Concourse Display Management (Concourse) is to introduce Niaga Ecor circular panels as a sustainable material in the design and implementation process of brand activation and store builds in GTR.
This is the result of an official partnership with Ecor and DSM-Niaga, which was finalised following the signing of a Memoranda of Understanding at Dutch Design Week 2019 on 25 October in Eindhoven, Holland.
Concourse, which provides an implementation service that is 100% dedicated to GTR is a strong advocate for a sustainable approach in the implementation of retail furniture within the channel and the need for a migration for a circular economy to achieve this.
Scientists and engineers from DSM-Niaga redesign everyday products from scratch, making them healthier and fully recyclable without compromising on performance.
RE-DESIGN, RE-DRESS, RE-USE
Ecor offers healthy materials for interior, furniture and exhibition solutions. Together, these companies are now working in partnership to drive the use of Niaga Ecor cellulose panels in travel retail displays and store fit-outs to replace the use of non-recyclable materials such as Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).
This year in Cannes, Concourse exhibited in the Innovation Lab, for which TRBusiness was the first specialised media to sign up for as a sponsor, using Niaga Ecor panels in the design and build of its stand to introduce the material to clients and industry executives. The showcase received great interest and positive feedback, according to the company.
Chris Morriss, Managing Director, Concourse, who spoke about sustainability opportunities in DF&TR at the Innovation in Action Workshop in Cannes commented: “We have been working on innovation and education when it comes to sustainable brand activation, store implementation and what happens at the end of a display asset’s lifecycle.
“Through research and many discussions with our clients (both brand and retailer), as well as industry associations and sustainable manufacturers, we have been working relentlessly on identifying alternative raw materials and how to incorporate these into asset design.
“With DSM-Niaga and Ecor, we have found an incredibly innovative solution, with such inspiring partners, to take our sustainability aims forward with our brand clients. We are already in many discussions and early project stages to initiate this positive change in the travel retail industry.”
Regarding the official partnership alliance, which includes other new partners such as Royal Auping, Canary Company, Cartoni Design, Intos, König+Neurath, Occony, Triboo and Zwartwoud, an Ecor spokesperson added: “Radical transparency and disruptive change require courage. It’s a collective effort bonding all players in a value chain to the same cause.
“Our partners are paramount in taking responsibility for a growing societal waste problem by promoting our vision for circularity and using our shared experience, science, talent and creativity to deliver solutions.
“We owe gratitude to our allies who are willing to challenge the status quo, boldly and courageously. That’s why we’re excited to announce a collaboration with new partners teaming up to use Niaga Ecor panels which are made of cellulose materials, heat, pressure and water to create a range of fully recyclable, healthy alternatives to MDF particleboard, fiberboard and foam board.
“They are a sustainable alternative to traditional furniture panels that cannot be reused, have no circular value and end up as waste after use. Our panels enable furniture production with a business case for recycling.”
COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY
This latest step by Concourse highlights its commitment to put the need for sustainability at the forefront of the design and implementation process. It follows other sustainable initiatives already introduced.
For nearly a decade, the company has encouraged its clients to work with its Triple R Strategy (Re-design, Re-dress, Re-use) for existing display assets. Concourse has also committed to recycle or reuse 40% of all retail fixtures by 2022.
In May 2019, it launched ReStore, a sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility-led initiative developed to focus on reducing the amount of retail furniture, fixtures and merchandising that end up in landfill sites. This initiative identifies projects and charities that can benefit from travel retail’s unwanted retail displays and provides a dedicated service to collect, repurpose and recycle old materials into new and worthwhile pieces of furniture that can meet other charities’ needs.
COMMENT: ANDREW PENTOL, SENIOR EDITOR
Those who attended the recent TFWA World Conference in Cannes and listened to TFWA President Alain Maingreaud’s inaugural state-of-the-nation address will be aware of the association’s commitment to sustainability.
In fact, anybody who was in and around the exhibition during the week will have felt and noticed the wider industry’s commitment to the cause.
Maingreaud said during his conference presentation: “Unless DF&TR starts to act on climate change and are seen to be doing so by governments, investors and consumers, we risk appearing arrogant and out of touch with today’s travelling consumers.
“Some major players in our industry — brand-owners and retailers among them — are already active in this area. But even small steps matter, helping to create a sustainable mindset and the cumulative effect of initially small actions taken by many can quickly become significant.”
His words were echoed by John Rimmer, Managing Director, TFWA, who told TRBusiness during an exclusive video interview that we must work together as associations, retailers and brands to determine what we can do to minimise the impact our various activities have on the environment.
If initiatives like this involving Concourse Display Management (Concourse), Ecor and DSM Niaga are anything go by, progress is certainly being made. The decision to build a stand using new sustainable material and communicate this to the industry at every opportunity during the show was certainly a positive move.
Concourse has not only taken a further step to improving the way it does business in the channel with the environment at the forefront, but has taken a concrete one at that.
In fact, the company, which manages brand activations and store fit-outs in GTR, has put sustainability at the heart of everything it does for a number of years.
TRBusiness also takes the issue of sustainability extremely seriously, hence the launch of the TR Plastic Pledge and TR Sustainability Forum. As of 15 October 2019, some 300 industry representatives had pledged support for the initiatives.
There is plenty of work to be done, but if the likes of Concourse, who place sustainability at the forefront are joined by new entities in addressing this issue, we as an industry will be on to a winner.
Hats off to the team at Concourse.