Each year in Australia, it is estimated that approximately 35,000 tonnes of commercial office furniture are discarded from offices. Most of this is in good condition and, under the right circumstances, has excellent potential to be rehomed, remanufactured, or recycled. However, despite these recovery options, vast volumes of office furniture are continually being disposed to landfill. Fit For Office (FFO) is a government-funded and industry-led project working toward a better and more circular future for Australia’s office furniture!
Since the project’s inception in 2021, the Australian Government has supported a consortium comprising Edge Impact, GECA and Planet Ark to minimise commercial furniture ending up in landfills and assisted in the recycling program through a grant of $372,890. In 2022 we updated you on the critical research and design phase of FFO, which included a collaborative series of exercises to help shape the program’s future.
We’re so excited to share that we’re approaching the pointy end of the project. It’s been inspiring to watch industry stakeholders embrace this opportunity to improve how we manage office furniture. The FFO Working Group “Stewards” have continued to demonstrate their leadership by collaborating to analyse the material flows and better understand the environmental impacts of the current commercial furniture market.
According to Lloyd Parker, Sustainability Consultation and Project Manager of FFO at Edge, “The Fit For Office stewardship scheme hopes to be run by and run for the industry.”
The program is now in its detailed scheme design phase, which includes identifying and implementing cost-effective mechanisms that enable a more circular and effective furniture recovery ecosystem across Australia. FFO aims to become recognised as an industry-governed and accredited stewardship scheme, giving office furniture reaching the end of its useful life a new, circular future.
“Collaboration is essential if we move to a circular and inclusive economy. FFO is an excellent example of how working together can help us to achieve our circular visions,” said Michelle Thomas, GECA CEO.
The program will focus on the following commercial office categories:
• Wheeled office chairs
• Under desk storage units
• Workstations and partitions
• Upholstered commercial seating
• Other chairs (fixed leg and stools)
• Meeting Room Tables
• Whiteboards (Glass and metal)
• Storage cabinets, lockers or bookshelves
• Coffee tables
The current FFO Working Group includes the following commercial furniture organisations:
• Abax KingFisher
• Artmatrix Technology
• Aspect Furniture Systems
• AWM – Australian Workstation Manufacturers
• Commercial Furniture Solutions
• Direct Ergonomics
• Gregory Commercial Furniture/Winya
• Living Edge
• Office Spectrum
• Sturdy Framac
• ThinkingWorks by Thinking Ergonomix
• Zenith Interiors
• Herman Miller
• Maxton Fox
• BFX Furniture
• Klaro Design
If you are a furniture manufacturer, importer, retailer, user, re-homer, or recycler of commercial office furniture, we want to hear from you! Expert reference groups will inform the program and scheme design, and we welcome suggestions or nominations via email to email@example.com.
You can also sign up for the FFO mailing list to keep up to date on the latest developments.
Your support, along with key industry stakeholders, GECA and its licensees, will make this project a standout.