A Beginner's Guide To The Circular Economy
Handing over to Gerrard Fisher of QSA Partners ...
Posted by Jacky Sherman on 15/01/2020 @ 8:00AM
This week, I’m very pleased to be handing over my blog post to Gerrard Fisher of QSA Partners who are working with me to co-run our Asentiv Mastermind Community for Greener Business ...
The circular economy is a fascinating idea that can help your company become more sustainable!
copyright: chaitanya tvs / unsplash
Until a short while ago I hadn’t heard of the term 'Circular Economy' or how it challenges our thinking about how we operate as a business and also a consumer. Exactly the sort of challenge that a mastermind group is designed to take on and why I’m so pleased to have an expert like Gerrard working alongside me.
"Over to Gerrard to give you an overview of the concept!"
Imagine a world where there is no waste. Every single thing, once it’s used, can be reused or recycled into a new thing. In fact, it’s so useful that the person who wants it next makes an extra effort to get hold of it (so you wouldn’t be chucking it in the bin with a load of other rubbish for a start!)
This can sound a bit extreme, but when you think about it, it’s exactly how nature works when humans aren’t interfering with it. Think about a woodland, lake or ocean - every single thing is a source of food for the next thing in the food chain.
Here’s the tricky part. Nature’s had billions of years to evolve a system that makes the most out of every single resource. Humanity has invented new materials and systems without realising the consequences of the 'end of life' of those things, which is why we end up with piles of rubbish that nobody really wants.
In a circular economy, if I made a product and you used it, I’d want it back afterwards. Perhaps I could mend it, clean it and resell it. Or use some parts from it, or recycle it to make my next product.
"Either way, I’d reduce the amount of new resource I need and save some of those costs along the way!"
Once you get into this way of thinking, you begin to wonder how you get the product back. If I sell the product, do I have to buy it back? Or is just offering a collection service enough to encourage the customer to give it back to me?
Do I need to compete with other outlet places (like eBay) where the customer might choose to sell it on? If I am really keen to get it back, perhaps I don’t actually sell it to you: maybe it’s better that you hire it for a while.
This kind of thinking sounds radical. It’s a huge shift from the regular “stack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap” thinking that many businesses follow. But the change is happening. Recently, Adidas launched Infinite Play, an initiative where it buys back clothing from customers to recover the materials. Bandvulc, a UK tyre company, now sells tyres as a service (you don’t buy the tyres, you pay for the number of miles you use them for). FW, a new skiwear brand is offering to repair products for its customers (when you think they’d normally be keen to sell a replacement instead). These examples were all developed as clients of QSA Partners!
"Now, we’re keen to help more businesses develop their green thinking and learn from examples like these!"
If you’re interested in exploring the circular economy, or even just doing things a little bit greener, come along to one of our Asentiv Mastermind sessions and let’s create some ideas!
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07970 638857. Let's have an initial chat over a coffee and see how I can help you.
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