AV as a service will help the industry provide greener solutions

The idea that we can remove waste by making sure that materials are reused when their current use expires is gaining traction as circularity. Providing AV as a service will contribute to that ideal says Jean Pierre Overbeek, CEO, BIS|Econocom.

Circularity is hot. And rightly so. Over the past 100 years, the number of people on the planet has quadrupled. And with the global population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, we need more resources than the earth is able to offer us in the long-term. To safeguard a good, healthy and prosperous future, we (quickly) need to switch to a new economic system where we work more intelligently with our resources. It's time for circularity. And AV-as-a-Service is part of that.

Awareness of circularity has now penetrated deep into the heart of European society. Many social and commercial organisations are working hard to make our economic system considerably more sustainable. Many citizens are investing in better insulation, solar energy, heat pumps, sustainable products, etc. Fortunately, many national governments are now also getting involved in the issue of sustainability.

In the ultimate circular economy, there is no waste. At the moment, it is often (unfortunately) still the case that we make products, use them and then throw them away. In the circular economy, we do things differently. We make the make-use-throw line round. Waste is no longer waste, but rather the raw material for new products. And it cuts through the issues in many ways: apart from raw materials, we also spare the environment, reduce our CO2 footprint and stimulate innovation, economic activity and employment opportunities.

The 9 Rs of a circular economy 

Multiple models describe the basic principles of a circular economy in terms of 9 Rs: Rethink & Reduce, Reuse, Repair & Remanufacturing, Recycle and Recover. There is no place in this column to go into these Rs in detail, but it boils down to considering products and production processes before manufacture and focusing all the steps in the product lifecycle on reuse of the product, reuse of the components and reuse of the raw materials.

From ownership to use

One trend stimulating the circular economy is that of ownership to use. All around us, we can see that our economy is increasingly shifting from an ownership economy to a usage economy. Access to and the use of products are becoming more important than ownership; a trend that encourages circularity. Firstly, because products – which on the one hand are outdated – are on the other hand still perfectly usable; think mobile telephones. A second reason is that smart manufacturers and/or suppliers will deliver their products as a service (as-a-service business model), which means they retain ownership, and the user pays for hassle-free usage, service and maintenance. In that model, manufacturers have big advantage in products that are so good that they need minimum maintenance, work for as long as possible without problems, and have maximum residual value at the end of the contract period (for a potential 2rd, 3rd and 4th life)

Acknowledgement: this column was inspired by a blog by Hilde Janssens, marketing & communications director of Econocom BeLux | bit.ly/2IVgLva

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