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Industry: Aviation, Corporate Real Estate
Houston Office Consolidation

When United Airlines moved the Houston Corporate Support Center to its new location, the company partnered with Green Standards to divert their surplus office furniture and equipment from landfills and instead donate them to local non-profits in Greater Houston.

United Airlines EcoSkies

Beneficiary Highlight:

American Red Cross

American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region is passionate about utilizing their volunteers to work with local communities in order to alleviate human suffering in the wake of disasters. ARC is one of 18 other non-profits that received furniture and equipment donations on behalf of United Airlines.

“Because of this partnership with Green Standards and United Airlines, we’re able to save the money we would have to spend on office equipment and we can put that right back into the mission delivery. We can keep our donor dollars down and we can get better accessible mission delivery to the people who need it most.”

Henry Van de Putte, Regional CEO
American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region

American Red Cross Logo
Furniture donations from United Airlines to American Red Cross

The Objective

United Airlines started this project in 2016. They wanted to go beyond just decommissioning their spaces while consolidating two offices and moving their 1,400 Houston employees to one newly constructed tower. United partnered with Green Standards to look at innovative way that they could give back to the community and also be environmentally conscious with their 360,000 square feet of office space and their excess furniture and equipment.

The Challenge

Before United moved to their new Corporate Support Center, they were building out offices in the new building that supported more collaboration, but didn’t want their old materials to go to waste.

United’s core business is moving people safely from one location to another. With over 1400 employees being relocated and 14 floors of surplus office furnishings, it created the need for a more complex, multi-channeled disposition strategy to handle and mitigate what they would not be bringing with them.

Green Standards Recycle Icon

Landfill Diversion

Asset Recovery

Green Standards Turnkey Service Icon

Turnkey Service

“United Airlines really wants to lead by example and maximize our potential and sustainable efforts. We really wanted the expertise and to leverage someone who’s an industry expert and Green Standards gave us that opportunity.”

Roxana Mora
Senior Project Manager, Corporate Real Estate
United Airlines

The Solution

Green Standards took responsibility for the entire process, including the dismantling, removal and relocation of each item, and coordinating between the movers, buyers, local non-profits and specialized recyclers. It also provided documentation and in-depth environmental and social impact reporting to help United Airlines capture and review the outcome of the project.

By combining donation, resale, and recycling strategies with turnkey project management, Green Standards maximized asset recovery, streamlined community donation, and virtually eliminated waste.

The Results

United Airlines Offices

Non-Profit Organizations

By working with our Circular Economy-Inspired program, United was able to repurpose valuable products with a 99% landfill diversion rate on 500+ tons of surplus assets. The majority of items – including tables, desks, chairs, shelves, and drawers – were either resold, recycled or donated, reducing costs, while benefiting the environment and local community groups.

“Today at the American Red Cross we’re offloading a truckload of gently used office furniture. What we may see as something that we can no longer use has a life of it’s own at another facility. I’m really proud of everything we’ve done on this project, giving back to the community and re-purposing a lot of this furniture”

Jody Cope
Senior Manager, Environmental Affairs
United Airlines, Eco-Skies

Asset Distribution (by weight)

  • Resale
  • Donation
  • Recycling
  • Landfill

Project Recap & Achievements

  • United Airlines Donate Surplus Furniture in Houston
  • 360,000 Square Feet of Corporate Real-Estate
  • 2 Buildings across 14 Floors
  • 1,400+ Employees on the move
  • Cost-competitive to conventional solutions
  • 99% (728 tons) Landfill Diversion
  • CO2e Offset of 2,196 Metric Tons
  • $278,779 of In-Kind Donation to Non-Profits
  • 18 Houston unique Non-Profits received donations
  • Beneficiaries reported more functional, and safe working environments

“This donation and what we’re celebrating is revitalizing this workspace to make it more hospitable, more efficient and more professional so that we can go about doing the business of the Red Cross.”

Henry Van de Putte
American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region


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