July 14, 2022 6:17 am
As a small business owner, being sustainable may be the last of your worries. But let’s have a look at the concept of circular economy and how becoming part of it can benefit you and your business.
What is circular economy?
The circular economy is a strategy to create value for the economy, society and business while minimizing resource use and environmental impact.
Current ways of production and consumption are not sustainable, disregarding the efficient use of natural resources and the minimization of waste. Based on an assumption that resources are abundant, Europe has enjoyed many decades of growth and wellbeing. We have developed a ‘consumer culture’ and have become very good at throwing away. Today in the EU, each person consumes 16 tons of materials annually, of which 6 tons are wasted, with half going to landfill.
How can your business become part of the circular economy and why?
In recent years, there has been a movement towards the circular economy, and it’s necessary to ensure that your business is part of it. The circular economy is a global shift in every aspect of our lives that seeks to eliminate waste. In some categories, for example textiles, it’s becoming crucial – fabrics make up an enormous amount of what’s in landfills.
Here are some small steps you can take:
• Reuse: instead of buying new merchandise, choose an inventory of products that already entered the market, such an overstock or returns.
• Repair: Repairing it is not only cheaper, but also avoids the use of new raw materials, saves energy, and does not generate environmental waste. You can purchase inventory of slightly damaged goods and repair them, at minimal costs.
• Recycle: Promote best practices in waste management and recycle what you can. You can start by recycling the packaging, in the beginning.
• Reduce consumption: minimize consumption of anything you can – fuel (by maximizing transport efficiency), packaging (especially plastic packaging), buying a water filter instead of bottled water, checking and optimizing your energy usage etc.
By integrating circular economy principles into your business model, you will gain many benefits like:
• Reduced costs: buying used products or overstock will always be cheaper than buying new products;
• This means that you will become more competitive, compared to other retailers;
• Reduced environmental impact, by reducing waste in general;
• Creating long term business to business relations. Often called industrial symbiosis, the opportunity to create revenue from another business’s waste or overstock may create a fruitful long term relation between all parties involved;
• Bringing a purpose to the business. Even small retailers are starting to realize that having a company purpose is important to both customers and employees. The purpose is part of the fuel that keeps the company going.
We’re here to help you integrate your business in the reality of circular economy. To learn more and receive a personalized offer, please contact our sales team.