Create a circular economy

February 5, 2019

gategroup’s deSter is stepping up its focus on sustainable design with ambitious goals for the future. Julie Baxter discovers more

Earlier this year deSter refocused its priorities with the launch of deStudio. The aim is to reassert the role of design and development at the very heart of the company’s activities.

Combine Expertise
The deStudio brings together product developers, designers, engineers and eco material specialists. Design director, Ruud Vanderheyden, says: “deSter has always been focused on design, research and development but as we extended our plastic manufacturing side, clients started to forget that this was our true expertise. Development and design is at the core of everything we do and the new deStudio establishes a clear creative hub right at our core.”

Establish Your Vision
MD Stef Van de Perre says:”All airlines and their product manufacturers have to be ready for the environmental legislation that is coming. Everyone interprets what is needed differently but we have aligned our own vision to that of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and are trying to translate her vision into solutions for the airline industry. There isn’t one solution, it is about the holistic lifecycle of a product and ensuring that the entire process is sustainable.We all need to reinvent the way we do things, paying careful attention to every detail. The correct solution may be different for every route or from every location.

Set Your Goals
He adds: “In domestic markets our ambition is to make, deliver and then collect the products after use, to then create something new. For international services there are extra challenges but our analysis shows weight is key here for its impact on fuel burn. By 2020 we believe 100% of our newly offered products will be made of materials that can be recycled or biodegraded. By 2025 all our products will be created to fit into the circular economy.”

Produce Locally
deSter has production plants in Belgium (Antwerp), Prachinburi (Thailand) and most recently Lima (US) to service US deliveries. There are plans for further bases in the next two years with the goal of ensuring the products are produced close to the end user.


• deSter employs over 1200 people throughout its global operations

• The company has its head-quarters in Antwerp and runs three production plants

• 100% of deSter products will be part of a sustainable circular process

• deSter is developing its regional network of production plants to be close to its end users