Ecophon now expands its circular offer even further as its Swedish business unit launches a pilot and test market for the reuse of sound absorbers. Ecophon offers to buy back material from existing buildings, for instance in connection with reconstructions, renovations, or tenant customisations. The absorbers are then offered as an alternative to newly produced materials for use in new construction projects. The aim is to reduce resource and energy use and to avoid unnecessary scrapping.
Construction and demolition waste accounts for more than a third of all waste generated in the EU1. Utilising resources more efficiently could reduce the industry’s carbon emissions by up to 80 percent2. An increased supply of reused and reusable building materials is needed to meet the rising demand in the industry. Ecophon is now seeking to take responsibility through the reuse of acoustic panels.
‘Everything that is purchased has an impact on the environment. Reuse is a real game-changer as it promotes lower waste, reduces energy usage, and provides products with reduced environmental impact and carbon footprint compared to buying new. We are proud to now being able to offer a reused acoustic solution that meet full functional and aesthetic standards, ‘says Elie Falcand, Innovation Project Manager at Ecophon.
Building with reused materials has many advantages. Yet reuse is often associated with challenges in a wide range of areas, from logistics to gaining access to reusable materials. However, there are many arguments in favour of reusing acoustic panels made from glass wool. They are light, modular, and easy to handle. Ecophon acoustic panels are designed to last longer than average interior
construction materials, making them particularly suitable for reuse.
‘We continuously work closely with customers and partners to design workable solutions for the reuse of materials. Large-scale reuse requires early planning and the right materials, as well as a systemic approach that includes the entire value chain. It also involves debunking myths about reused materials being inferior in terms of appearance and performance,’ explains Erika Edlund, Sustainability specialist, Ecophon Sweden.
The initiative is currently at the pilot stage, and Ecophon is actively seeking more projects where they can help increase resource efficiency by buying back, checking, and then selling reused absorbers. Thanks to a thorough selection and screening program, the products put to sale again are, despite the natural ageing, deemed to be as good as new.
Ecophon also offers recycling of non-reusable absorbers through SoundCircularity, a recycling service that won the Circular Initiative of the Year award at the Swedish Recycling Gala 2022. The reuse initiative is intended to complement the SoundCircularity recycling initiative, in the many cases where sound absorbers have second-hand value. The recycling service will continue to be offered for off-cut fractions and materials that cannot be reused.
Read more about Ecophon work with circularity and innovation here.
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