A recent study by the European Remanufacturing Network (ERN) points out that the creation of new business models based on circular economy in the furniture sector implies a wide range of new opportunities from a sustainable, economic and social perspective for the furniture and wood sector.
However, this challenge would require expanding the skills of employees and students who wish to focus their careers within this sector, which in 2012 employed more than 900,000 workers in approximately 126,000 companies in the EU.
To help with this issue, the Erasmus+ project FURN360 has emerged with the aim of developing a European training curriculum through which to implement strategies capable of facilitating the transition from a linear model to a circular model in the habitat sector.
The consortium of this project, made up of six organizations from Belgium, Germany, Spain and Finland, has dedicated the first months of FURN360 to carry out a study with which to identify good practices in circular economy that are already taking place in pioneering companies within the European furniture industry.
For this, they have counted with the participation of thirty companies in the furniture sector from nine countries of the European Union: Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Spain.
Through interviews with their CEOs and managers, they have been able to see first-hand how the implementation of strategies linked to the circular economy have taken place, highlighting the reasons that have led to the transformation and the challenges and opportunities found during their implementation. Finally, company representatives have been asked to analyze different skills and competencies necessary for the successful implementation of circular business models.
At the second consortium meeting, which took place on June 5 and 6 and was hosted by the Technological Centre of Furniture and Wood (CETEM, Spain) coinciding with World Environment Day, the information collected was analyzed, which will subsequently be used to prepare an internal report on the needs of the furniture industry in terms of circular economy, and, at the same time, good practice cases will be prepared to be included in the future training content developed during the project.