Justin Hatchett on a new solution for old office furniture

Quick Chats: Green Furniture Hub

Justin Hatchett, left the corporate sector just 18 months ago to start up Green Furniture Hub and he’s on roll. His company that diverts office furniture from landfill has been operating for just 18 months and it’s growing – with staff and warehouses and a fleet of trucks in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

What’s the elevator pitch for the Green Furniture Hub?

We help businesses manage their surplus furniture more sustainably. We offer tenants and building owners an opportunity to avoid sending surplus furniture to landfill when they are moving or refurbishing. And, we offer small- and medium-sized businesses, green conscious organisations and charities access to high quality furniture at extremely low prices.

Why would a building owner or a tenant work with you?

Traditionally, organisations that were moving office or refurbishing paid someone to take surplus furniture to landfill. For the same budget, we make sure that instead of furniture going to landfill, it goes to different areas, including being reused by businesses that need it, and we manage any furniture at the end of its life, breaking it down into parts for recycling or disposal.

How long has the business been running and how’s it doing?

We have been operating for about 18 months and it is going really well. We have staff, warehouses and a fleet of trucks in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and we have some promising relationships with organisations who have multiple sites and churn with tenants.

On the customer side, we deal with SMEs and charities, but we also get entrepreneurial organisations who might reuse, upcycle and resell the furniture.

How did you end up in this role?

My background was in strategic marketing and communications for commercial real estate. I have always enjoyed being around real estate because of its tangible nature and because the built form is such a huge part of our economy. When this job came along, I saw it as an opportunity to continue working in that space and use some of the skills I had gained in the corporate sector.

What’s the most interesting thing about your job?

There is a lot of education of the market that has to happen. Building a sustainable narrative has been challenging and important and fun. The tangible outcome of helping real estate managers and building owners and tenants move to a lower carbon way of operating makes this job very interesting.

Is anyone else offering this service?

There are head contractors and demolition people and builders who will handle the furniture but there was a gap on the reuse side. We are unique because we have brought both groups together. There is no one like us building a technology platform that matches supply with demand.

Where are your sights set for the future?

We are looking at having deeper engagement with the market, with the government sector, and to make sure that office fit-outs are managed appropriately. We want to do more work with building owners and head contractors and create greater awareness with tenants.

And what are you doing after this interview?

Well, looking at my diary, I am meeting with a real estate advisory group tomorrow, I have a meeting with a tenant, and a technology meeting about a new feature on our site.