Catalonian worker co-op is designing environmentally friendly camper vans

'We are a provider with social values that aims to foster environmental sustainability and co-operation'

A co-op in Catalonia, Spain, is designing prototype interiors for camper vans, tailoring its services to the specific needs of its clients.

The Camper Diem co-op designs the interiors, implements the changes and provides support with repairing, if necessary. Its customers include families, couples or freelancers who need to work while camping.

In October, the co-op will be presenting a solar-energy powered vehicle at the Caravanning Exhibition in Barcelona, and has obtained financial support for the project from the government.

Camper Diem vehicles (c) Camper Diem

Founded in 2015, Camper Diem is a worker co-op set up by a group of workers using their redundancy payments. It currently has seven full members and three workers that have not acquired full membership yet.

“We wanted everyone to be equal and we chose the co-op model for this,” says Albert Boada, one of the founding members of the co-operative.

Every month members hold an assembly where they take decisions regarding the business.

The co-op took its name from the Latin expression ‘carpe diem’ – meaning ‘seize the day’ – because the team aims for the freedom gained by living every day to its fullest.

Campervan interior by Camper Diem (c) Camper Diem

 

Mr Boada says the camper van sector is dominated by players without licenses. As a legal entity, Camper Diem can offer guarantees to clients and its workers, paying tax and providing social services.

Environmental sustainability is another concern, said Mr Boada.

“Our purpose it to innovate and have efficient and sustainable products. We work with electric companies providing solar energy, to offer these products. We aim to look at new hybrid vehicles and explore changes within the industry,” he added.

During the production process, Camper Diem collaborates with other worker co-ops producing automotive components, as well as a cleaning and maintenance co-op, credit co-ops and energy provider Som Energia.

Asked how the co-op was different from other providers, Mr Boada said: “We offer a personalised product and individualised options for each client. We are a provider with social values that aims to foster environmental sustainability and co-operation. Thus, we have values that other companies do not have.”

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