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Office furnishings

7 lessons learned from the Green Deal Circular Procurement


  1. Functional design
    Design of workplaces based on the needs of the user and following an inventory of existing office furnishings.
  2. Specify in terms of function
    Include functional needs in contract documents instead of writing detailed technical specifications. You might need office chairs or seating areas, for example, or a whole new workplace layout. Define this need in consultation with your internal customers. Also, think about how you can anticipate changing needs in the future. By specifying functional and future-proof solutions, you give the market flexibility to propose innovations.
  3. Maintenance, repair and reuse
    If universal standard parts and dimensions are used, and the products are designed for disassembly as much as possible, repair and reuse is easier and the lifespan can be extended. You can include this as-a-service maintenance and repair in your contract documents. Providing training on how to use equipment correctly might also be a good idea.
  4. Circular procurement = circular?
    You can decide to buy refurbished furnishings or new products with a label or materials passport, but whether these are actually circular depends on what happens with them during use and at the end-of-life. Is maintenance and repair given due attention? Are the materials recovered when the chair is no longer fit for purpose? You can promote circularity by making contractual agreements with the supplier about take-back or replacement.
  5. Compare the options
    Comparing the different options over the entire lifespan clarifies the business case for the circular option. For example, you can compare the purchase of new material against refurbishing or as-a-service contracts. Take into account the circularity and sustainability of each option to get a complete picture. Refurbishment is usually comparable in price to the purchase of a new product, just as the warranty and technical lifespan are comparable, so circularity can be used as the distinguishing criterion.
  6. Dialogue with the market
    Contact between the provider and the purchaser is extremely valuable. Deciding on a specific product or service and collecting information about it is the result of personal contact. It’s important that the preparatory phase is long enough so that there’s time to discuss more than just the price.
  7. Long-term contracts
    Office furnishings usually have a longer functional and technical lifespan than the standard contract term of 4 years, so it’s a good idea to consider longer contracts and warranty periods. You can build flexibility into these to respond to the changing needs of the organisation. An alternative may be to make arrangements for take-back or take-over at the end of the contract term.

Circular procurement projects - office furnishings


Wednesday 6 January 2021

At the beginning of 2019, VVSG, the association of Flemish cities and towns, moved their offices to the Madou builiding in Brussels. Resolute circular choices were made for the renovation of the offi…


Tuesday 18 February 2020

At Ancienne Belgique, 75% of the existing furniture was used in the redesign of the offices in a pilot project for circular procurement. Ancienne Belgique specifically chose this project because it d…


Tuesday 18 February 2020

Hangar K is more than just a coworking space. It is a co-creation hub where starters, growers and established companies are brought together under a single roof with a clear mission: to strengthen th…

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Circular procurement of offfice furnishings on screen

Publications about circular office furnishings


The second publication from the Interreg NSR project ProCirc discusses leasing as a replacement for the traditional ownership model. It contains interviews with users and a supplier.


This is an English translation of short case descriptions that are part of a larger report on Circular Procurement and Strategies among Norwegian Municipalities, developed by Inventura AS on behalf o…


Within the Interreg NSR project ProCirc a webinar was organised about circular office furniture. Experiences from suppliers as well as buyers are shared.


The European furniture industry welcomes the new Circular Economy Action Plan of the European Commission, strongly supports the transition to a circular economy and is ready to be involved in making …


This document analyses the current status of the circular economy within the furniture sector in Europe and Spain (some other EU countries will follow), it mainly focuses on the level of deployment o…


With support from the Circular Flanders Open Call, the 3 C  platform made an overview of existing labels and certificates for sustainable and circular office furniture.


The EU GPP criteria are developed to facilitate the inclusion of green requirements in public tender documents. While the adopted EU GPP criteria aim to reach a good balance between environmental per…


Rijkswaterstaat (The Netherlands) is actively working on the transition towards a circular economy. Together with Rebus, Pianoo the goverment and TurnToo a first step was taken.

Overview of product categories

Information about circular procument and example cases per specific product category.





Office Furnishings

PAPIER & KANTOOR- MATERIAALPaper & Office Supplies