Five learnings from one year’s Sustainability Library

Anouk Arts
Sustainability Officer
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Learning 1 – Fewer samples, more variety

A valuable lesson from our experience with the Sustainability Library was the optimization of our sample stock. ‘We started with a generous stock of samples so that everyone could grab a sample without feeling awkward. But experience shows that colleagues choose their samples carefully,’ says Anouk. ‘Through now offering fewer samples, we have improved stock efficiency. Making room for new materials in our library and speeding up rotation.’


Learning 2 – More visibility with online database

The cupboards at Gielissen in Eindhoven and Helmond are easily accessible and so are frequently consulted. In addition to the physical library, we have built an online database for our colleagues, offering many more materials and information for them to discover. Anouk: ‘The online library proved difficult to find. So we built a sustainability dashboard, which makes it easier to navigate to the online sustainability library.’


Learning 3 – Greater reach with mini-libraries

‘Another positive note is the use of the Sustainability Library outside our organization’, says Anouk. Because in addition to internal use, the samples are also taken to (potential) projects to demonstrate the advantages of using sustainable materials. ‘Our team enjoys using the library to share our knowledge with others. In addition, we learned that developing mini-libraries, for use at trade shows, is a great way to present the possibilities of sustainable projects and breathe life into the stories behind the materials.’


Learning 4 – Less waste through collaboration with sheltered workshop

‘From time to time, materials go out of production, leaving us with unusable samples.’ Over the past year, Anouk and her colleagues have sought a new use for these. ‘Instead of throwing them away, we now donate them to a sheltered workshop. There they are reused and turned into new products, reducing waste while adding value to the community.’


Learning 5 – A broader view of sustainability

‘We try to have as diverse a range of materials on the shelf as possible,’ says Anouk. Each sustainable material has its own story: made from spent hotel linen, manufactured in a sheltered workshop or from a residual flow from an agricultural product. ‘Or mono-materials that are easy to recycle. This diversity of materials, raw virgin materials and aspects concerning sustainability, supports a front-of-mind attitude to sustainability across the board.’


Reserve a spot in our Sustainability Library

Together with our material suppliers, colleagues, and partners, we have learned a lot about sustainability over the past year. If you have questions about sustainability or a sustainable material that you feel deserves a place in our library, please get in touch, sustainability officer Anouk Arts would love to talk to you.


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Anouk Arts
Sustainability Officer
+31 6 12 96 61 67 +31 6 12 96 61 67
Anouk Arts
Sustainability Officer