Circular Economy business models in Practice

DEMO 1 applies the three business models to the domestic and industrial lighting sectors

Domestic Lighting

 

CIRC4Life partner and Design Editorial ONA (Spain) were responsible for the domestic lighting products demonstration. The demo was launched in October 2020 and ran until July 2021.

 

ONA produced a modular lamp made from industrial scrap materials, using limited material components in order to facilitate the sorting for reuse and recycling when the product reaches the end of its service life. The lamp is available in wood, metal or plastic and comes in three different sizes. 

ONA’s lamp was “co-created”, as its design is based on feedback collected via Living Labs such as consumer reviews, consumer workshops and  on a survey which tested the public’s interest in sustainable lighting products.

 

Moreover, a sustainable consumption model using the eco-cost and eco-credit scheme was developed in order to reward consumer’s eco-friendly behaviour. ONA’s lamps displays the eco-costs, showing the consumer information on its environmental impact. The eco-costs represent the results of the life cycle assessment performed by Nottingham Trent University: the higher the number, the higher the environmental impact of the product.

 

Eco-credits are points that are awarded when consumers return the lamp to have it recycled. ONA offers discounts on new products, depending on the status of the product and its evaluation.  Returned products are sorted at CIRC4Life partner Indumetal’s recycling centre, and components that are still in working condition will be returned to ONA for future use in production of new circular lamps.

 

A social LCA was also conducted on ONA’s products. With regards to the gender pay gap, ONA has a 35% better performance compared to other Spanish companies in the manufacture of domestic appliances sector. In addition, ONA’s staff has flexible working conditions, including telework, which has an impact on  the advancement of the career of the female workforce.

Finally, ONA has a very low workplace accident risk as they have established strong policies  to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

INDUSTRIAL LIGHTING

 

CIRC4Life partner Kosnic (UK) were responsible for the demonstration in the industrial lighting sector. They launched their demo in October 2020 and it ran until July 2021. Kosnic  developed a new modular lamp with a substantially better environmental impact: the new product performs 46% better compared to the previous version. A Life-cycle-assessment (LCA) was conducted to understand the environmental impact of the new product by Nottingham Trent University and used in the design of the new lamp.

Social LCA of the Kosnic company was also conducted, in order to measure the impact of their products on the health, safety and well-being of their workers and the wider impact on the community in which they operate. Kosnic’s social performance compared with other lighting manufacturers is as follows:

 

  • Environmental impact on the local community, 28.88% better

  • Contribution to local economic development, 22.24% better

  • Health expenditure, 10.93% better

  • Fatal accidents at the workplace 25.26% better

  • Weekly hours of work per employee 27.14% better

 

Regarding the sustainable consumption model, eco-costs were included on product packaging and product documentation. They were also featured in their product catalogue and on their website.

 

The demo tested the luminaire using a leasing service model. This leasing service model was co-created through Living Lab activities, such as surveys, workshops etc,. The client actually no longer buys the luminaire, but  signs a service contract with Kosnic and pays a monthly fee. Kosnic, and their business partners, are responsible for maintenance and repair of the product for the duration of their service contract.

 

The leasing service aims at encouraging collaborative reuse and recycling as part of the CIRC4Life project which is testing how to extend the life of industrial lighting products and integrate circular economy in design and use phases.