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Circular Design & Bcorp – London, UK: 2024 @Andreu World (CDW 2024)

The opening day for Andreu World’s new London showroom provided the venue for an interactive and lively discussion focussed on prioritising circular design and the practical issues of implementing a more sustainable approach to reuse.

Organised by Women in Office Design, the event was moderated by WOD’s sustainability manager and co-founder of the Sustainable Design Collective, Joanna Knight. She was joined by Ana Rita Martins, Sustainability Lead at MCM; Lydia Randall, Head of ESG, BDG Architecture + Design; Sam Allen, Associate Director and Sustainability Lead at M Moser & Associates; Julia Hardy, Business Development Manager at Andreu World.

Prior to the discussion, Andreu World’s CEO, Jesús Linares, welcomed the particularly large number of attendees, given the many events hosted during CDW. He took the opportunity to outline the manufacturer’s commitment to sustainability and the principles of the circular economy.

“Our Circular Design® Challenge is a call to the entire industry to adopt practices such as ecodesign, zero waste management and carbon neutral footprint, selection of sustainable materials and adherence to certifications such as B Corp, Level 3, Cradle to Cradle and Greenhealth Approved,” explained Jesús Linares. “These actions are oriented not only towards the environment, but also towards people’s well-being and health, as well as the full integration of circularity principles. At the same time, the challenge seeks to inspire the adoption of greener approaches in industry and to encourage innovation and progress towards a positive impact on the planet.”

This year, Andreu World’s annual International Design Contest will be a special edition featuring the Circular Design® Challenge. The winner will receive a Euro 20,000 prize plus there will be three additional ‘special mentions’.

Following the inspiring welcome, Joanna Knight opened the panel discussion. “The office design industry, and fit-out in particular, is immensely wasteful. It is estimated that 300 tonnes of fit-out waste hits landfill every day!” commented Joanna. “One of the biggest barriers to change is, however, time. We need to allow time for better planning and process control as well as developing relationships that can exist beyond individual projects. This will allow for collaboration, effective exchange of information and support for a more responsible approach.”

Lydia agreed with the need for greater planning and an understanding of existing assets. “BCO guidance advocates the importance of pre-project audits, allowing the creation of a detailed inventory of potentially reusable assets,” said Lydia. “We also need to condition score products and consider how they can be reused, reinvented for new uses or re-purposed elsewhere. This process is complex, much like sustainability, and requires all stakeholders on the project to be transparent and proactive.”

Sam Allen joined the conversation highlighting that whilst re-use isn’t necessarily a low cost option, it is an imperative in the transition to a more circular approach. Sam explained: “Adoption of greater circularity will allow the workplace industry to continue to thrive. It does require, however, a completely new way of thinking and working. The design approach must be re-thought – attitudes, perceptions and understanding of processes also need to change. Storytelling is also essential allowing everyone to understand the benefits.”

The group also discussed MCM’s new studio and the practice’s approach to reuse, and planning ahead for future circularity. “The studio is a great place to work – it’s light, airy, beautiful, comfortable, and highly functional. There has been a determined effort to minimise environmental impact, yet there’s no compromise,” said Ana Rita. “Our team has demonstrated ‘what’s possible’ and it’s great that it is providing inspiration for many of our clients.”

The discussions concluded with conversations about the principles of BCorp membership. “BCorp membership requires a commitment to high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability,” explained Andreu World’s Julia Hardy. “It requires regular assessments and auditing to maintain this status. We are proud to have become part of this movement and share the collective vision of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.” 

Details of Andreu World’s Circular Design® Challenge can be found at