What drives sustainable businesses today? Purpose. What will drive sustainable businesses tomorrow? Repurpose.

Repurpose means to reuse or alter something to make it more suitable for a different purpose. In a business sense, it means to think of resources that already exist in an alternate state. Repurposing broadens your perspective, provides new opportunities, and like the old saying, turns “one man’s trash into another man’s treasure.”

BrownFlynn took (re)purposeful thinking to heart in our recent office move to Terminal Tower in Downtown Cleveland. We converted a historic space from the Van Sweringen brothers into a modern office that fosters collaboration, innovation and “walking the talk” of sustainability. Our new location enables several employees and clients to travel sustainably, as we are located at the heart of the city with public transportation to the airport and local amenities.

framily open house invitationIMG_1875

“Clearly, we’re committed to the city and want to be part of its vibrancy,” says Principal Margie Flynn. “We’re committed to sustainability and want to make sure we’re walking the talk in what we’re doing. And the essence of sustainability is really historic preservation.” Learn more about our office move in our GreenBiz Shift Happens article, “A sustainable work environment breeds a healthy, happy culture.”

Throughout the move process, we gave old office furniture to employees to repurpose in their homes. We also donated office supplies to local charities, such as Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio and local schools. By repurposing our office items, we helped eliminate waste and gave back to our community.

Whether your company is creating a waste management plan, moving, or looking for new sustainability projects, below we have highlighted creative ideas to help you repurpose:

  • Create a corporate office supply recycle store, where employees recycle and reuse office supplies and your sustainability department can track savings for not purchasing new office supplies.
  • Consider legacy office furniture or family “hand-me-downs” as a hip new way to style your office or home! Furniture lasts for generations—why not repurpose antique furniture from your previous colleagues or relatives that carries traditions and decades of memories?
  • House Logic provides tips to repurpose take-out containers, utensils and chopsticks.
  • The CHIC Home provides tips to create functional storage out of items you already have: old doors, shoe boxes, egg cartons, and more!

We encourage you to think purposefully and (re)purposefully both at your company and in your personal life, as this mindset empowers you to live sustainably.