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October 3, 2023
HR Technologies

Is the time right for office furniture as a service?

The focus on creating a more sustainable workplace is increasing. Many designers, specifiers, manufacturers, suppliers and, of course, users are pledging their allegiance to the cause. Some are driven by a genuine recognition of the climate crisis whilst others are appreciating that commercially, it’s an essential direction.  ‘Zero to landfill’ has been given ‘green bragging rights’ for some time. In reality, due to the significantly lower cost of incineration versus recycling, most material isn’t reclaimed, it is burnt. Whilst ‘energy from waste’ might alleviate some guilt, it is still contributing to pollution. Recycling is vital to waste reduction but ideally it should be the last resort. In a circular economy, value retention must be the way forward. We must consider how to extend the life of products and components – rather than smashing them up as part of the recycling process. Office furniture as a service and buy-back schemes are being heralded as sustainable alternatives to the traditional linear model. They do offer an incentive to maximise the lifecycle for furniture and fittings – but are they achievable or commercial suicide? Many people don’t own their own car – they take out a financial plan and simply hand the car back at the end of the term. The financial services company ‘earns’ from the contract; the manufacturer sells a new car; the dealer hopes that the customer will purchase another newer model and can sell the original vehicle. This works as there is a residual value; a strong ‘second hand’…
Is the time right for office furniture as a service?

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