CIRCULAR BUSINESS MODELS: SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION
Our circular business model for driving sustainable consumption aims to deliver accountable, eco-oriented processing along the value chain, from producer to consumer.
By presenting the customer with options and the right methodology to assess the environmental impact of products, this model enables the consumer to make more sustainable decisions.
The model also provides a traceability solution to monitor a product’s sustainability along the value chain and supports end-users and stakeholders to actively implement the circular economy via awareness raising and knowledge sharing activities.
Q: What do you think the main achievements of this innovative circular BM are?
A: With CIRC4Life we successfully developed a traceability architecture to provide sustainable, transparent and comparable information at product level. Our eco-shopping system provides sustainability information of products at the point of sale and an eco-account demonstrates the sustainable behaviour of consumers. Our eco-label makes it possible to evaluate the environmental impact of purchased goods, and the user-friendly end-user’s app we created allows the consumer to easily manage their eco-account. And last but not least, with the different activities we conducted we managed to raise citizens’ awareness and promote sustainable consumption .
Q: What were the main challenges you were confronted with on your journey towards making this BM a reality?
A: The pandemic certainly made the successful implementation of the Business Model a rocky ride. The use of the Living Labs concept to methodologically develop the business model and as a process of engaging stakeholders in a systematic way suddenly became problematic as all workshops and participatory activities suddenly ground to a halt.
The development of the Ecolabel for example, required gathering multiple points of view, suggestions and comments into a simple, visually attractive and reliable graphic. When live meetings were no longer possible, we adapted and managed to successfully develop this important graphic.
Q: In your opinion, what were the most important innovations that resulted from your work on the CIRC4Life project?
A: In my opinion the most important innovations can be summarised into three main points:
The establishment of a traceability infrastructure for data gathering.
The sustainability data for decision making processes at the point of sale: composed by the eco-label, app and eco-shopping module.
And the ability for suppliers and retailers to be a part of the sustainable solution, which guarantees transparency all along the value chain.
Q4: What was the most successful way in which you engaged with citizens?
A: We developed a large number of participatory activities for citizens and organized several successful workshops. But, we are particularly proud of the donations we were able to make during the first months of the pandemic. As at the time the difficult sanitary situation didn’t allow us to develop our workshops in order to collect feedback from citizens, we decided to donate ALIA’s sustainable products to health workers of the local hospital, to members of the civilian protection team of the municipality of Lorca, and to the Lorca and Regional Mental Health Association Lorca (ASOFEM). After testing the products they were asked to fill in a survey which allowed us to collect feedback on the products whilst making a contribution to society at the same time. Being innovative and thinking out of the box is crucial in times like these!
Juan Carlos Segura Ruiz
Head of Research & Development, ALIA
CIRC4Life Sustainable Consumption business model owner