As the world evaluated the legacy of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the work had just begun for a team based at COP26, who were focused on ensuring the Conference brings value to communities across Scotland.
Working together with the event agency, Identity, who put on the event with Her Majesty’s Government, Event Cycle were aware of the large volume of carpet required to cover the various temporary structures built solely for the event. And although the carpet was recyclable there is a much better use for carpet than being melted back into plastic and that’s being used for the purpose it was intended. A choice by the organisers to use residential carpet over the traditional exhibition carpet was key to this donation.
About 15,000 sq metres of carpet used on the walkways, the plenaries and the conference space, was cleaned ahead of being given to a charity in Govan. Spruce Carpets, Scotland's only carpet re-use and recycling social enterprise, are ensuring that over the next few months the flooring finds its way to organisations and households who can really benefit from it.
Austin Hardie, CEO of Spruce Carpets, commented:
‘"This is a unique opportunity for Spruce. Our social enterprise is focused on working to help the community and the environment. The two are not mutually exclusive. With the world’s attention focused on Glasgow, this arrangement with The UK Government and Event Cycle allows us to bring the legacy of COP26 to the households and community organisations of Scotland who really need support. We will be storing the high-quality carpet and fitting it into low-income homes across the country as part of our on-going work. One of our guiding principles is to provide opportunities for people who have been excluded from the labour market so there are benefits for so many levels of society. At a deeper level, Spruce relies on collaboration. This work shows just what can be achieved by working together with partners. A classic example of ‘think global, act local!"
One of the benefactors of this carpet donation, was a 76 year old man in the heart of Glasgow. Previously homeless, the social services managed to find him accommodation and were able to furnish his flat with white goods. With no more funds left to make the flat a home, Spruce Carpets were able to use the donated carpet to lay into his bedroom, hallway and dining room area. This is just one example of how COP26 is still providing a positive legacy, months after the event has ended.
The donation forms part of the wider work of the event organiser at COP26 to make the event the most sustainable it could be by making sure the material use was reduced where possible, reclaimed materials were bought over new and any items not taken back by suppliers for reuse found a home where it could be repurposed.
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