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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Haworth thinking outside the box - literally.

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Office furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. is thinking out of the box -- literally.

A study in which the company was involved showed swapping traditional cardboard boxes for reusable wrappings, straps, bars and plywood when shipping furniture results in fewer shipments needed and a 20 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

\"At the first of the year, it will become default for the shipment of task seating -- your basic office chair,\" said Diane Haworth, the company\'s sustainability manager.

\"You can get anywhere from 50 to 65 percent more chairs in a trailer when you blanket wrap versus when you box them.\"

The study, conducted during two months last year, was paid for by Perkins Logistics LLC, a suburban Indianapolis trucking company, and conducted by Allegiant Global Services of Indianapolis.

Comparisons were made of shipments out of Haworth\'s Bruce, Miss., plant -- some using traditional packing and others reusable products.

\"We were amazed at how shipping chairs and tables wrapped in protective blankets instead of cardboard containers could translate into such a sizable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions,\" Perkins Logistics President and CEO Andy Card said in a statement.

Spread out over a year, the reduction in emissions would equal removing 52 cars from the road for a year or the emissions from 99 natural gas-heated homes, according to the study.

The extra labor and materials needed for the packing method add about 15 percent to the cost per shipment, according to Perkins Logistics.

But the increase is offset by savings in packing materials and number of shipments.

Haworth said the shipping method is not new, but the trailers equipped with straps, plywood and other infrastructure to make them efficient are.

\"If they don\'t have somewhere to fasten and attach, then it requires a whole lot more work,\" she said.

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