Ellen Macarthur Foundation. Rethink the future

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Case Studies

Bundles applies Internet of Things technology to facilitate a pay-per-use model for washing machines that supports monitoring, maintenance and lifetime management of embedded materials.

With an annual turnover of £3.3 million, Re-Tek is providing an example of how embracing ‘incentivised return’ can generate revenue for the benefit of everyone.

Braiform, the global leader in garment hanger re-use, are seeing the far-reaching benefits of a circular business model by making a commitment to the inner loops of the technical cycle.

Public procurement in Denmark
Programmes initiated by the Danish government aim to shift public procurement to support the transition to a circular economy.

Revolve Reuse Quality standard
Scotland's Revolve Reuse Standard aims to turn reuse from a fringe activity to a key part of the economy, through increasing trust and reputation of reuse retailers.

Textiles Recycling Valley
This initiative in Northern France puts interdisciplinary collaboration at the forefront of a drive to dramatically increase collection and reuse of textiles.

Rype Office
In his work on the performance economy, Professor Walter Stahel makes the distinction between ‘tools’ and ‘toys’, highlighting the types of products suited to the service-based contracts that form a key part of a circular economy.

Coca-Cola Enterprises
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) markets, produces, and distributes products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

Villa Welpeloo
Whilst tracking and tagging methods are discussed and tested in pilot projects, forward-thinking design agency Superuse Studios based in The Netherlands have worked to both develop the infrastructure to identify pools of resources, and then put them to use in a range of real-world projects.

Bunge is one of the world’s largest agribusiness and food companies. It is involved in many areas of the food supply chain, including the buying, transporting and processing of grains and oilseeds, the production of sugar and ethanol, and the sale of food products like edible oils and flours. In the past decade, the company has discovered the benefits of combining a systems thinking approach with an open mindedness to new connections within its business activities.

Angus Grahame set up Splosh in 2012 with the idea that there must be an opportunity to sell household cleaning products outside of the supermarkets using a ‘one time sale’ model.

Caterpillar's remanufacturing activity began in 1973, and has since grown to encompass nine locations around the world, employing over 3600 people in a business model with an emphasis on component recovery.

Agency of Design
The Agency of Design’s project demonstrates that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when designing for a circular economy.

Philips & Turntoo
A collaborative project between Philips and TurnToo is a showcase for the pioneering ‘Pay-per-lux’ model.

Maersk Line
By creating a Cradle to Cradle passport for their latest vessels, Maersk Line is aiming to gain greater control over the materials they use, with the ultimate goal of being able to make new ships from old.

Mud Jeans
Mud Jeans is pioneering a lease model for its organic cotton jeans, in order to ensure raw materials supply and discover new business opportunities.

With wear2, apparel is designed using a new yarn that enables items to be selectively disassembled at scale, making them suitable or re-use and re-sale or materials recovery.

Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions
Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions provides remanufactured diesel and petrol engines, transmissions and machined components to the automotive industry. They offer a full remanufacturing solution including core collection and storage, strip down, remachining of cylinder heads and blocks, and identification and supply of replacement parts.

Kalundborg Symbiosis
Kalundborg Symbiosis is the world’s first well-functioning example of industrial symbiosis and, within the academic discipline of industrial ecology, has become a textbook example of effective resource saving and cycling of materials in industrial production.

Refuse Vehicle Solutions
Refuse Vehicle Solutions Ltd has the objective to provide a cost-effective alternative for the public and private sector, when purchasing new or high quality used refuse vehicles. They can carry out major modifications and they stock a comprehensive range of used spare parts for waste recycling vehicles and dustcarts.

FLOOW2 facilitates the sharing of overcapacity of business equipment and skills & knowledge of personnel that are under-utilised for half of the time, by making it transparent and tradable on their platform.

Copiers and printers returning from Ricoh's leasing programme are inspected, dismantled, and go through an extensive renewal process — including key components replacement and software update — before re-entering the market under the GreenLine label with the same warranty scheme that is applied to new devices.

Flooring company Desso have been one of the pioneers of the Cradle to Cradle approach, and was the first carpet manufacturer in EMEA to gain C2C certification. The company continues to innovate around the principles of a circular economy, extending these products to a large portfolio of clients in both carpet and artificial grass divisions.

GameStop, the world's largest multichannel video game retailer, offers a highly developed buy, sell, trade program which creates value for customers while recycling products no longer being played.

The Econyl system enables the company to take waste – either post-industrial, created in the chemical production of nylon 6, or post-consumption, products owned by the client or user at the end of life – and manufacture new nylon 6 with no loss of quality.

Active Disassembly
There are a variety of potential barriers to developing products that are ‘made to be made again’, such as the time and labour intensity of repair and remanufacturing, the cost in designing products in this radical way, and the quality of the recovered components or materials.

Ecovative’s products are fully compostable alternatives to synthetic materials such as petroleum-based expanded plastics. They are made of mycelium grown in and around agriculture by-products, acting thereby as a glue, and can take any shape needed.

Mazuma Mobile
Mazuma Mobile is an online mobile phone reuse and recycling service allowing consumers to unlock the cash value of their mobile phones - offering same day payments. If necessary, the handsets are refurbished by an external partner, and then sold to partners in emerging markets and to insurance dealers and retailers in UK.

Digital Lumens
Digital Lumens offers integrated Intelligent Lighting Systems, combining LEDs, networking and software to reduce customers’ lighting-related energy use by up to 90 percent. As of 2013, the company is planning to start offering these solutions as a service rather than an equipment sale.

Originally focused on the collection of oils and fats from restaurants, Brocklesby Ltd moved into the industrial sector by starting to work with food manufacturers and retailers.

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