great way of delivering social value. There are an increasing number of online platforms that can facilitate this activity. Our Giving Back Project has enabled facility managers to divert thousands of redundant items from offices into charities, schools and social enterprises. This also helps larger organisations to meet their corporate responsibility targets.
- Reduction in furniture poverty: We have a huge problem of furniture poverty in the UK and those who can least afford it only have punitive financial options for securing furniture they cannot afford. Responsible business delivery can and should support those most vulnerable in our society.
- Attracting a supportive workforce: A highly engaged workforce does not like to see an employer wasting money, assets or resources. Staff and clients can benefit from a greater sense of satisfaction if the services they engage with have stronger social outcomes.
The importance of social value
This blog was taken from my blog for Business in the Community, the Prince’s Responsible Business Network.