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ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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Environment secretary Margaret Beckett has praised the work of ...
Environment secretary Margaret Beckett has praised the work of

Green-Works, a unique social and environmental project which has

revolutionized the re-distribution of office furniture waste streams.

In the last year, Green-Works has diverted more than 1,500 tonnes of

furniture from landfill, through the re-use and recycling of

redundant office furniture.

Speaking at a visit today to the not-for-profit venture's Silvertown

Warehouse Mrs Beckett said:

'Green-Works shows how integrated thinking and working together can

result in genuine progress towards achieving sustainable development.

These are small but essential parts of the bigger picture to which we

all aspire.

'Green-works does not use virgin materials or high levels of energy

in production. Instead it gives a new lease of life to furniture and

equipment that would otherwise be discarded. This is important in

helping to divert waste from landfill.

'Green-Works also helps the community by providing employment often

for people who have had difficulty in finding work. When the company

has done its work and the furniture and equipment from large offices,

has been refurbished, it is sold to schools, the voluntary sector and

community groups at good value prices.

'This kind of project makes a practical difference to people's lives

and the environment and is very much in the spirit of principles and

actions that were signed up to at the World Summit on Sustainable

Development in Johannesburg last year.

'It is excellent to see Green-Works is thriving and I hope that it,

and businesses like it around the country, achieve more success in

the future. With the forthcoming launch of the government's

Sustainable Consumption and Production Strategy comes a new push for

projects like this to be emulated elsewhere, benefiting the

environment and society as a whole.

'It is only with the combined efforts of national and local

government busin esses and the community, that the goal of sustainable

development can be achieved.'

NOTES:

1. Green-Works was set up in 2000 and run by the East End charity

First Fruit. On a membership basis surplus office furniture is

collected from big businesses and re-distributed to charities,

schools, community groups, hospitals and start-ups at low cost.

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