Below are examples of businesses that are already operating resource efficient business models.
They are companies who have already recognised the value of this approach and made the transition prior to REBus starting. We will be sharing REBus pilot case studies when they have finished developing their REBMs.
We hope these external case studies give you an idea of the types of models operating in various sectors and inspire you to try something new within your own business.
Carpets and flooring
Electrical and electronic equipment
Textiles, footwear and accessories
Carpets and flooring
Desso offers a full carpet service to its customers including installation, cleaning, maintenance and eventually removal. Instead of owning the carpet, customers view it as a service provided by Desso, who will then take back the carpet at the end of its life for recycling.
Recofloor operates a vinyl flooring take-back scheme. Uplifted vinyl flooring and post-installation off-cuts are collected in bags and either picked up by Recofloor or dropped off at any participating flooring distributor or Recofloor drop-off site. The recycled flooring is either used to manufacturer new flooring or used to make traffic management products such as traffic cones and road sign bases.
Splosh supplies refills of eco-cleaning products such as bathroom cleaner, detergent and all-purpose spray. You only need to purchase the container bottles once, and then re-use the bottles over and over with your chosen refills.
Modulo Béton offers pre-cast concrete, modular units for recycling centres which maximise both the flexibility of site configuration and speed of construction. They also offer waste management facilities for hire.
Imagine Project – Islabikes
Children’s bike manufacturer Islabikes is setting up a radical new plan to reduce waste. They will rent bikes to customers rather than selling them. The bikes can then be returned to be refurbished when the child outgrows them.
Taxistop continually develops new services which optimise the use of personal goods. Both with regard to mobility and home ownership, Taxistop’s motto ‘doing more with less’ is reflected in all proposed projects.
Electrical and electronic equipment
Bundles leases a high-end washing machine with the monthly cost dependent on usage.
Complete Entertainment eXchange, CeX, takes the buy and sell concept and updates it by specialising in trading digital entertainment products. CeX buy, sell and exchange mobile phones, games, electronics, computers and DVDs directly from the public.
Bring-Your-Own-Computer gives employees funds to purchase their own computer or device. This means that the device will belong to the user and not the company.
Suppliers of LED light bulbs that are designed to be remanufactured to help avoid valuable components and materials being wasted at the end of the lamp’s life. This not only brings the original product back to life but upgrades it to the latest technological status.
Upon purchase of a new Dyson vacuum cleaner the company offer to recycle the consumer’s old vacuum cleaner for free – whatever the make. Their products are designed to be more durable and repairable.
Océ designs their printers so that they can be upgraded, re-used and then recycled at the end of their useful life. Typical Océ features such as robustness and longevity mean that their products are suitable for re-use.
A ‘pay-per-lux’ solution, whereby Philips retains responsibility for the performance of the lighting over a 15 year period and the customer pays for the energy consumed through a quarterly fee.
Rentalite provides LED lighting solutions for industrial/commercial premises on a rental basis.
Has moved from a product based system (selling a photocopier plus maintenance) to one in which it provides a service (selling the ability to produce copies). Equipment is designed for remanufacture and resource efficiency.
MCT ReMan Ltd, based in Weston-super-Mare, is a remanufacturer of automotive engines and gearboxes. Emerging from the manufacture of industrial fans in the 1960s, it moved into remanufacturing driven by its customer, Ford, in the mid-1970s. With a turnover of £7m and 68 employees, MCT is now focused on this key facet of the circular economy.
Provision of ‘power by the hour’ or total care packages where customers buy the capability the engines deliver, whilst Rolls-Royce retains responsibility for maintenance as well as risk. Includes servicing, repair, remanufacturing and replacement.
Furniture manufacturer Vitsoe was established in Germany in 1959 in order to produce furniture designed by influential industrial designer Dieter Rams – best known for his work for the German electricals company Braun. Based in the UK since the mid-1990s, Vitsoe currently has 40 employees. Its flagship product is a configurable shelving system designed by Rams in 1960, which remains unchanged to this day and embodies principles of timeless design and quality, and through these virtues, reduced material use.
Various organisations are recognising the significant value that is lost when office furniture is discarded:
•Contractors that take old office furniture away
•The original manufacturers of the furniture
•Resource efficiency specialists
This recognition has been driving growth in the remanufacturing of office furniture. One illustrative story relates to the coming together of Premier (an office services provider) and Orangebox (a furniture manufacturer).
Re-distribute end-of-life furniture and electrical equipment back in to the market place after restoration.
Sustain, part of the Senator International Group
Collection, disassembly and remanufacture of office furniture. The service also enables the existing product to be upgraded.
Vitsœ designs and builds furniture to last as long as possible. Most Vitsœ furniture comprises of recyclable aluminium, steel and compostable wood that is assembled with mechanical joints to permit repair and end-of-life dismantling.
Zoot provides a comprehensive, sustainable and environmentally friendly solution for buying new, and the resale or recycle of redundant school furniture and accessories in the educational sector.
A remanufacturing and rebuild business model focused on restoring components and products to like-new condition. This enables Caterpillar to achieve another productive life cycle for each item with minimal need for additional resources.
Danfoss Solutions guarantees energy savings for industrial companies and is paid according to the energy performance of their installations. Customers are compensated if savings are less than those guaranteed.
Warp It is a software solution that simplifies the re-use of items within complex organisations. Such organisations often have surplus resources in good condition, but the challenges of identifying varied and distributed unwanted assets and matching them to new users generally act as insurmountable barriers to re-use. With Warp It, whenever a member of staff needs to buy items such as furniture or office materials, they can search to find out whether the item is already available in a different department.
Stuffstr is a mobile app dedicated to increasing sustainability around the things we buy, use, and discard. Stuffstr’s vision is “No Unused Stuff,” and the business is committed to helping consumers join the global movement toward a circular economy. It works by helping people to make the most out of their personal possessions; increasing the use and recirculation of the things we buy, in order to reduce clutter and decrease landfill. Stuffstr launched in the US in July 2016, and is currently planning expansion into Europe.
Peterborough is a city with big ambitions. Awarded £3m by Innovate UK in 2012, the Peterborough DNA programme kick started smart initiatives in the city and it was catapulted on to the world stage with the 2015 World Smart City Award.
In November 2015, Peterborough declared its vision to become the UK’s first Circular City by 2050, creating economic viability, strong social ties and environmental sustainability.
Connects a collaborative economy ecosystem by organising a wide range of events, fostering online conversations and building meaningful relationships.
The aim of ShareNL is to boost collaborative consumption by supporting sharing platforms across the Netherlands.
Turntoo is an intermediary platform that treats products as resource banks, facilitating resource management between manufacturer, supplier and end-user. In a collaborative project with Philips, they pioneered the ‘pay-per-lux’ model.
Textiles, footwear and accessories
Handmade boots to order and resole service for walking, motorcycling, the military and the police force.
Bag Borrow or Steal
Bag Borrow or Steal leases luxury fashion accessories and purchases similar used accessories.
Shoe makers Dr Martens offer a range of ‘for life’ products. These are designed for longer life, and come associated with a repair or replace offer covering the rest of the customer’s life.
Dutch aWEARness is a sustainable textile company, with a focus on fashion and business-to-business work wear. Their clothing is designed to be re-used endlessly by being 100% recyclable.
Fashion Hire allows customers to rent designer handbags and provides them with a platform to sell their own used designer handbags.
Mud Jeans leases their organic cotton jeans for a year, after that you have three options: 1) keep them, 2) switch them, 3) send them back. All returned materials are recycled and used for new fashion items.
Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway is an online service in the US that provides designer dress and accessory rentals. It has now expanded into retail outlets.
E-Car – the UK’s first entirely electric car-sharing club was founded by social entrepreneurs Chris Morris and Andrew Wordsworth as a start-up in 2011, subsequently attracting £100,000 in crowd-funding investment. The company combines the increasing popularity of pay-per-use car clubs as an appealing, affordable alternative to traditional car ownership with the improved performance and lower cost of electric vehicles.
Bandvulc re-tread tyres for commercial trucks. Their incentivised return business model enables customers to return used tyres in exchange for an incentive which might be cash, a voucher or a discount on a new purchase.
Bandvulc launched a REBM pilot, led by WRAP, to assess the financial viability of developing a re-tread tyre specifically for vans to find the right compound for maximum performance and reliability.
Performance has been excellent and the new tyre – Vanvulc – has introduced an entirely new revenue stream, generating new revenue in excess of £4 million in the first 3 years
Resource efficient and profitable business models around better management of vehicle based assets.
Powervault plan to use end-of-life electric car batteries, which still have up to 80% of their peak power and energy storage capacity, for domestic scale electric storage devices for renewable energy.
This is a pay-per-use system for vehicle use. Members book a local vehicle then use the vehicle for an hourly or daily fee.