'De drive om meer circulair te worden zorgt ervoor dat producten slimmer worden!'

'De drive om meer circulair te worden zorgt ervoor dat producten slimmer worden!'

THE GREAT 8 OF CE

‘THE GREAT 8 OF CE’ is a blog series in which we ask Gispen employees eight questions about the circular economy. From our managing director to our factory workers, from the receptionist to the Support Manager. Every department is paid a visit, going through all layers of the origination. Transparency is vital for making the circular economy a success, and for this reason we are showing you how we are transitioning towards fully circular entrepreneurship.

The professional’s thoughts

‘To me, CE is making sure that our planet stays inhabitable. Thus, retaining and preserving earth. CE ensures that components and products can be used for a longer period of time. And if something can’t be reused, we need to make sure that it was produced in such a way that it can be recycled into a new resource.’

Izaak de Muynck Project Engineer R&D

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What is the definition of CE in your opinion?

To me, CE is making sure that our planet stays inhabitable. Thus, retaining and preserving earth. CE ensures that components and products can be used for a longer period of time. And if something can’t be reused, we need to make sure that it was produced in such a way that it can be recycled into a new resource.

What does the circular economy mean to you?

The circular economy forces us to think long and hard about the products we manufacture. The drive behind circular design is what makes our products more sophisticated!

How do you apply this philosophy at home?

I do apply the philosophy of the circular economy when I’m at home, but you don’t call it that, of course. To give you an example: I am currently renovating my attic, for which I am building a dividing wall out of 20-year-old solid oak floor boards. Materials like these always get me excited because, frankly, they can be reused infinitely.

Why are you engaged in this at home?

Sustainable living starts with reflection upon your own way of life. At home, I try to inspire my wife and daughter to think about whether new purchases are necessary or whether there are alternatives. This can be something small, like borrowing a neighbour’s ladder instead of buying your own and using it once a year. Another example is the fact that my wife enjoys making her own clothes, which I encourage. I have noticed that she hangs on to self-made clothes longer because she has worked hard on them and is proud of what she has made. I also believe in working locally, because you can skip certain steps in the process, requiring fewer transports to put a product on the market. Great!

Are you noticing that Gispen is in a transition toward a circular economy?

Yes, I certainly do. I have been involved in many projects at Gispen that were all about realising circular products. Great fun too!

Which country/company/initiative serves as an inspiration to you?

They executed a really good idea in Sweden which, if you ask me, is a great example for the Dutch government which should stimulate such sustainability efforts more. They lowered the VAT on repairs in Sweden. The result is that more products are being repaired. In addition, it has boosted local employment. It bothers me when it turns out that a product cannot be repaired, while some defects are perfectly fixable. At Gispen, we always use Torx screws to fasten components; this allows clients to sort out certain defects themselves.

What is the best possible circular service for our clients?

I really enjoy coming up with special but straightforward solutions for upgrading products and thus making them usable again for many years. The acoustic dividing screen for the Alliander desk is a good example of such a solution.

Please share your CE success story

A great example is a project we did for ABN AMRO where we took the existing Next workstations (a Gispen design from the 90s) and converted them into modern workstations that will last another decade.

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