Businesses, key players in the circular transition

For a long time confined to a linear economy based on the “extract, produce, consume and throw away” model, our society must now make a profound change towards a circular economic model. This transition is essential if we are to preserve the planet’s natural resources and combat global warming. And businesses have a key role to play in this paradigm shift, given their economic weight and environmental impact.

Rethinking traditional business models

To fully embrace the circular economy, companies need to fundamentally rethink their traditional business models, which are based on the sale of single-use goods. The challenge is to move from creating value through the sale of products to creating value through the use of these products.

We are seeing the emergence of functionality economy models, where companies no longer sell a good but a service linked to that good. Michelin, for example, now rents out its tyres rather than selling them. The customer pays for the use of the tyre, while Michelin retains ownership and responsibility for its maintenance, repair and recycling at the end of its life.

Other companies such as Philips and Xerox have also adopted this type of circular business model, offering professional lighting and printer rental respectively, with maintenance and consumables management services included.