NIBSC case study

  • Central Government Organisation
  • Research intensive
  • 300 staff
  • Saved £25k in 6 months
  • Avoided 14 tonnes supply chain carbon emissions


Central government facility

The premises at The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC)


Jude Hughes is the Environment and Energy Manager at The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), and is embedding sustainability into the Institute. Jude is committed to continually improving systems and site processes to be more “green”, and reducing the organisations impact on the environment.

Talking to Jude it is obvious to see she is passionate about waste. “Someone has to be!” she says.

A culture of “Ask Jude” has developed and staff know where to go to seek advice when they have items to dispose of, and “we certainly come across some unusual things!


NIBSC storage facility

NIBSC has a very small storage area for surplus items.


NIBSC is the global leader in the field of biological standardization and control, responsible for the development and production of over 90% of the International Standards in use around the world to assure the quality of biological medicines.


Referring to the collaborative nature at the Institute, Jude said;

It is important to us to embed sustainability into our organisation. Our site has a community feel, and we wanted to develop this aspect by creating an atmosphere for sharing resources to help save purchasing costs and unnecessary waste in the Institute.


Community sustainability garden

The staff allotment demonstrates the community and sustainability ethos.


Jude said;

We launched Warp It in October 2013 and the first stage has really centred on getting staff thinking about items they no longer need or haven’t used. Like most Government organisations we have to be careful with budgets and this represented a way to reuse items and reduce purchasing costs.

Easy to upload items

When asked about what has worked well within the organisation Jude replied

We invited key staff to come along to training sessions. Staff were asked to bring details of an item they could put onto Warp it. They got to see how easy it was to up load items, as well as having help on hand, but also this was a great way to help get the site populated.

Asked about the challenges that have been faced Jude replied;

The process has gone smoothly but really just getting staff to start using the system and encouraging people to upload items for the first time.

Reuse to reduce costs

When asked about benefits Jude said;

I had wanted to encourage more reuse across the Institute for quite some time as this is such a great way to help reduce costs and waste. This system seemed to fit particularly well as it was so straightforward to use. A lot of staff are used to using similar systems outside work e.g. freecycle, eBay and Gum Tree, so would be familiar with the approach, though it’s even easier as there are no costs involved.


NIBSC savings from avoided procurement and waste minimisation

NIBSC savings from avoided procurement and waste minimisation.


Photo Library

The ability to upload photos is invaluable and the photo library makes it easy for staff who don’t want to upload photos. There is a count feature so you can see exactly how much savings have been made each time you visit the site. You can also brand the website and add your own company logos and colour scheme.

Said Jude, describing the features on the site which have particular appeal.

Talking about the future Jude said;

I hope to see it as a mandatory requirement for all staff to examine the reuse option first before beginning the purchasing route, as well as justifying buying new.

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What our customers are saying

Fab service, I love the idea of recycling not buying new equipment. I use it as my browsing catalogue before ordering anything new now.

I even got a stapler which was surplus to requirements.

Anon, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Excellent idea for saving money!

Anon, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

I am all for saving the environment!

The site has saved the wards budget £££'s and the products are always here within days :-)

Jacqui Mabley, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust