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JCDecaux has developed a range of innovative street furniture concepts, designed using an upcycling approach.

Since its very beginning in 1964, JCDecaux has placed responsible growth and the circular economy at the heart of its business model. Street furniture is made available to local authorities and citizens thanks to financing from brand advertising that has been systematically eco-designed to last (several decades) and can then be refurbished or reused in other markets. The Group recently decided to strengthen its commitments by adopting its Climate Strategy, unveiled in June 2023, which aims to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050 by adopting a SBTi reduction trajectory.

As part of these efforts, JCDecaux is exploring different solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of its street furniture as much as possible. Adopting upcycling is one of these: this practice involves using materials which have already had a first life - giving them a new use by maintaining their shape and transforming them as little as possible.

JCDecaux has designed a new generation of bus shelters, "concept shelters", using repurposed used materials (glass, steel, wood, etc.) from its own or other sectors, with a minimum of transformation.

The first concept, called Polychrone, stands out with its simple, modular design and innovative assembly details.
It integrates second-life mechanical components used in scaffolding and recycled wood used in carpentry to create the structure of the bus shelter and the bench. A stock of unused maintenance glass was used for the back and side walls of the shelter while used cables from self-service bikes were repurposed to create a braided trellis for climbing plants.

Polychrone bus shelter

The second model, Tiny House, uses more wood and IPN-type beams recycled from makers of metallic structures (beams used in architecture), as well as glass components from maintenance stocks ordered by architecture worksites.

Tiny House bus shelter

This approach is virtuous in a number of respects.

By avoiding the extraction of new raw materials and minimising the consumption of energy linked to the manufacturing process, JCDecaux contributes efficiently to reducing its carbon footprint (an upcycled bus shelter generates -65% CO2 compared with a new* bus shelter in the extraction/manufacturing phase).

This approach also enables public buyers, such as municipalities, to meet the requirements of the AGEC law (anti-wastage for the circular economy), which requires them to favour the acquisition of repurposed assets, upcycled or using recycled materials, in proportions set at between 210% and 100% depending on the product type**.

Our “concept shelters” are already sparking conversations with interested parties, including town halls and local authorities as this initiative meets different challenges, notably concerning responsible development. Upcycling already exists in certain sectors, it is up to us to adopt it on a more industrial scale, by designing a new range of products that will use existing resources to promote a more sustainable future.

Sylvain Grandpierre

Director of Graphic, Digital and Product Design at JCDecaux

Furthermore, the practice of upcycling paves the way for the possibility of new virtuous partnerships with other sectors, with waste that could be reused in the manufacturing of upcycled street furniture by JCDecaux. Similarly, it supports the formation or the consolidation of French sectors for the supply of parts and components to be reused.

By transforming end-of-life materials into useful, robust, innovative and aesthetically-pleasing street furniture, the Group demonstrates its ability to combine economic development with service innovation and environmental responsibility to create a more sustainable future for cities while offering them safe, functional and visually attractive urban solutions.

Upcycling is a further dimension in JCDecaux's long-term approach to the circular economy. It is also a relevant driver of our Climate Strategy. We are proud to have developed, thanks to our integrated design studio, desirable, robust street furniture from used and recovered materials, while also offering the same quality of use to the public. This new design approach confirms our status as a sustainable media for all our stakeholders.

Lénaïc Pineau

Sustainable Development and Quality Director at JCDecaux

These "concept shelters" were presented at the French Mayor and Local Authorities Fair in November 2022. JCDecaux teams are currently working on a production version, the prototype of which will be unveiled shortly.

* Reference Model Foster opaque roof

**For street furniture, note that of €1,000 in street furniture acquired over the year, at least €200 of the products purchased (i.e. 20% of the total annual spending of the line) must come from reuse, repurposing or recycling. Of this €200, at least €50 (i.e. 5% of the total annual spending of the line) must be allocated to repurposed/reused products.

Published in New Technologies