Community Update – April 14th

Since my last update, I have met with some major retailers that service both Canada and the US and one iconic Canadian retailer to discuss how our network members can be part of their Zero Waste strategy and fit into their returns policy. There is a growing appreciation that the goods that we need to distribute are among the bulkiest and least compactable going to landfill and that there is a social need for these goods. I can see that we are making progress in this area but big companies mean big bureaucracy and we will need to keep engaging to move towards a trial.

At Furniture Bank in Toronto, we are working with a logistics company to manage the next day and after hours pick up requests at no cost to the charity. The trial is in its fifth week and has increased the flow of furniture by 9.7% without any incremental costs to the charity. It is difficult to measure but the staff tells us the quality of the furniture is actually generally higher than usual. This increase is before any promotion by either party. It will be interesting to see how volume is affected once the promotional campaign begins.

We are in discussions with groups in Barrie, Ontario and Winnipeg Manitoba about how we can work with them to expand or set up operations. This should be an interesting case study in working to get contents removal companies to divert their loads to furniture banks to provide a free flow of goods.

There is a lot of activity around lobbying some of the big corporate councils that are looking at Circular Economy and Zero Waste issues. We want to get them thinking about the savings that our operations generate as well as the social impact that is the central purpose of our activity.

As always, we look forward to hearing from our members and to hear what strategies are working for all of you.


Community Update - April 14th 1

Annalee Sawiak,
CEO, Founder of Furniture Link Inc.