Ellen Macarthur Foundation




Pioneer circular economy innovation in the areas of healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting

Philips were announced as a new Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at the inaugural Circular Economy 100 Summit in June. Robert Metzke, Senior Director of Philips EcoVision Program, shared with our audience many of the reasons Philips believes the circular economy is crucial to their business going forward and how they have been working with the Foundation so far.

Frans Van Houten, CEO at Philips

“At Philips we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation. Our goal is to improve the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2025. For a sustainable world, the transition from a linear to a circular economy is a necessary boundary condition. A circular economy requires innovation in the areas of material, component and product reuse, as well as related business models. By using materials more effectively, economic growth will eventually be decoupled from the use of natural resources and ecosystems. In such an economy, the lower use of raw materials allows us to create more value.”


We really took the report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey and tried to understand what is the value that could be created from the industries that Philips operates in – healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle – to try to understand which part is where in the supply chain, what kind of change would be needed, what types of products and services would be most feasible for it etc. So really it’s the next logical step for us on this journey.

Robert Metzke, Senior Director of Philips EcoVision Program


Circular Innovation

Philips is a world leader in healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting, and will be joining the ranks of B&Q, National Grid, BT/Cisco (working together) and Renault in powering the work of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in accelerating the transition to a circular economy. They have already been exploring circular innovation within their own company.

“We started to develop the concept of light as a service together with Turntoo and Thomas Rau, that we are currently scaling up, where we don’t sell lightbulbs anymore but where we start selling light. So people pay for the performance…not selling the material but keeping the material for us, using renewable energy of course, and the last level really is system level changes.”

Philips is currently working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the following areas:

  • Raising awareness about the circular economy within the organization, and beyond to the wider business community
  • Developing training modules for the Philips University
  • Researching, developing and implementing circular initiatives, with a particular focus on demonstrating performance based business models

To learn more about Philips’ circular economy innovation, watch Robert Metzke presenting at the CE100 Summit in 2013:

Core team

  • Henk de Bruin

  • Robert Metzke

  • Markus Laubscher

  • Marcel Alberti


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Global Partners of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Circular Economy 100 Members