A global producer of office copying and printing machines designed a new brand of machine to maximise the reusability of products and components, while minimizing the use of virgin materials. Products returning from their leasing contracts are inspected, dismantled, and taken through an extensive refurbishing process before the machines re-enter the market. By designing the components to be reused or recycled the company significantly reduces costs and environmental impact.
International modular floor covering business. Floor coverings are typically reliant on using large amounts of petro-chemicals products in the manufacturing process, which can have a high environmental and health impact. Interface introduced a new business model to lease floor coverings to consumers, which required a significant change in the design and manufacturing processes to allow the products to be returned and reused at the end of life. This has saved the company $430,000,000 since 1995.
Global Communications & Technology business – Have adopted the circular economy as an innovation focus across the business and to encourage all their designers to think differently to transition to a circular economy, with new connected devices enabling the tracking of products, components and materials for re-use and recovery; new business models through greater connection with customers; and more effective reverse logistics chains.
UK Retail DIY chain - is focussed in three key business areas: 1: Researching, developing and implementing circular business model trials 2: Delivering Kingfisher’s Net Positive objective of selling 1000 products with closed loop credentials by 2020 – by working jointly to devise the metrics, benchmarks and reporting that underpin this commitment 3: Creating a strong network of suppliers who are aligned around the need to transition to a circular economy
Scottish Govt. - Zero Waste
The Scottish Government is focussed on creating the conditions for innovation and investment in products, industries and business models that support a shift toward a circular economy. A Zero Waste Plan is being implemented as an economic and a resource strategy. The goal is to waste as little as possible and recognise that every item and material used is a resource which has value and can create economic opportunities.
Michelin Fleet Solutions
Leases tires to fleet vehicles and offers tire upgrades, maintenance, and replacement to optimize the performance of trucking fleets and to lower their total cost of ownership. By maintaining control over the tires, Michelin can collect and can extend the tyres life by re-treading or re-grooving them for resale. The company estimates that re-treads require half of the raw materials new tires do but deliver up to 90 percent of the performance.
Philips - New Business Models
A multi-national diversified technology company in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. The lighting division developed a new business model to provide leased lighting solutions to business and municipal customers. These customers now purchase lighting as a service and only pay for the light used. Philips installs the equipment, maintains, operates and also takes the equipment back to recycle the materials for reuse. The energy and cost benefits are substantial.
The above case studies have been provided courtesy of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. See
There are a number of leading businesses, organisations and communities from around the world that are adopting Circular Economy approaches because of the clear business case and are reaping the rewards. The following case studies have been sourced courtesy of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.