Greater resource efficiency for consumer goods
An EU-funded project aims to boost resource efficiency in the electrical and electronic sector by developing, testing and transferring new circular economy business models based on systemic eco-innovative services. This should save money, create jobs and cut emissions.
© pinglabel #198425750, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com
The new circular economy business models will be validated through demonstrations dealing with four target products belonging to different categories of electric and electronic equipment: large household appliances, IT equipment, telecommunications equipment, and consumer equipment. These four categories account for 77 % of waste electrical and electronic equipment collected in the EU.
New business models developed under the EU-funded C-SERVEES project aim to tackle the challenge of waste of electrical and electronic equipment, reducing waste, saving money and creating jobs. These models are based on eco-innovative services including product customisation, improved management of waste equipment, and eco-leasing rental of electrical or electronic equipment for a period roughly equal to its lifespan, after which it is returned and recycled.
The services are supported by ICT tools designed to take advantage of the potential and synergies between the circular economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is characterised by automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. These tools include features and functionalities such as life-cycle and warranty tracking of the electrical and electronic equipment, interactive user and repair manuals, and reuse and recycling protocols, as well as providing for user feedback.
The technical, economic, environmental and social viability of the business models is ascertained through demonstrations on washing machines, toner cartridges, telecommunications units and television sets. A single circular business reference model is tailored to each product and the demonstrations cover the entire life cycle, associated value and supply chains, and the eco-innovative services.
Design guidelines and exploitation plans will support transfer of the models to industry, while recommendations for policymakers and a circular economy standardisation proposal for the sector will be drawn up.
By laying the foundations for the implementation of market-ready solutions, C-SERVEES is expected to result in economic benefits worth more than EUR 57 million during the period 2022-2026. In the medium term, it should generate annual economic benefits of some EUR 28 million, lead to the creation of around 350 direct and indirect green jobs, and help cut emissions by the equivalent of 2 620 tonnes of CO2 a year.