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.
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.