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Article: Sustainable Office Furniture: Joining the Circular Economy

Sustainable Office Furniture: Joining the Circular Economy

Sustainable Office Furniture: Joining the Circular Economy

As the climate crisis continues to escalate, the need for sustainable solutions to the way we live and work becomes ever more pressing. Every sector has a responsibility to limit the environmental impact of its working practices and to find new strategies that align with global emissions reduction targets. 

The office furniture sector is making strides towards a lower impact way of working by incorporating designs that are rooted in the circular economy. Here we explore the principles of the circular economy and how businesses can implement them in the office to create more sustainable workspaces.

What is the circular economy?

In recent years the concept of the circular economy has become central to the climate crisis discussion. At its core, the circular economy aims to eliminate waste by reusing, repairing and recycling materials to extend their lifecycle and maximise their value.

The circular economy stands in opposition to the traditional linear model in which we create, use and then dispose of items. As well as generating huge volumes of waste that is sent to landfill, this model requires a continual supply of finite natural resources that cannot be sustained.

Office Furniture and the Circular Economy

The principles of the circular economy can be applied to a wide range of industries, including office furniture. From ensuring that the materials used are ethically-sourced to designing pieces that may be repaired and reused, there are several ways that office furnishings may comply with this more sustainable procurement model.

For example, the modular Revo collection by Profim uses recycled expanded polypropylene (REPP) to offer a product that can be recycled again and again.

While Vepa's stackable Blue Fin chairs are made of at least 85% recycled medical instrument packaging. By choosing to invest in innovative designs that uphold the circular economy, businesses and individuals can create more sustainable workspaces, lower their environmental impact and move towards meeting the global carbon emissions targets.

One of the key environmental issues that faces the office furniture sector is the problem of disposal, with a reported 1.2 million office desks and 1.8 million office chairs ending up in UK landfill each year. Post-pandemic, this figure may be even higher owing to a global shift in working patterns that has resulted in  many businesses opting to downsize their office spaces. When we consider that the average office chair has an estimated carbon footprint of 72kgCO2e and the average desk has a footprint of 36kgCO2e, the need for an alternative purchasing strategy becomes clear.

Join the Circular Economy with The Office Crowd

Whether you’re considering a new office chair or a complete overhaul of your workspace, The Office Crowd can help businesses and individuals source sustainable solutions and join the circular economy. 

In addition to offering new furnishings from environmentally-responsible designer brands, The Office Crowd stocks a range of expertly refurbished used office furniture. Our team of professional craftspeople carefully restore, repair and reupholster preloved office chairs, desks and accessories to give them a new lease of life and divert them from landfill. This enables businesses and homeworkers to create stylish and professional office spaces without compromising on quality or costing the planet. 

As well as having a lower carbon footprint than newly manufactured furniture, The Office Crowd’s second-hand furnishings can be more cost-effective. For example, we could change it to, a refurbished office chair costs up to 85% less than the new equivalent, while a refurbished desk comes with a saving of up to 65% when compared with purchasing new. These significant savings enable businesses to invest more in the areas that matter most to them while ensuring they are making sustainable choices.

Peruse our collection of refurbished second hand office furniture or contact our helpful teamto find out more about how you can create a more sustainable workspace today.

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