Upcycled furniture in the Cube at Berlin main station. | © DB AG / Faruk Hosseini

Old and improved

We don't throw away the information notices at our building sites when we no longer need them. Instead, we take an upcycling approach and give them a new lease of life by transforming them into useful products. We have a pilot project running where we give old office furniture a face-lift, rather than just throwing it out when it is no longer fit for purpose. The furniture is upcycled and made ready for use again. Various local woodshops and upholsterers are supporting us in this.

A second life for old office furniture 

The old pieces of furniture are either given a thorough makeover or converted into completely new items. For example, a storage unit could become a bench or old shelves may be made into tables. A special feature of all the new seats is the sustainable fabric “Oceanic” they are covered with. The polyester fibers of the upholstery fabric are made of plastic waste from the oceans and are Ökotex100-certified. DB is a global pioneer in the use of this environmentally friendly material for office furniture.

This means we can significantly extend the life of the furniture and avoid waste. In addition, by not making new purchases, we save raw materials and emissions, and protect our own resources.

Formerly an old shelf - now a new table and a bench in modern colors.
Formerly an old shelf - now a new table and a bench in modern colors.
The surface of the conference table was refurbished and expanded with a linoleum top.
The surface of the conference table was renewed and expanded with a linoleum top.
All upcycling furniture are marked with our This is green.- label made.
All upcycling furniture are marked with our This is green.- label.
The seats has been covered with new fabrics and shines in new splendor.
The seats has been covered with new fabrics and shines in new splendor.
Modern sofa corner with a new fabric cover as a waiting area
Modern sofa corner with a new fabric cover as a waiting area
The new fabric cover is particularly sustainable. The polyester fibers are from plastic waste from the sea and  Ökotex100 certified.
The new fabric cover is particularly sustainable. The polyester fibers are from plastic waste from the sea and Ökotex100 certified.
Upcycling furniture is also used in modern think tanks.
Upcycling furniture is also used in modern think tanks.
... have been redesigned into colored office signs for the new room concept.
... have been redesigned into colored office signs for the new room concept.
The new waste separation system also has its place in the modern tea kitchen.
The new waste separation system also has its place in the modern tea kitchen.
...have been redesigned with new fabric covers in a modern look.
...have been redesigned with new fabric covers in a modern look.
The chairs in the new meeting rooms have been upcycled from used seat shells and scrap metal.
The chairs in the new meeting rooms have been upcycled from used seat shells and scrap metal.
For the large-scale murals in all rooms, old room dividers were re-covered and reused.
For the large-scale murals in all rooms, old room dividers were re-covered and reused.
The furniture in the meeting rooms has been redesigned in different color concepts.
The furniture in the meeting rooms has been redesigned in different color concepts.

Environmental protection is in the box

We also do upcycling in other places. Once a construction project is completed, the site information notices are no longer required, but that doesn't mean that we've finished with them. DB Station&Services has joined forces with a workshop for people with disabilities to create an upcycling project in Frankfurt. The signs are made of old truck tarps, and once they are taken down, the material is sent to the workshop to be turned into modern bags. In another project, women with a refugee background create our upcycling bags as part of their clothes-making training course. Many different tarps are used, so each bag is a colorful and unique creation. 
 
Reusing information notices as bags is the second time that we minimize our environmental impact in connection with these signs. We make a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions by making the signs out of old truck tarpaulins in the first place, as this does away with the need for conventional composite aluminum sheets. 

Umweltschutz durch Upcycling
Evironmental protection is in the box - different tarps are used, to create each bag into a colorful and unique piece.