Earth is calling... SKO

A sustainable workplace


The average amount of waste produced per person in the Netherlands is 500 kilos, according to MilieuCentraal. All this waste, including plastic packaging, paper, glass and residual waste such as furniture, is incinerated if it is not recycled. Because this is harmful to the environment, recycling waste is an important topic addressed by the Global Goals. When recycling, fewer raw materials are needed for the production of, for example, wood and cotton. This results in more land that can be used to produce food and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, since reusing materials is less energy consuming than producing with new materials.

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In short

  • Waste incineration is environmentally harmful. 
  • SKO realises work environments in a sustainable and well-considered way and thereby strives for a circular economy

Global Goal

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Circular economy

The circular economy is an economic system where re-usability of products and raw materials is maximised and value destruction is minimised. In other words, recycling. It is a mindset that fits SKO, a project designer from Twente that develops well-considered and healthy work environments that contribute to sustainable production and consumption. 


SKO wants to put an end to the excessive use of finite raw materials and the unnecessary disposal of products. Robbert Nijhuis: “The circular economy is structured in such a way that products can be reused or serve as a raw material for new products, resulting in fewer needed raw materials and less unnecessary waste. We can achieve this by recycling, reusing and producing products more smartly. It contributes to a better environment and ensures that we use the resources that we still have more economically.”


“Our circular mindset has resulted in 3500 furniture items being reused in 2018 and great social inclusion.”


 Ruud Schoolderman of SKO: “We are critical towards the value of products, they must be able to last, or we must be able to convert them into something else. For example, we have converted old filing cabinets into seats and doors into umbrella stands. We do not want to throw anything away.”


SKO stepped up their game with the introduction of its new ‘sustainability street’, set up with various partners including a secondment agency for people with disadvantages on the labour market. Furniture is revitalised in the sustainability street, offering customers high-quality office furniture at reduced rates, and contributing to a better environment. SKO, driven by circularity, contributes to waste reduction, extends the life of products and reuses raw materials.

Sustainable workplaces at the City of Enschede

SKO Projectinrichting from Oldenzaal won the tender offered by the City of Enschede to renew 1400 workplaces in the municipal office, city hall and various other locations in the city. “In short, they prefer to buy as little new office furniture as possible, so we need to reuse materials sustainably. If we need to buy new items, they must be sustainable, reusable and preferably produced locally”.


In practice, this means employees of the City of Enschede can choose furniture from a refurbished collection. This collection consists of reusable office furniture: chairs with new upholstery, old fashioned corner desks that have been converted into rectangular desks with modern legs and filing cabinets that are converted into seating areas for, for example, a waiting room.

Can everything be reused?

“Of course, some desk chairs are worn out so badly that we cannot use it anymore”, according to Robbert Nijhuis, commercial director at SKO. “In this case, we take the initiative to recycle it in our sustainability street, for example by combining to broken chairs into one usable one.”

Materials passport

Every product that the facilitating body of SKO touches gets a barcode, linked to a ‘materials passport’. It describes the history of the product, including maintenance reports and which parts are reusable.

About SKO

SKO is a project designer from Oldenzaal, offering their services throughout the Netherlands. They are a total service provider because they have an in-house project agency, interior designers and an assembly service. Banks, insurers, schools, training institutions, hospitals, clinics and various SMEs use the services of SKO, who distinguishes itself through its 'Get Fitter by SKO' philosophy. For more than 40 years this philosophy has placed people, the environment, sustainability and joyful jobs at the centre of attention.

Date: 3 January 2019 |

Source of tekst: SKO |