Disruptive Business Models Enabling a Circular Economy
Innovative new business models and subscription services increase the value derived from products, help customers better manage energy usage and enable easy and responsible disposal of products. These models also enable customers to have the latest technology while helping to keep products, components, and materials operating at high levels for as long as possible.
HP Device as a Service (DaaS), for example, provides business customers with access to a full portfolio of the latest personal systems products as well as IT and life cycle management services. With DaaS, business customers are able to upgrade their products every two to three years while avoiding the up-front costs of purchasing. When customers are finished with their products, HP manages all hardware and software migration and decommissioning, which includes refurbishing or responsibly disposing of old products. Historically, approximately 90% of returned products have retained value and are reused.
XaaS subscriptions are another efficient method for service delivery and product consumption. HP Managed Print Services, for example, allows businesses to cut down on the number of office printers by deploying fewer printers more efficiently. HP’s Managed Print Service offering has helped customers reduce their printing-related energy use by up to 40%.
HP’s Instant Ink subscription service ensures home users and small businesses never run out of ink while making it easy to recycle their ink cartridges. The service anticipates when ink is low and sends more straight to the customers’ door. With prepaid envelopes that make cartridge return and recycling easy, Instant Ink customers return cartridges at a significantly higher rate than those who purchase ink in conventional ways.
Additionally, Instant Ink cartridges have a higher capacity and use less packaging materials per page printed than conventional models, which helps reduce materials consumption by 57% on average per printed page. These efforts help reduce the carbon footprint of ink purchase and disposal by 84%, decrease energy use by 86%, and lower water usage by 89%.
3D Printing: Breakthrough Technology Revolutionizing Sustainable Impact
3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) is poised to revolutionize industry and commerce. This disruptive technology, which has the potential to enable local, faster, and more efficient manufacturing and prototyping than traditional processes, is a critical enabler of thei circular economy.
By matching supply with demand, streamlining the prototyping process and reducing the amount of material needed, 3D printing has the potential to reduce environmental impact in four key areas:
- Reducing Waste: 3D printing has the potential to reduce waste in manufacturing and distribution processes by enabling perfect matching of supply and demand and improving the cost-effectiveness of shorter production runs. Streamlined prototyping processes also support less wasteful and more rapid iteration in product design and development.
- Reducing Materials: 3D printing will significantly reduce the amount of material needed to make some finished parts by realizing complex shapes or redesigning complex assemblies into a single part, in some cases using a single material. These features can save money, decrease energy and resource consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and simplify materials capture at end of life.
- Reinventing Traditional Supply Chains: 3D printing has the ability to transform entire industry value chains—from design and manufacturing to distribution and service. With digital inventories and on-demand production, companies can print what they need, when and where they need it, reducing the need for inventories and transportation and packaging.
- Extending Useful Life of Products: 3D printing produces replacement parts locally and on-demand, which can extend the useful life of products for customers through just-in-time, localized delivery models. For example, in a traditional supply chain, a replacement part for an automobile might need to be shipped cross-country, or even overseas, to fulfill an order or repair, taking several days. With 3D printing, a customer will be able to pick up a replacement part locally, avoiding storage, excess transportation, and waiting.
Corporate leaders have long recognized that shifting business models and operations toward a circular and low-carbon economy is not only the right thing to do, it’s good business. Consumers, employees and investors expect companies to contribute to society and mitigate business risks associated with climate change. Furthermore, companies have a responsibility to help their customers stay ahead of what’s next and enable them to seize new opportunities while advancing their own sustainability priorities. By reinventing how products are designed, made, used and recovered, companies can play a critical role in creating a sustainable future for people, businesses and communities.