Sunderland City Council

  • Savings of over £400K in 2.5 years
  • £6K investment
  • Over 1000 staff using the system
  • Part of the building decant rationalisation process
  • Used for the day to day churn of assets
  • Used the savings to build a business case to employ a Warp it officer
  • Avoided 150 tonnes of supply chain carbon emissions
  • 50 tonnes waste minimisation


In 2010, Sunderland City Council underwent a restructure that led to the closure of buildings across the city. As offices were vacated, large quantities of office-related resources like furniture, equipment and supplies became redundant. Rather than send these to landfill, the council signed up to the WARPit re-use scheme. In just nine months, the new scheme resulted in over £45,000 of cost savings.

Sunderland city council reuse network procurement savings
Avoided procurement savings over time at Sunderland City Council

Dianne Pattison, Sunderland City Council Policy Officer, Economy and Place, described how it came about:


In 2010, the restructure went council-wide and, as a result, a number of sections were moved around or disbanded. We had a lot of buildings that were no longer needed and when I went out on a site visit I found stacks of furniture – tables, chairs and all kinds of other items. It was all due to go for disposal into a skip, even though a lot of the items were brand new.


Block on procuring new items

Through Warp it, whenever a member of staff needs to buy an item of furniture or office materials such as ink cartridges or files, they search warp it to find out whether the item is already available from a different department. Dianne said


We block procurement. If the item is not on Warp it – staff can buy new.


Legal obligations

Cost was a major factor. Pattison considered using a bulletin board where people could post items they wanted to trade, but the cost of developing a system in-house was prohibitive. Similarly, addressing legal obligations like transfer of ownership and tracking for audit purposes proved a daunting prospect. She said:


We don't have the manpower to track the items ourselves, so using Warp it has saved us a huge amount of time.


Time saved

Warp it has been developed to track items for auditing purposes and it also includes comprehensive terms and conditions. We really needed to be certain that we were covered legally. Also, it produces the reports for you, which is fantastic. Previously, I had to manually track everything and then work out how much it was worth and how much carbon it had cost to deliver and produce it.

Savings on staff time, waste and procurement Sunderland City Council
Pie chart showing proportion of staff time, waste and procurement savings by reuse.Download case study as pdf

See Sunderland City Council's current financial, social and environmental savings total. 

Read about an independant case study for the project produced by WRAP. 

What our customers are saying

Brilliant idea! I needed a filing cabinet and was able to pick one up the same day!

Made my office so much more organised :) thank you!

Carmel Brough, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

Due to us having to move premises to a larger building we were in need of more furniture, the system enabled me to furnish the new rooms at no cost with good quality furniture.

Anon, Dundee City Council

I identified equipment that I was able to use for zero cost to my budget.

I have also told other services about the service and they have also used the service to get equipoment that was surplus to requirements.

Anon, North Ayrshire Council