Sustainability is a central pillar of the De Clercq Office Group, a Connecticut-based enterprise that generates about $25 million of annual revenue.
While doing research for his Green Mountain College MBA thesis in 2011, Dan De Clercq stumbled across a remarkable finding: an estimated three million tons of office furniture is discarded in U.S. landfills every year. Extrapolating from a U.K. study showing that 50% of discarded office furniture is reusable, he estimated half that tonnage was unnecessary waste.
It’s a staggering statistic for anyone. For a man who sells furniture for a living, it was a revelation.
Sustainability is now a central pillar of the De Clercq Office Group, a Connecticut-based enterprise that generates about $25 million of annual revenue. Dan’s business works with corporate and non-profit customers worldwide to incorporate sustainable furnishings in their offices. He supports furniture manufacturers that adhere to environmental best practices such as Greenguard and the Forest Stewardship Council, and he’s established the Office Furniture Rescue program to help keep useful furniture out of the waste stream.
“The first question I used to get from clients when I told them about sustainable furnishing was: ‘how much is it going to cost me,’” he said. “Increasingly they see it as a good investment.” Part of the attraction is a growing interest in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building projects. The De Clercq Office Group provides clients with furnishing solutions consistent with green building practices. Dan’s Office Furniture Rescue Program won a prestigious first place 2013 Green Dot Award in the commercial services category.