09.05.2022

Networking Lunch - Business models in line with circular economy in Brussels on 3rd May 2022

On 3 May, the BCBL and hub.brussels organized a lunch conference on circular business models in presence of H.E. Stephan Müller, Ambassador of Luxembourg to Belgium and Rik Vandenberghe, President of the BCBL.

Representatives from both Belgium and Luxembourg presented inspiring initiatives and business testimonials, before joining for a unique networking lunch.

Jérôme Petry from the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy presented Luxembourg’s Circularity Dataset Initiative as a tangible example of Luxembourg’s data-driven innovation strategy to develop an industry standard that provides a regulated framework for circular data on products throughout the whole value chain, from raw materials to finished products, from the use phase to recycling. An effective circular economy requires reliable data on the circular properties of a product. However, a lot of circularity information is missing, as the collection of data is expensive, difficult or non-standardized. The Product Circularity Data Sheet initiative (PCDS) has been launched in April 2021 to make basic circularity data widely available in a decentralized way. Since its inception, about 50 businesses from 12 European countries already joined the initiative, closing the circular loop in manufacturing.

Florian André, Founder and CEO of P2S Management Consulting, a Belgian innovation consultancy specialised in developing industrial subscription business models, explained the essence and benefits of subscriptions and how they feature into the economic transition. To embrace the change from traditional sales models, companies adapt the way they sell their products and services. Customers prefer subscribing to an outcome rather than purchasing a product with the burden of ownership (usership vs ownership). Besides its positive outcome on business revenues, subscriptions incentivize to prolong the lifetime of the products and to implement end-of-life strategies, leading to reduces raw material and energy consumption. A powerful example of a Win Win Win business model.

Stéphanie Sauce, Marketing responsible at General Technic Luxembourg, gave the audience an insightful presentation over General Technic’s circular activities. Based in Luxembourg as the first local player in their field, General Technic is specialized in building and environmental technical equipment with a team of18 people working in Schuttrange. Four years ago, they decided to go circular without even knowing it, as they say. As a matter of fact, they changed their business strategy and turned into a “product-as-a-Service” model. As a B2B company, they would now offer their materials as a rental service with an all-inclusive solution (including the warranty of machines, theft and breakage insurance, deliveries onsite…). With the so-called GT Fleet service, they benefit from being delivered the right machine for a short-term rental, a free quick product availability, fast repair, and flexibility. And this choice of use over possession reduces the carbon footprint of a product.

Jean Minne, CEO at Composil Europe member of the BCBL, rolled out the (red) carpet for us on Tuesday to introduce the activities of his 1992-born company active in Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. This implies 2.500.000 m² cleaned per year. Indeed, they help the building sector to use carpets made from recycled sustainable materials. On a three-level scheme, Composil is active at the use, reuse and recycle stages of a product life cycle. For instance, the tiles of a carpet are being taken care of with a “Carpet Caring Program” that make the carpet be in use longer. Once the carpet is at an advanced stage of life -   some tiles will be reused, and others recycled. These caring programs themselves also save resources with 680.000 liters saved in 2021 and 10 tons of waste valorised per year. Mr Minne and his team favour working with partners to make carpet production a circular story with sustainable raw materials.

Members and entrepreneurs from both Luxembourg and Brussels with an interest for the circular transition could get acquainted and exchange on the presentations of the day. The BCBL was delighted to hold this conference in partnership with hub.brussels.

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