Company activity: Dutch carpet manufacturer Desso has redesigned their carpet tiles so that they can be disassembled,
and the yarn reprocessed to continue cycling the materials.
Stef Kranendijk was CEO of Desso between April 2007 – October 2012, and a key driving force in re-thinking the business model of the company. He explains that “the idea is to become a service industry, relying on a leasing system: then you don’t buy the product, you only pay for its use, which means materials remain our responsibility and of course it’s not our interest to see them wasted, at the end everybody wins.”
This ongoing transition to a circular business model has demanded an ambitious strategy with challenging milestones. Desso identiﬁed that the B2B market was more readily open to the performance model: “we started with the carpet tiles for ofﬁces and industry, then we will make our sports systems Cradle to Cradle, move to our woollen carpets – in that ﬁeld, we’re working on a bio-degradable base made out of corn by-product – then we’ll tackle the consumer market.” Designers and materials experts have also experimented in the biosphere, notably taking yarn from bamboo, which has the beneﬁt that once the carpet is worn, it can be safely return to the food-farming system. However, Kranendijk notes that “We still have to improve the product though, notably to enhance its durability.”
Desso know that the circular economy isn’t just about products and materials, and Stef states that “We aim to use renewable energy in all stages of the cycle…All the electricity we use in our Holland and Belgium plants comes from hydropower, thus we do not use any fossil fuel-generated electricity there. Our energy providers have certiﬁed that, and we’ve double checked via an independent ﬁrm that the provider was being honest.