Circular economy is good business for Martela!
05/27/2015 - 19:42

Sitra has highlighted the circular economy as one of the final chances to improve our future prospects. This economic model, known as resource efficiency, aims to gain more value from materials and products. With McKinsey’s assistance, the model’s growth potential has been calculated at up to EUR 1.5-2.5 billion a year. When it comes to the circular economy, the construction industry is in a key position to implement change. Based on its volume, it is the largest user of raw materials and second largest producer of waste. Therefore, the majority of the possibilities offered by the circular economy are related to increasing utilization rate.

From the perspective of investment, resource-efficient use of space is a good idea for both owners and users. When a smart office is created using up to 50% less space than before, it is possible to reduce more than just rental costs. The use of energy can also be reduced, for example. Studies show that functional premises increase wellbeing at work. At best, smart office premises free up a company’s resources for other investments, ones that are vital to the national economy, for example.

Material and waste solutions also play a significant role for the profitability of a company. At Martela, corporate responsibility means that we take responsibility for our products from product design to production, customer service and maintenance service during use, and finally the recycling of the product when the customer no longer has use for it. The purpose of recycling is to give our products a new lease of life, at which point the basic idea of circular economy is achieved.

Approximately 100,000 tonnes of furniture ends up as waste every year in Finland. Studies show that 70-80% of this furniture could be recycled. In 2014 Martela received about 3,000 tonnes of used furniture. Over 20,000 pieces of furniture found new homes after being cleaned, re-upholstered or refurbished. The rest of the materials were recycled.

When products do not end up as waste and are recycled for reuse, this creates new jobs, which are desperately needed in Finland.

We have developed our production processes and our operations network in a way that allows us to reduce our energy use and minimise emissions and environmental risks. For example, our product packaging can be reused as a packaging material, a recycled material or a source of energy. Our goal is to produce furniture with a life cycle that is as long as possible and an environmental impact that is as low as possible.

We also require our suppliers to comply with environmental laws and official requirements. We monitor our suppliers’ environmental results and encourage them to use environmental management systems and technology with lower environmental impacts.

Every now and again we still come up against the idea that environmental friendliness and productivity are goals that cancel each other out. Adopting the idea of circular economy in the construction industry improves environmental friendliness and also allows companies to save energy, reduce rental costs, lengthen the life cycle of their products and achieve significant savings through the wellbeing of their employees.

The circular economy is good business and Martela is a good example of this.

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Director, Education
Vice President, Innovation to Market
Interior Architect, Physiotherapist, Physical Training Instructor, Martela
Director, Workplace Planning Services, Martela Sweden

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