Staff help University to save over £720,000 by reusing items

By reusing over 550,000kg of items, University staff and PhD students have saved over 760,000kg of CO2e, equivalent to having 331 fewer cars on the road in the UK.

Warp It stats 04/06/2019 - £720,408 savings

What is Warp It?

Warp It is an online reuse portal for University staff to advertise, give away and sell University equipment internally, preventing it from being binned.

Warp It aims to find a new home within the University for redundant equipment. It provides a means for the equipment to be advertised and exchanged or sold between departments - whilst remaining within the University ownership. The platform is open to all staff, including researchers.

The kinds of items you might find on Warp It include toner cartridges, stationery, electrical equipment, small lab items, computers and much more. 

Find out more about Warp It

IT reuse

A major driver behind the University's reuse savings is the 'IT reuse' aspect of Warp It.

Dedicated support is available to help facilitate the reuse of IT equipment. This includes: 

  • Fixing, cleaning and securely wiping items
  • Sourcing items
  • Moving and rehoming items
  • Offering advice for reusing equipment

If there are items that cannot stay within the University, they are donated to the Edinburgh Remakery, a local Social Enterprise.

Find out more about IT reuse

How does reuse lead to savings?

Buying new products when there are existing items in need of a home is a waste of resources. The items already in the University have value. There are multiple benefits to extending their lives to get the most out of them:


Carbon emissions

Each new item created involves the use of resources, which almost always involve the emission of greenhouse gases. This reaches right back through the supply chain, from the extraction of raw materials, through to manufacture of components, assembly, transport, and disposal.

The environmental savings of reusing something already on University premises cannot be underestimated. Not only does it save carbon, but this also helps prevent other aspects of environmental degradation which are unique to each product, by reducing demand.

Money Sourcing something second-hand for free from within the institution saves the cost of buying and delivering something new.
Waste Reuse also helps with the disposal end, as disposing of bulky or potentially hazardous items also costs the University money, which could otherwise be spent on other things. Methods of disposing of waste, other than reuse, often have additional negative effects on the environment. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to deal with the excessive packaging that new items often arrive in.
Staff time A lot of work goes into purchasing something new - filling out budget planning spreadsheets, identifying suppliers, requesting quotes and processing payments/invoices - Warp It helps minimise the paper trail and toll on staff time.

Moving towards a circular economy

The Circular Economy is about transitioning from a ‘take-make-dispose’ linear approach to resource use to systems that encourage reuse and extraction of maximum value before returning resources to the biosphere. Warp It is one piece of the puzzle, along with sourcing items made to last, and easy to repair, and creatively rethinking the design, use and reuse of items.

Find out more about the circular economy approach on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website

Find out more and take action

Staff: buy responsibly Staff: reduce, reuse, recycle

General enquiries

  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Contact details



Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
The Boilerhouse
High School Yards

Post Code