Enhancing the circular lifecycle of your production processes offers countless benefits in term of cost efficiency and the overall sustainability of your business operations, and will improve your value chain. But it takes more than just stating good intentions, developing a mission statement and sharing it with shareholders.
Analyzing each step of the lifecycle
You’ll need to enact your vision with tangible KPIs and measurable targets for your company. This involves analyzing each and every step of your product’s lifecycle, from the sourcing of raw materials to production, use, reuse, repair, and recycling possibilities, as well as waste management.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these operational steps, and the associated concrete KPIs. Which targets will you need to increase, and which ones will have to be reduced?
Stages of the Circular Business Loops
Raw materials and production
Maximize the percentage of renewable energy in your production and distribution operations. Increase the percentage of products designed with recyclability and repairability in mind. This step is all about furthering the circularity of your production.
At the same time, limit the percentage or amount of virgin material input, as well as the percentage or amount of waste to landfill generated by the manufacturing process.
Return and recycle
You’ll want to up this percentage in compliance with local recycling regulations. You can do so by optimizing the amount of products and materials collected, or by increasing the purity or value of the products and materials collected. Make return points more easily available and accessible for your customers, and focus on developing a take-back program for your products.
At the same time, look to reduce the amount of collected products sent to landfill or incineration. Lower the cost of returning products, and reduce the cost of sorting and processing, as well as the time required.
Use of products
Advancing circularity starts with increasing the lifetime of products. Focus on maximizing the use of your products – just think of cars, which are only used 5% of the time. This means increasing the number of users that could share your product.
Focus on bringing down maintenance costs, while reducing the rate of value depreciation and the percentage of idle time. Minimize the amount of energy required to operate a product, as well as the associated emissions and environmental discharge. Finally, reduce your footprint by putting out fewer products.
Reuse and repair
When it comes to reuse, focus on increasing the value of your products on the second-hand market, and up the percentage of your products that can be upgraded to hold their value over time. Make accessibility to spare parts and repair information easier, and increase the amount of repairs carried out, while also making repairs cheaper and quicker.
Reduce the amount of discarded products and ensure that buying spare parts is financially more advantageous than buying new products.
The goal is to minimize the amount of waste products that end up in landfill, incinerated, or – even worse – discarded in nature. You’ll want to do so by increasing the number of products captured as feedstock for downstream businesses, while at the same time increasing the value of those products. Finally, you would do well to provide information on where your products ultimately end up.
Turn your company’s circularity vision into a key asset for your business, while advancing sustainability across the board! Contact us for strategic advice.