Nothing goes to waste

Roche Jordan works with women’s group to create colorful and useful objects from discarded office materials

If re-used smartly, most things otherwise destined to be waste can come back as useful objects that could be of some value both at work and home. Colleagues at Roche Jordan put this to the test when they were moving to new office premises late last year. They tied up with a local charity that supports women and provides them with employment opportunities by working on such initiatives. A few months later they had bright and beautiful photo frames and coasters crafted out of stuff that otherwise would have ended up being garbage.

“Our team is growing continuously and is projected to add new members as our rich pipeline drugs get approval and are launched in Jordan. As a result we moved to our new office last year. While packing we realized that we would have to just throw away a lot of material. But at the back of our mind we always wanted to know if they could be recycled in any fashion,” states Razan Rabieh, Communications Manager in Roche Jordan. Among these items were older, but still attractive, detail aids, branding materials, business cards, invitations and notepads.

Not wasted

“It was around this time that I met Mohammad who belonged to Zawayed, an organization that uses raw and waste material or leftovers and put them into creative shapes and designs. I did a little bit of research on Zawayed and the earlier projects they had done for other companies and was amazed at how they were able to turn simple items into very nice usable things that could be made into corporate gifts or things of daily use,” she adds.

At a subsequent meeting the folks at Zawayed were briefed about the material collected because of the office move, and if they could come up with something practical, yet creative and good to look at. “Usually, their team comes up with ideas once they see the materials that were being disposed. For instance for another company they had come up with lampshades made from MRI scans. Once they saw our colorful branding material they suggested the frames and coaster idea,” explains Razan.

Skilled women

The women at Zawayed then got to work. These women come from the Al-Natheef area, a disadvantaged neighborhood in Amman, and are all extremely skilled in art and craft work. They combined older and outdated material from Roche with old school material and worked up colorful executions of different frames and coasters.

They initially took about a month to come up with the initial concept and once colleagues at Roche Jordan approved the initial designs they got about finalizing the final products. “It was an excellent collaboration and we greatly enjoyed working with these extremely skillful women. We paid them for their work and so it was beneficial to both sides,” she says.

Today these photo frames and coasters adorn the desks of colleagues in the Amman office. Some have also used these at home. The best part of the whole exercise is that the team now is extremely conscious of dumping things in the garbage bin. “Every time they have unused or waste material colleagues ask me if we can work with Zawayed to put them to good use,” points out Razan.

Tags: Sustainability, Environment, Society, Philanthropy