Circular Fitout Lab - Business in the Community

Circular Fitout Lab

Business in the Community (BITC) has limited partnership opportunities available to help steer leading-edge content that will support our Circular Fitout Lab.

The Circular Fitout Lab is designed to enable those commissioning fitout projects for offices and retail units to work together, share solutions, and accelerate change at a pace and scale to cut carbon emissions and reduce pressure on nature.

Given that roughly 80% of the building stock that will be in use in 2050 is already in existence today1, building occupiers must fit out existing buildings in a circular way to reduce embodied emissions.  

Acting now will help you build a fairer and greener world and maximise your business’ social impact.  

The Circular Fitout Lab

Following BITC’s previous work around Circular Office and circular procurement, we are partnering with the University of Exeter to run the Circular Fitout Lab, funded through the UKRI CE-Hub. The Lab will consist of three elements:

Autumn/Winter 2023 Research Phase

We will work to understand the barriers to adopting circular economy practices in fitout projects. This will include organisational, psychological and market barriers.

Spring 2024
Action Learning Phase

Three interactive workshops for facilities managers, procurers, and other commissioning organisations involved in fitout projects. The goal is to encourage collaboration among peers, inspire creativity, and push the boundaries of innovation. We will address the barriers that were uncovered during the research phase.

Summer 2024
Statement of Demand Phase

Recognising that some barriers cannot be overcome by individuals in organisations that commission fitout projects, a half-day workshop will be held to create a “statement of demand.” This statement will outline the necessary actions to be taken by stakeholders, including component suppliers, the built environment industry, and the government, to pave the way for others to take action.

Participation in these phases of the Circular Fitout Lab is fully covered via funding from the UKRI CE-Hub.

The opportunity

We are looking for organisations that want to accelerate making a circular economy the new normal in fitouts. By becoming a partner, you will enable us to support participants of the Circular Fitout Lab to go further and faster in adopting circular fitout models. This will be achieved by creating documents that will inspire, inform, and enable the implementation of best practice solutions. Your organisation will not only be credited with the creation of the these documents but will also play a steering role in the project by joining the steering group for the overall Circular Fitout Lab project.

Choose the content you would like to support

1. Video – Circular Office Inspiration

    Audience: Those commissioning fitout projects.Providing a solution to conflicting priorities.

    Many circular economy managers do not consider circular economy when coordinating fitout projects. By showing a selection of best practice circular fitout projects this video will bring to life the potential of circular economy to reduce embodied carbon and other environmental impacts cost-efficiently, inspiring them to take the next steps in their next fitout project.

    2. Toolkit – Stakeholder Engagement

      Audience: Those who need to bring other people on board. Providing a solution to change resistance.

      Adopting circular economy principles can require internal stakeholders in different teams to do things differently, and resistance to change is a common barrier. This toolkit will set out which roles or teams need to be engaged in organisations that are looking to commission circular fitout projects, the concerns that they may have particular to their role, and how change agents can help to alleviate those concerns and bring them on board.

      3. Directory – Circular Fitout

        Audience: Those who are doing circular fitouts. Providing a point of reference when choosing suppliers.

        Many circular solutions are available across the different product categories encompassed within fitouts. This directory, a source of inspiration, will list suppliers and the circular products and solutions.

        4. Toolkit – Assessing Circular Economy in Tender Responses

          Audience: Those who are evaluating supplier offers. Providing a solution to comparing the credentials of products and services.

          Within this practical toolkit, we will set out methodologies that can be used to measure and compare circularity in the context of fitout services and components. Depending on the needs of the sponsoring partner, this could be developed through a live pilot carried out on a fitout project being commissioned.

          New ideas

          We are open to new ideas – let us know what you would want to work with us on to overcome the barriers to circular fitout.  

          Being a partner on the project in the Circular Fitout Lab is a role that may be suited to office-based organisations or retailers that are leading the way in their fitout projects and want to cement their reputation as leaders, companies in the construction industry that want to help clients overcome the barriers which they are facing or suppliers of fitout components that are looking to increase client uptake of circular solutions. Participation as a partner depends on investment, with both BITC Member and Non-Member rates available.

          Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis over the coming months. Express your interest now, and a team member will get in touch with more information.


          [1] Seizing the decarbonization opportunity in construction | McKinsey