An EU-funded project aimed at supporting firms in the adoption of innovative business models and circular-economy projects has published a number of case studies online.
REBus, an EU Life+ funded partnership project, is testing a methodology that enables organisations to transform their strategies to profitable, resilient and more resource efficient business models (REBMs). And over the last couple of years, 30 different organisations in the UK and Netherlands have been piloting new REBMs with the support and expertise of REBus.
From Argos’s UK wide Gadget Trade-in Service, to ProRail’s circular procurement of office furniture for the company’s new office in Utrecht in the Netherlands; from Globechain’s online re-use platform, to IT4Kids re-use collections in the community, the innovative pilot projects are wide-ranging but all designed to benefit the organisation, consumers, and the environment.
The 30 pilot project case studies are being published on www.rebus.eu.com, and by sharing the successes and lessons learned it is hoped that businesses and organisations will be inspired to take action by contributing to a more circular economy.
Steve Creed, Director of Business Programmes at WRAP, the lead partner on the REBus project, says: “We need to become more resource efficient and find innovative solutions to combat the global resource crisis. This is what REBus is all about, and the successful pilot projects show how this can work in practice.”
Circular economy on campus
UniGreenScheme, an organization that works with UK universities and the science industry to improve resource efficiency, was assisted by REBus with its pilot project. This involved collecting, storing and selling surplus equipment from UK universities, saving them disposal fees and returning them a share of the profit. The scheme also keeps the products in play for longer – a critical part of the circular economy – and diverts waste from landfill.
Over the duration of the pilot, the opportunity to establish a strong circular economy in the resale and re-use of equipment between universities and other sectors became apparent. To date, the service has prevented 36 tonnes of waste, returned over £30,000 to universities, sold over 1,000 scientific instruments and generated £100,000 in revenue.
Michael McLeod, Founder and Managing Director of UniGreenScheme says: “I wanted to reduce equipment waste in universities. I knew what I wanted to achieve but understood that there was so much to do and that I needed help. REBus seemed like a fantastic place to get that support.
“The customer validation is so strong. We get phone calls almost every day from a new university wanting more information or asking to trial our services. We have been making consistent steady growth and the financials look good; it seems the right time to scale up.”
Lessons learned from the pilot projects have given rise to a wealth of resources, now available on the REBus website.
Steve Creed from WRAP continues: “The pilot projects have used a range of different business model types, there are so many different and exciting possibilities, but it is about selecting the right one for your business.
The REBus website includes a range of tried and tested resources to help organisations start or continue their innovative business model journey which includes step-by-step guides to implementing your REBM. You can also learn from all the REBus pilot case studies as they are published to help inform your own REBM.