Real Leaders

Green Standards

Ranking: 58

Industry: Environmental Services

Mission: Sustainably manages the resale, recycling, and donation of corporate office furniture and equipment. They aim to help corporations and organizations recover value, benefit communities, and divert waste. Have thus far diverted over 73,000 tons of furniture, offsetting more than 183,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. 

What 3 words best describe your company culture?

People, Planet, Profit

What quote best exemplifies your company?

“Every step towards a circular economy counts. To achieve zero-waste, to extract the full value out of our products at their end-of-life, we need to see waste as the dynamic opportunity it is.” — Richard Beaumont, CEO of Green Standards Ltd.

How is your product or service having a positive social and/or environmental impact?

Background: Inspired by the circular economy, Green Standards (GSL) was founded in 2009 to solve the growing problem of office furniture waste. Green Standards has developed an industry-leading, managed program of office furniture donation, resale, and recycling, making it simple and cost-effective to clear out workspaces and enable our clients to do more good. To date, Green Standards has diverted 70,000+ tons of workplace furniture and equipment from landfill (a 98.6% diversion rate) and generated over $30M of in-kind donations to 5,000+ non-profits and communities across North America.

Now working with 22 of the Fortune100 companies, Green Standards has managed workplace decommission efforts on several of the largest corporate real estate portfolio modernizations/refreshes in history – often to the order of millions of sqft and tens of thousands of employees’ worth of furniture and equipment.

Our unique service gives corporations the ability to turn a conventionally wasteful process into something that actually drives value for their business, by helping them achieve their various CSR reporting mandates.

Initiative: By combining donation, resale, and recycling strategies with turnkey project management, Green Standards maximizes asset recovery, streamlines community donation, and virtually eliminates waste on corporate projects. It’s this innovative approach that generated value for businesses, local communities and the environment.

As pioneers of sustainable workplace decommissioning, GSL manages more than 10M sqft of projects annually and has forced would-be competitors to evolve their service offerings to catch up. Green Standards’ leadership and influence have led to a notable shift in the language and requirements that Fortune-sized companies use when preparing their workplace decom RFPs; “conventional disposal” is simply no longer the status quo – our solution is.

What is your company’s vision for the future?

Where conventional solutions like liquidation produce an alarming amount of waste, we generate value for businesses, local communities, and the environment, demonstrating industry innovation, leadership and social responsibility through our program. When we started, this was a service that people hadn’t even conceived of as an option. Fast-forward ten years, and we’re increasingly seeing Fortune-sized clients expecting a service like ours that can be employed across their portfolio. This is a testament to changing times, but also to how our work has influenced the industry. For many organizations, their real estate footprint is the largest component of their environmental impact. EPA estimates that 8.5M tons of FF&E are sent to landfill each year in the US alone, costing Americans up to $750M spent annually on landfill tipping fees. We discovered a niche and need within an industry and are set out to disrupt the current landscape keeping sustainability at the forefront. In the next 3-5 years we’ll be expanding to provide our services overseas in Europe, South America, and Asia as we have found our client partners are looking for a global solution to their furniture waste.

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  • Real Leaders is the world's first sustainable business & leadership magazine, motivating people to #InspireTheFuture. Available at major newsstands and distributed to 30,000 CEOs in 130 countries, who control $9 trillion in spending. The company is a certified B Corporation, and signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - subscribing to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and performance.

About The Author

Real Leaders

Real Leaders

Real Leaders is the world's first sustainable business & leadership magazine, motivating people to #InspireTheFuture. Available at major newsstands and distributed to 30,000 CEOs in 130 countries, who control $9 trillion in spending. The company is a certified B Corporation, and signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - subscribing to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and performance.
  • Real Leaders is the world's first sustainable business & leadership magazine, motivating people to #InspireTheFuture. Available at major newsstands and distributed to 30,000 CEOs in 130 countries, who control $9 trillion in spending. The company is a certified B Corporation, and signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - subscribing to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and performance.

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