Circular Economy – The Next Business Model
In 2020, the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s defined Circular Economy based on 3 principles: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; regenerate natural systems.
One of the main goals of Green Token is to manage waste properly with the aim of reducing and avoiding waste to landfills and our oceans. In 2050, it is believed that there will be more plastics than fishes in all oceans combined. The development of better collection systems will result from the shift to a more circular economy, which will minimise the production of new plastic products and help to limit the quantity of waste that enters the environment. Additionally, new technologies may improve water filtration techniques and biodiversity preservation efforts.
Green Token believes that one solution is to accelerate the development of technologies that tackle waste-water management, and advance recycling technologies, in order to achieve circular economy. They are now looking to support startups that holds the key to tackling the waste management solutions with the necessary resources to drive their growth.
Achieving circular economy is a significant advancement that benefits both companies and customers. Businesses who have adopted this technique are demonstrating how much more cost-effective it is to reuse resources as opposed to developing new ones from scratch. Because of the lower production costs, the sale price is likewise cheaper, which benefits the consumer in terms of both the economy and the social and environmental conditions. Let’s delve deep into the business models and assessment tools within the concept of circular economy: Cradle-to-Cradle and Life Cycle Assessment.
ReDesign Products: Cradle-to-Cradle
It was created a new vision of design to go beyond sustainability. William McDonough and Michael Braungart popularised the term “cradle to cradle” (C2C®) in 2002. (Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, 2014). The Cradle to Cradle® concept uses closed-loop cycles, which are similar to the natural eco system in that all material inputs and outputs contribute as either “biological” or “technological” nutrients, with basically “zero waste” produced. Technical nutrients may be continuously recycled or used without losing quality, whereas biological nutrients are made of organic ingredients that can be easily consumed or composted. A central framework of circular economy, is the “butterfly diagram” below.
In accordance with the Cradle-to-Cradle principle, every product should be able to be simply dismantled into its component parts and then reused to build new goods or systems, much like in nature. On the biological nutrients section, let’s think about the life of a snail as an example. A snail’s carcass decomposes in the middle of a forest, becoming a part of the soil and supplying nitrogen and other vital nutrients to plants. Birds eat the calcium in its shell, which is then integrated into the eggshells of its subsequent lay. Nothing that was a component of the snail’s structure is essentially wasted.
On the technological nutrients side, for instance, that exchange of technical items is made possible by digital services, leading to significantly improved use or possibly a full replacement by digital services. As much as is practical, the different materials should be disassembled, categorised, and recycled at the end of their useful lives.
In essence, the service life of a product should be optimised and prolonged.
In 2016, Carlsberg and Rexam recently celebrated receiving Bronze level certification from the Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute for its Carlsberg lager and Somersby cider cans sold in the U.K. market. Carlsberg Group andRexam, a manufacturer of beverage cans, has joined the Carlsberg Circular Community, a new group CSR effort, as one of its official partners. The Carlsberg Circular Community intends to facilitate information exchange between businesses producing resource-efficient products, foster the development of sustainable technologies, and generate clean material streams that are optimised for recycling and reuse.
Rexam’s key belief in the can as a packaging format that is highly optimised for a sustainable, circular economy is confirmed by the results of an assessment of the Rexam cans in five areas of sustainability, including material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. Rexam believes they have a duty to produce goods in an increasingly sustainable manner as a manufacturer. They are certain to further reduce our industry’s environmental effect by working together with our clients and the entire supply chain.
In the meantime, Carlsberg and its suppliers are making progress toward developing new advantages through packaging. Te company believes that this collaboration is a fantastic illustration of how businesses can collaborate to plan for the future and develop solutions to the common difficulties every businesses face.
Reborn after end of use: Life Cycle Assessment
A tool that helps businesses Before we explain what is life cycle assessment, let’s take a look at what a normal life cycle of a product looks like. Generally, a product lifecycle goes through at least 5 phases: raw material extraction, manufacturing & processing, transportation, usage & retail, and finally, waste disposal. This process is also known as “cradle to grave,” with the “cradle” denoting the beginning of the item with the procurement of the raw ingredients and the “grave” denoting the product’s disposal. Although it is stated that step 3 involves transportation, all steps can actually involve it.
In a life cycle assessment, there are 4 stages. Since LCA follows a recognised process, it is dependable and transparent. LCA standards are offered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in ISO 14040 and 14044. The four primary phases of an LCA are described in these standards: Scope and goal clarification; Inventory evaluation; Impact Assessment, and; Interpretation.
Scope 1 – Scope and goal clarification
An LCA will be carried out consistently thanks to the aim and scope defining step. This tool simulates the life cycle of a system, service, or product. A model is a decomposition of an intricate reality. It indicates that the reality will be distorted in some way, as with all simplifications. Making ensuring that the distortions and simplifications do not significantly affect the outcomes is a difficulty for LCA practitioners. Setting clear objectives and parameters for the LCA research is the most effective method to do this.
Scope 2 – Inventory evaluation
You examine all of the environmental inputs and outputs connected to a good or service when conducting an inventory analysis. The utilisation of raw materials and energy is an example of an environmental input—something you take from the environment and incorporate into the life cycle of the product. Environmental outputs, or what your product’s life cycle releases into the environment, include things like waste streams and pollution emissions. This gives you a complete overview of the life cycle inventory (LCI) when taken together. The LCI concentrates on gathering pertinent data and correctly modelling it using inputs and outputs.
Scope 3 – Impact Assessment
The findings necessary would be reached to improve your business strategies through the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). All processes’ environmental effects are categorised and converted into related environmental disciplines like global warming or human health using the LCI. How consolidated you want the outcomes to be will be the most crucial decision you need to make (i.e. what your audience would care the most about and if they would understand the reported outcomes).
Scope 4 – Interpretation
In the interpretation stage, you verify the validity of your findings. The ISO 14044 standard outlines a number of checks to see if the information and methods you utilised to support your conclusions are accurate. You may avoid any surprises by doing this when sharing your findings and decisions for improvement with others.