It’s In Our Nature
Sustainability initiatives by COFCO go back to the inception of our company by David Einstein in 1946. David bought the last load of miscellaneous surplus from the aircraft manufacturer he was working for during World War II. David had the responsibility of closing down the plant and when time ran out, he was offered a truckload of what remained—probably at a bargain price or perhaps “next to free”. He brought that surplus to Philadelphia and sold each and every piece, including some office furniture—thus saving what some would classify as junk, from landfills.
Even though COFCO has evolved as a major contract furniture resource, David—and then later son Alan–kept the preowned department going strong. Over our 73 plus years of selling and donating used furniture, COFCO has saved literally tens of thousand of pieces of furniture from landfills. Much of this furniture is sold to start-ups or companies with miniscule furniture budgets such as non-profits. Some preowned furniture is used for COFCO’s rental program or as temporary loaners.
In addition, COFCO donates furniture to local schools, police, fire, and households in our neighborhoods. Unusable furniture is always recycled as much as possible. COFCO has cardboard balers in both of our buildings and we have been recycling corrugated for over 35 years. All no-longer-needed metal items are recycled as well. Our office management supports, encourages, and facilitates recycling of paper and plastic wherever possible. Frankly, recycling has been a natural initiative throughout our company since we opened our doors.
Yes, it’s true that in the beginning we were not really thinking about sustainability—it just happened that the nature of our business automatically made us environmentally responsible. When sustainability awareness came to the forefront, COFCO intensified its efforts to do even more. The major renovations that we have completed in our headquarters were done under the guidelines of LEED and more of the products we specify and provide are made with sustainable materials and are designed to save energy. We will continue to strive to be best-in-class from an environmental standpoint—because COFCO cares!