Training for Circular Economy in the Construction and Furniture Sectors

Example of circularity in a furniture company

In the second half of 2018 the danish company Højer Møbler took in an intern from the graduate program Environmental management and sustainability science. Højer Møbler counsel about learning environments and offer furniture to schools, and have for several years been working with reducing their environment impact. Taking in an intern was a part of the European projekt KATCH_e, where the intern should test the developed circularity tools at the company. This was a big help, as the tools demanded a person who had a big theoretical knowledge and extra time to put comprehend the large material.

This was however only a small part of what the intern succeeded with in this period, as she helped Højer Møbler with several sustainable initiatives, which until then either had been postponed or abandoned.

The intern started investigating whether the Danish municipalities are interested and proficient in designing sustainable and circular procurement of school furniture. She found out that the procurement offices had minor focus on sustainability or how to make circular procurement. This surprised us, but also showed, that the market still has a long way to change their behaviour.

Another huge benefit was the work the intern did on creating a customized ECO-rating tool for our market and products. With this tool we can rate our existing and new products, and easily get a picture of where we can do even better in designing sustainable furniture. The ECO-rating was customized to our business with five sections for rating the products on its performance in :

  • creating active learning environments
  • the social effects for the suppliers, the local community and our own employees
  • environmental impact
  • Design for disassembly
  • Design for longevity

Last, but not least, our intern taught us about UNs sustainable development goals, and helped us describe what we do already, and where we can get even better.

Now Højer Møbler is one step closer to ensure resources for the next generation.