Circular Economy is the idea, Circular Design the implementation

«If Circular Economy is the key to a new ecological economic system, then Circular Design is the door to it.» – Andreas Halbleib, CEO QUO

We are all concerned with two very important questions: If and when the situation changes again and we can resume our work without restrictions, from which starting position will we start? From the front row of the grid or from further back? And where do our competitors stand? In front or behind us?

Do you know this diagram?

This is the all-encompassing presentation and explanation by the Israeli Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman for the principle of the «New Expectation Theory». It simply says:

People psychologically rate the loss higher/greater than the gain.

For example, when we find out in January that we have won 10’000 CHF with our share package, we are happy, buy something and at the latest 7 days later we don’t think about it anymore. But what in the opposite case? If we find that we have lost 10’000 CHF? Days, weeks, we will deal with it and get annoyed and we will mourn the loss. Analyse the stock portfolio and whenever we want to buy something, we will painfully remember that we have made a loss. If we lose something, we are not to be trifled with! And this is how we all feel now. We are all losing a lot right now, money, freedom and self-determination (with the exception of a few who are making money on Corona) and that hurts us a lot. If at some point, and I hope soon again, we get back into something that can be called normal, then it will be a different normal than before Corona. The current loss will change us.

We will all pay more attention to our values afterwards.

The new winners will be those who represent and sell value, because we will be very sensitive to the loss of value and will pay more attention to our values in the future. Is your company, your products prepared for this change? In the past, when it came to individual success, worthless products or products that destroyed value also had their success. The nature of our ecology had to suffer, the cheap jeans from China or Bangladesh had their customers. The main thing was that we could own something that we absolutely wanted, whatever the price and the consequence. But as it looks like it will not be like that after Corona. Preservation of values, local solutions, sustainability, all this will be more in focus again. And this is where my headline finally comes into play.

Circular Design gives your product the value it needs after Corona.

Products without resource destruction or the need for waste will certainly be higher on customers› wish lists than resource-wasting products.

The Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation and the EU have set the ball rolling with their concept of the Circular Economy. Design with resource regenerating products and no more waste bins. This is how the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation writes:

«Looking beyond the current model of waste recycling by the raw materials industry, a circular economy aims to redefine growth and focus on positive society-wide benefits. It involves a gradual decoupling of economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and the removal of waste from the system. Supported by the transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital. It is based on three principles:

  • Avoiding waste and pollution
  • Keep products and materials in use
  • Regenerate natural systems

Re-Thinking Progress» explores how a change in perspective can help us redesign the way our economy works – by designing products that can be «rebuilt» and supplying the system with renewable energy. The question is whether we can build a restorative economy through creativity and innovation. … The transition to a circular economy does not only mean adjustments aimed at reducing the negative effects of the linear economy. Rather, it represents a systemic change that builds long-term resilience, creates business and economic opportunities and delivers environmental and social benefits».

At the point where it says: by designing products, the central question now comes into play: If we are pretty sure that sustainability, value and care are in demand again and that Circular Economy is exactly the concept to realize this, then the question arises: how should this be implemented? How do you do it practically?

How are new or existing products designed to fit the idea and philosophy of the Circular Economy?

Circular Design is the door to it. Circular Design is the methodology that eliminates every product from the rubbish dump, even keeps it away from recycling and is intended to keep it in circulation for life. Recovering or regenerating resources. Here is a nice example of what this should look like.

This is the step to the front row of the grid after which we are allowed to open our shops again.

We, QUO AG, are your partner when it comes to developing recyclable products. As one of the few engineering and design companies that develop your products and processes according to the principle of circular design, we can help you to optimize or redesign your product with regard to aspects of the circular economy. With this label you will definitely start from the front row into the new economic world.

Take on a pioneering role and make your products fit for the future. After all, after times of crisis such as these, your customers will also orient themselves towards a more sustainable economy and will appreciate it all the more if your products meet this need.

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