Office furniture and furnishings is one of the most common product groups with regard to circular procurement. This is because the characteristics of furniture are relatively well suited for a circular approach. It is a comparatively simple product in terms of technique and has an economic life of 7-15 years. That makes it possible, both from a technical and organisational perspective, to close the value chain.
Most suppliers in this sector are actively involved with circularity, and developments have been fairly rapid. This is partly due to several ambitious public tenders.
- In many cases, office furniture is a good product group to get started with: it is visible, it does not affect the primary process and the market is relatively mature.
- Start by creating an inventory of your existing furniture, recording both quantities and condition. If you don’t have this information, you may benefit from including a furniture management system in your tender.
- Determine your ambition based on your company’s initial situation. This allows market players to submit a good proposal.
- Include agreements on long-term maintenance and take-back in your contract to ensure value retention of the furniture.
The province of Zuid-Holland used circular procurement for their office furniture. One of the main principles in the new contract is to maximise the reuse of existing furniture.
This road-map describes how circular principles can be applied to office furnishing and indicates the potential of this product group.
INSIDE/INSIDE is an independent instrument to make transparent the sustainability of facility products, including office furniture.
Follow the steps in this guide to get started with circular procurement of office furnishing.