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Since 2016, Office Furniture Warehouse has directed more than $3,000 in proceeds from pre-owned office chairs to energy-saving workshops through its partnership with Empower Chattanooga.

"We embarked on this partnership in hopes that we increase the reach of our sustainability initiative," says John Jerman, founder of Office Furniture Warehouse. "Pre-owned furniture is inherently sustainable — by maintaining the useful life of workplace assets, we're reducing landfill volume. By forwarding the proceeds from that effort, we're trying to multiply the effects of local sustainability efforts."

Empower Chattanooga is a program by green|spaces Chattanooga that targets neighborhoods with a combination of historically low income household and high utility bills. Empower then works with community members to coordinate workshops where residents can educate themselves on low- and no-cost ways to save energy in their homes.

Office Furniture Warehouse contributes a portion of proceeds from pre-owned office chairs to Empower Chattanooga quarterly, which are used to cover the cost of energy savings materials given to workshop attendees.

Since July of 2016, the partnership has funded the equivalent of almost 400 participants in underserved communities throughout Chattanooga.

Dawn Hjelseth

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