'The Framework circular economy takes away insecurity and obscurity in rules and regulations'
Urban mining: Zuidas Amsterdam a gold mine?
A CFO’s challenge of realising a circular furnishing. What does this challenge entail and how does he deal with it? Financial Director Anne Jan Stuij, CFO of Gispen, attempts to unravel this. He writes about what he has encountered in the past number of years and what problems he has come across in the search for a circular economy. His story is set out below. In this issue he expounds on searching for raw materials in a built-up (office) area along the A10 motorway, the Zuidas.
The professional’s thoughts
Why would you adopt a policy of strictly leasing cars? Leasing company vehicles is a very common thing. You know exactly what you can expect in terms of funding, flexibility, ease of use, maintenance. We apply the same philosophy to our furnishings, being that the sustainable value and implementation of our products is our strong suit. We would be happy to provide you with an offer that is tailored to your specifics needs.
The traffic is going by slowly on the A10, I see striking office buildings all around me. Who could have thought that we would be mining for raw materials here in 2017. Not miles away from civilisation, but right here in the city; Urban Mining.
In the past year, we have seen a growth in revenue from the sales of refurbished (REVIVED by Gispen) workstations to 15% of our gross revenue, a large part of which is derived from business in the Zuidas area. The engineering department has 4 ‘miners’ who have spent the past couple of years specialising in refurbishing existing furniture. And this is only one of many examples that shows how we are transforming as an organisation. Also great fun to be involved in; REVIVED/ REMADE by Gispen revolves around creativity, functional and material knowledge or, in short, craftsmanship. Making a locker out of a cabinet or a lounge workstation out of a locker, from a fixed desk to one that is height adjustable. We also apply clever methods to extend the lifecycles of products. We involve our clients from the very first step of the process. Putting sustainability into practice together, combining our (100 years of) experience with the requirements of the organisation and the user. By supplying the resources ourselves, there is even the possibility of cost-savings. Potential circular cost savings!
For most clients it all started with the ‘Quickscan CE’. A service that provides organisations with insight into the possibilities. In this process, we thoroughly assess the furniture that is present on site. We do not limit this process to Gispen products, however. We can refurbish about any piece of furniture. Whether a piece of furniture is eligible for reuse depends on a number of factors; things that are obvious such as disassembly, but also more complicated matters such as the paint that was used and the possibility of removing or repainting it in an environmentally-friendly way. In addition, we explore options of phased redecorating or adding stock from our REVIVED / REMADE by Gispen programmes.
On a final note
I believe that not only the Zuidas but the entire Netherlands is a goldmine. Perhaps not directly attainable and in terms of money, but by reusing materials one can save significantly on the expenses of the initial production process. Including all accompanying things such as CO2 emissions and use of raw materials, which we all know are finite. Anyone who is financially responsible within an organisation can no longer get away with expressing everything in terms of money in the short term. In the current day and age you are required to include all these factors in your investment plans.
Curious to find out more about your potential goldmine as a CFO? Ask Gispen to perform a scan for you. You can contact Rick by clicking the ‘contact me’ button below.
Advice & project supervising
'Gispen is in a transition. REUSE > LOSS PREVENTION > LESS WASTE PRODUCTION > Key words when we speak of a circular economy. I believe in these circular principles. I am convinced that well-designed pieces of furniture, both new and used, are the starting point for a sustainable interior. We aim to prolong the lifecycle of products and we firmly believe that we need to take responsibility, based on well-considered agreements and the right incentive to close material loops. There is much to be gained!'