Introducing Circularity in the Furniture Value Chain

The EU furniture industry is a labor-intensive sector dominated by SMEs, employing around 1 million workers in 130.000 companies, with an annual turnover of around 110 billion € and responsible for 1⁄4 of the world’s furniture (Eurostat). A study of the DG Enterprise and Industry (2014) shows that, over the last years, the European furniture industry has faced challenges related to increasing raw materials and labor costs, an aging workforce and difficulties in attracting younger workers. Reconversion of the industry by applying circularity has the potential to tackle these challenges, through repairing, refurbishment and remanufacture, allowing value recovery, economic growth and job creation within the European furniture industry, while saving on resources and the environment.

The Circular Economy in the Furniture Industry MOOC answers these issues by  addressing the following topics:
• Fundamentals, context, legislation-policies and regulations to identify incentives and barriers to the Circular Economy model

• Eco-design principles and environmental assessment of products
• Best practices and guidelines
• Supply chain: material sourcing, certifications, LCA, life cycle assessment
• Productive system: environmental management, productivity and reverse logistics
• Technology based green innovation
• Access to funding for transition
• Industrial Symbiosis
• Solutions to minimize the use of non-renewable raw materials and energy
• Recovery and recycling of resources and after selling services introduction
• Final consumer engagement and “green” image communication

This MOOC explains how to introduce circularity in your value chain. It has been designed based on a bottom-up approach specifically designed to accommodate the needs and peculiarities of furniture SMEs employees aspiring to managerial positions. It is constructed around learning units and learning outcomes and has the ambition to improve learners knowledge and skills connected to circularity


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