Attractive refurbished furniture in Government of Flanders’ offices
The Agency for Facility Operations (AFFO) is the central purchasing body for the Government of Flanders administration. Because circular public procurement is addressed in the Government of Flanders’ coalition agreement, the AFFO has an exemplary function. They aim to demonstrably be the most circular facility service provider in Flanders by 2028. A Flemish policy on public procurement underlines the circularity and sustainability ambitions for the region. Furniture is amongst the prioritised product categories in this policy. Because AFFO is –among other things- responsible for building management and maintenance, office furniture is part of their core business. Furthermore, the shift to working from home and changes in office space sizes and locations, have led to a large volume of redundant furniture. The high storage cost and large environmental impact, added to the suitability of the product category for this circular procurement pilot.
The administrator-general of the AFFO initiated this pilot project and offered his full support to the executing staff. The AFFO decided on refurbished office furniture for their Interreg NSR ProCirc pilot. Taking into account there was some prior experience with successful refurbishment projects for offices in Ghent and Brussels, as well as a request for support from local authorities. Furthermore, the potential economic advantage was considered. Elimination of end-of-use furniture can be a costly affair. In addition, the Belgian market was deemed ready to supply the required quantities and service.