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Universiteit Twente ITC   headerxxl

Such a large reduction of CO2 emissions in production that it equals as many as 713 flights from Amsterdam to Paris. Or driving an average car 590,563 kilometres. With a result that looks like new consisting of, what is in fact, a large quantity of reused furniture that we supplied. This is exactly what we realised together with the University of Twente for its ITC faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation.

The faculty moved from its former location in the city centre of Enschede into a building on the campus of the University of Twente. This former laboratory building from the 1970s has been transformed into one of the most sustainable buildings on campus. Gispen furnished the entire building. Sustainability was also a deciding factor for the interior: the university deliberately opted for a large quantity of reused furniture in addition to new circular furniture. A combination of their own stock and refurbished items from Gispen's Circular Hub. The latter being returned products from other Gispen clients that have been entirely reconditioned to function and look like new again.

Universiteit Twente ITC   landscapem
Universiteit Twente ITC   landscapem

Quality Scan

Robbert de Jonge, circular consultant at Gispen's Circular Hub: 'We always start by performing a Quality Scan of the existing furniture. We assess what a client already owns and what can be reinstalled after reconditioning. In this case, we managed to clean and reupholster 120 classroom chairs. However, a large part of the faculty's furniture was well-used and no longer fit for reuse, especially when considering the current health and safety requirements. At the university's request, Gispen completely emptied the old building and its 300 offices and sustainably removed the furniture for reuse and recycling.'

Large quantities, uniform design language

Workstations, office chairs, lockers, drawer units, school desks - the faculty needed large numbers of these products, reused where possible. Robbert: ‘We can supply large numbers of reused products from our stock at the Circular Hub, while retaining a uniform design language amongst the furniture. So instead of having 10 different types of office chairs, we supplied 418 Ahrend 230 office chairs, for example.' There were two key requirements in addition to creating a uniform design language: the furniture had to meet current health and safety requirements and match the interior design aesthetics of the architect.

Universiteit Twente ITC   landscapem
In practical terms, and based on these principles, Gispen supplied the following quantities of reused furniture:
  • 319 workstations
  • 188 partition walls
  • 418 office chairs
  • 200 chairs
  • 400 student chairs
  • 20 lockers
  • 241 drawer units
  • 80 school desks

Robbert: 'We can refurbish brand-independently, meaning that we don't limit ourselves to Gispen products.' Items that were not eligible for refurbishment were replaced with new circular furniture items such as Gispen SETT sofas, NOMI chairs, Gispen HUGG focus workstations and ZINN office chairs.

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CO2-reduction of no less than 93%

Robbert: 'By reusing products and raw materials from the client and supplementing them with refurbished products from our Circular Hub, we managed to significantly cut down on production emissions. In total, we are talking about a CO2-reduction of no less than 93% when compared to acquiring only new furniture. A huge saving that both we and the university are very proud of.'

This is the equivalent to 101,821 kilograms of CO2, which in turn translates to:

  • Burning 32,481 litres of diesel
  • Driving an average car 590,563 kilometres
  • Flying from Amsterdam to Paris 713 times
  • Preventing 305 m3 of polar ice from melting

Robbert: 'The ITC faculty has a highly international group of students who are trying to improve this world every day. This furnishing project contributes nicely to this.'

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More on the cooperation

Would you like to learn more about the process and the cooperation between those involved in the project? That is what client Jeroen Verplanke and account manager Bas de Jong expound on in this project description.

Circular Project Manager, Gispen


Our customers often think they need new furniture in order to implement a new business concept correctly. Our product designer and I often manage to surprise clients when we present them with all the options for reusing their furniture. These are the days when I come home in a particularly good mood.

I am always searching for new ways to make optimal use of the resources that find their way back to Gispen. Closing the loops is our ultimate goal. Considering all the products we are refurbishing I think it's safe to say that Gispen is on the right track!