The convenient truth behind the financial benefits of sustainability

January 29th, 2015 by TRT Blog

In a previous post we shared our views on trends and drivers. Sustainable initiatives benefit our environment by ensuring it remains healthy, productive and long-lived. In the world of business achieving financial sustainability delivers a similarly positive impact on professional stability, commercial growth and business success.

A recent survey carried out by the Carbon Trust revealed that many CFOs drastically underestimate the returns of energy efficiency investments by around half their actual value, while employees generally lack understanding of sustainable technologies and services available. That’s why it is vital that businesses which buy into sustainable practices need to demonstrate the resulting cost savings to employees, customers and key stakeholders.

Since our inception in 1977, the team here at The Refinishing Touch has provided and evangelized cost-effective, environmentally safe on-site refinishing, reupholstering and remodeling services. We work with each of our clients to help them calculate and understand the financial, environmental and business results of their projects. In our 37 years we have helped thousands of businesses and institutions to achieve and demonstrate returns on investment through custom solutions that save up to 80 percent over replacement furniture assets.

Sustainability and efficiency are now mainstays of credible long-term commercial planning and operational decision making for every business. Not only is the positive environmental impact unquestionable, the potential financial benefits are significant, measurable and invaluable.

For more information on the financial, environmental and business results that furniture asset management could have on your business, please email marketing@therefinishingtouch.com.

 

 

 

, , , , , ,

Take Our Survey

January 27th, 2015 by admin

Which level of government do you believe should be most responsible for sustainability initiatives?

a. Local government
b. State government
c. Federal government

Sustainability and saving costs: Trends, drivers or both?

January 27th, 2015 by TRT Blog

Sustainability is back in style with a bang for 2015. This is the first of five megatrends from the Ethical Corporation, which is predicting big shifts as the year unfolds.

It’s an interesting statement for us at The Refinishing Touch. We’ve spent almost four decades working with businesses and organizations in hospitality, government and education. We work with these institutions to share our expertise and insight to enable them to apply furniture asset management best practices.

There are a number of benefits to business longevity. For example, there are now very few situations we face that we cannot formulate a response to: how to approach a seemingly challenging project; how to source an elusive element for a refurbishment or refinishing project; working to challenging deadlines. We are experts in our field, having completed thousands of projects for more than 22,000 public and private organizations.

Decades of experience also provide us with the perspective to comment first-hand on the ‘trends’ we have seen in our market. We believe that sustainability has always been a trend. Furniture asset management’s best practices, including refinishing, remanufacturing, and reupholstering, extend resources, reduce carbon footprints and emissions, minimize landfill and protect the environment.

Few people would argue against sustainability as a good thing. No good-natured CEO, director or facility manager wants to create a business that is intentionally destructive to the environment. But leading with sustainability as a ‘trend’ for a market can be challenging for organizations and businesses that are under too many fiscal restraints to simply lead with the fact that they would like to be sustainable.

Meanwhile we see the protection and re-use of assets for financial benefit as a consistent driver of projects across each of our industries and across the decades. Sustainability and fiscal responsibility complement each other. This is certainly true in furniture asset management. We frequently reduce budget spend by 80 percent and carbon emission by 90 percent.

We know that organizations and businesses want to be sustainable. But every hotel, government institution and college needs to spend wisely to protect its business. Furniture asset management enables them to protect their business and the environment. That’s no trend – just a fact.

For more information on the financial, environmental and business results that furniture asset management could have on your business, please email marketing@therefinishingtouch.com.

, , , , , , ,

Deloitte’s ‘Hospitality 2015’: Let’s put sustainability and finance on an equal footing

January 22nd, 2015 by TRT Blog

Deloitte’s Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure group has published a five-year follow-up to its ‘Hospitality 2010’ report. ‘Hospitality 2015’ is a detailed and interesting review of many facets of this fast-moving industry. It includes insights into: new patterns of consumer behaviour; the increasing influence of the Baby Boomer generation; changing disposal income in India and China; the demand for ‘lifestyle’ brands; the challenges of high staff turnover; and the increasing impact of consumer online access.

The Refinishing Touch has saved its clients, on average, 80 percent in furniture costs.However we were left a little disappointed that such a thorough report would cover sustainability in so much detail without establishing a link between best practice green initiatives and any immediate financial benefits. During more than 36 years of working with the hospitality industry, we have consistently found that sustainable practices, such as furniture asset management, preserves more than the environment; they also save the bottom line, protecting up to eighty percent of budget spend.

Sustainability is undoubtedly important in its own right, and a demonstrable commitment to decreasing the environmental impact of hospitality – an asset-heavy industry with a large ecological impact. But in order to effectively drive change while communicating the benefits in an industry under constant pressure to deliver shareholder value, maximize budget spend and demonstrate solid fiscal sense, it is also vital to link sustainability to positive financial impact.

The word ‘sustainability’ is used in Deloitte’s report more than 80 times. The word ‘financial’ is used fewer than 15 times. As industry experts in furniture asset management, we find this surprising, even before considering Deloitte’s position as one of the world’s largest professional services firms delivering corporate financial advice. Hoteliers, general managers, brand owners and facility managers all want to prove their commitment to sustainability in a resource-intensive industry, but they need to do this under enormous financial pressures.

We’ve approached Deloitte’s Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure group for its thoughts on how sustainable and financial initiatives might be linked more clearly to help drive change in the hospitality industry. We’ll be sure to share any response with you.

Want to hear more about the positive sustainable and financial results we’ve delivered to hotel brands including Hilton, IHG, Starwood and Marriott? Then please contact us: marketing@therefinishingtouch.com.

, , , , , , , , ,

Take Our Survey

January 21st, 2015 by admin

Which level of government do you believe is the most sustainable?

a. Local government
b. State government
c. Federal government

Counting the benefits of furniture recycling

January 20th, 2015 by TRT Blog

Last week, Canada’s ‘Daily Commercial News’ wrote about the need for asset recycling to be a core practice for public organizations. This followed the publication of a report by RCCAO about asset use in Ontario titled: ‘Building new infrastructure on the foundation of existing public assets‘.

Travel green this holiday season with our tipsWhether you are talking about furniture assets in hotel rooms, dorm rooms, military barracks or government administration buildings, there is a strong and undeniable argument for asset recycling.

“Asset recycling is a concept that basically speaks to leveraging the existing investments that taxpayers have in public assets. It tries to find a way to make them perform better and drive more value from that past investment,” explains Michael Fenn.

And that’s exactly what it is. Asset recycling is not just about protecting existing assets; it’s about leveraging existing assets. It offers numerous benefits, although all too often its supporters claim a single one. So we thought we would share the multiple benefits we see day-in, day-out from asset management best practices:

It’s sustainable, and adds to ‘green’ credentials. In the four decades that we’ve been advising and delivering furniture asset management best practices, the need for government organizations and commercial businesses to demonstrate sustainability and to share their green credentials has certainly grown. Asset management is an undeniably sustainable practice: it slashes carbon emissions, reduces landfill waste and decreases consumption of new resources.

It drives stakeholder value. As existing assets are leveraged through recycling, re-use or remanufacturing, more value is delivered to stakeholders. This includes shareholders, taxpayers, citizens, travelers or students.

Budgets are saved. Government organizations and higher education are under budget pressure. Hotels are constantly looking for ways to reduce spend while maintaining standards. Across the board businesses and institutions need to protect the bottom line. We repeatedly see up to eighty percent of budgets saved through furniture asset management best practices.

Budgets can be re-allocated. This applies to each industry that we work with, including government, education and hospitality. The stress of prioritizing tight budgets is a headache for any general, facility or resources manager. Being able to save budget and spend it in areas that deliver greater returns, competitive differentiators and benefits to citizens, users or customers, is a sound business decision.

Want to find out more about the returns your organization could reap from furniture asset management? Then please contact us today: marketing@therefinishingtouch.com.

, , , , , , , ,

Furniture asset management in higher education: Learning the benefits

January 15th, 2015 by TRT Blog

Last week our president and founder Mario Insenga was interviewed by University Business magazine’s Chuck Green for an upcoming piece about furniture asset management.

Of the 22,000-plus organizations we’ve worked with in hospitality, government and education, a significant percentage of them are universities and higher education organizations. We work in close proximity to these institutions to advise them and partner with them as experts in furniture asset management, so Mario was more than happy to speak to Chuck to share his insight and experience.

Dollar growth chartThe conversation ranged from details of similarities and differences between public and private educational institutions, to how higher education institutions purchase assets, and the ongoing and introduction of best furniture asset management practices.  Mario offered some core advice, gained over the four decades in which we have worked in education, about how campus facilities managers can gain visibility and start a furniture asset management program. He also discussed the need for a continuous furniture asset management plan, and how to choose the right materials and processes. We’ll be sure to share the article once it’s published.

One angle discussed was the relation between budgets and attitudes to campus furniture. We blogged earlier this week about the dual-benefits of sustainability and about how protecting the planet is not mutually exclusive with protecting budgets. Everyone talks about the benefits of being sustainable but it’s not immediately linked to sensible fiscal behavior, and we think it should be.

We’ve seen these dual benefits over four decades, which includes a number of long-term relationships with our education clients, as well as with those in government and hospitality.

For example, we have been working with the team at Georgetown University for 15 years. In our most recent project with Georgetown, the project team initially reviewed estimates for new furniture that were an astonishing 187% more costly than refinishing, and the final project was completed at 55% lower than the allocated budget.

Another college customer, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, not only ran a furniture asset management project that saved a calculated 268 tons of carbon emissions but also protected its budget by 77.4% percent, by deciding not to spend almost $659,000 on new furniture. Instead, understanding the principles and benefits of furniture asset management reduced the spend to less than $150,000 – and was in line with college principles of sustainability, recycling and scalability in asset purchasing.

When it comes to facility updates and to maintaining campuses, sustainability and time to completion are major factors in higher education, but cost remains an undeniable factor. Furniture asset management checks each of these boxes.

We’ll leave the final word to Jerry Duncanson, senior facility planner at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, who said: “I would certainly recommend The Refinishing Touch to any institution embarking on a similar project to ours.”  Want to find out more?  Then contact us at sales@therefinishingtouch.com.

, , , , , , , ,

Furniture asset management: Saving the planet and saving your budget

January 13th, 2015 by TRT Blog

Each and every day, the team here at The Refinishing Touch is involved in sustainable initiatives across government, education and hospitality. We are at the leading edge of sustainable renovations, helping decision makers and facilities managers understand how to implement furniture asset management and understand best practices to fully realize its benefits.

Green buildingThere are many benefits of furniture asset management to discuss but the conversation frequently turns straight to the undeniable environmental benefits. These include the reduction in unnecessary landfill waste and disposal of old furniture, the ability to preserve existing furniture assets, and the fact that new furniture does not need to be built, bought or shipped. Carbon dioxide emissions are slashed by a factor of a hundred.

The green benefits are indisputable, and across each of our industries, are being recognized, shared and encouraged by ‘users’ – in education students want to commit to colleges and campuses that demonstrate their commitment to sustainability; travelers want to stay with hotels that are staying on course with green initiatives; and government at all levels wants to show that it’s governing its own emissions, waste and protecting our shared resources.

While it’s about going green, furniture asset management is also about the bottom line. One of the strongest facts about furniture asset management is that it provides substantial benefits to spend levels and to protecting budgets.

Our customers know this. Time and time again we have demonstrated up to 80% of budget spend saved by implementing furniture asset management. Our customers understand that saving the planet and saving budget are not mutually exclusive.

In each of our industries we’re seeing going green and cost considerations being brought together. For example, IHG, one of the hotel brands that we have worked a great deal with, shares that one of its key objectives for its ‘Green Engage’ sustainability system and program is to work with its hotels: “to help them reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs.”  As we say, and we see each and every day, being green is a responsibility in terms of the environment, but it is also a strong business decision that protects existing investment and enables the saving and reallocation of budgets.

If you’d like to calculate how fiscally responsible furniture asset management would be for your organization, please email us at sales@therefinishingtouch.com.

, , , , , ,

Education’s Decade of Sustainable Development: How Green Was It?

January 9th, 2015 by TRT Blog

A recent article by Goolam Mohamedbhai in Inside Higher Ed is a reminder that the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), led by the United Nations and implemented by UNESCO, has come to a close. The global initiative encouraged, supported and recognized the role of education in promoting sustainable development

The movement involved numerous influential organizations, initiatives and networks including the International Association of Universities (IAU), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES). They combined their efforts to educate and implement truly sustainable development in colleges and universities, defining it as: “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations”.

As 2015 marks the end of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, what has changed over the last ten years?

First, across the globe there has been a groundswell as sustainability is addressed on campuses. Global communities of higher education institutions have emerged to share experiences and work together towards sustainable development and to focus on the role education plays in sustainable development and its future. At The Refinishing Touch we have seen this first-hand. We’ve worked for almost four decades with universities and higher education institutions and each decade we see a greater commitment to sustainable practices such as furniture asset management, and see a greater emphasis on sustainability in curricula as well as its evidence across campus.

Worldwide, 370 universities came together, comprising the Global Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES) network, committed to implementing environmental practices into their curricula. This may not sound like a huge number to those unfamiliar with higher education institutions, but it is not easy to instill change in the industry. Even UNESCO’s final report on the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development reports these problems: difficulty within institutions to coordinate and implement change; the need for staff development and authorization to enable sustainable development transformation; and challenges around disciplinary boundaries. Change is coming but at a pace dictated by the education industry.

There have been new global networks established by higher education institutions to showcase and share their sustainable development experience and best practices. These networks include ARIUSA, ProsPER.Net, and the COPERNICUS Alliance. Sharing best practices, perspectives and experience is vital when considering new sustainability-based initiatives in education – again, we know this from more than 35 years of experience.

What will 2015 bring? The United Nations is currently reviewing the next stage of the sustainability agenda for education and it is expected to establish 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Once these goals are published we will share our thoughts on them with you. In the meantime, to learn more about DESD please visit its website here. To learn more about our work with colleges and universities, please get in touch with our team of experts via sales@therefinishingtouch.com.

A recent article by Goolam Mohamedbhai in Inside Higher Ed is a reminder that the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), led by the United Nations and implemented by UNESCO, has come to a close. The global initiative encouraged, supported and recognized the role of education in promoting sustainable development.

The movement involved numerous influential organizations, initiatives and networks including the International Association of Universities (IAU), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES). They combined their efforts to educate and implement truly sustainable development in colleges and universities, defining it as: “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations”.

As 2015 marks the end of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, what has changed over the last ten years?

First, across the globe there has been a groundswell as sustainability is addressed on campuses. Global communities of higher education institutions have emerged to share experiences and work together towards sustainable development and to focus on the role education plays in sustainable development and its future. At The Refinishing Touch we have seen this first-hand. We’ve worked for almost four decades with universities and higher education institutions and each decade we see a greater commitment to sustainable practices such as furniture asset management, and see a greater emphasis on sustainability in curricula as well as its evidence across campus.

Worldwide, 370 universities came together, comprising the Global Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES) network, committed to implementing environmental practices into their curricula. This may not sound like a huge number to those unfamiliar with higher education institutions, but it is not easy to instill change in the industry. Even UNESCO’s final report on the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development reports these problems: difficulty within institutions to coordinate and implement change; the need for staff development and authorization to enable sustainable development transformation; and challenges around disciplinary boundaries. Change is coming but at a pace dictated by the education industry.

There have been new global networks established by higher education institutions to showcase and share their sustainable development experience and best practices. These networks include ARIUSA, ProsPER.Net, and the COPERNICUS Alliance. Sharing best practices, perspectives and experience is vital when considering new sustainability-based initiatives in education – again, we know this from more than 35 years of experience.

What will 2015 bring? The United Nations is currently reviewing the next stage of the sustainability agenda for education and it is expected to establish 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Once these goals are published we will share our thoughts on them with you. In the meantime, to learn more about DESD please visit its website here. To learn more about our work with colleges and universities, please get in touch with our team of experts via sales@therefinishingtouch.com.

, , , , ,

Take Our Survey

January 7th, 2015 by admin

How important do you think it is to teach youth about sustainability?

a. Very important
b. Somewhat important
c. Not important

« Previous Entries

RSS Feed