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Circular Economy Entrepreneurs Conference in Switzerland

“Do you need light bulbs or light?” This quote by Robert Metzke, Philips AG was one of the central questions regarding the circular economy at the Circular Economy Entrepreneurs Conference in Langenthal, Switzerland. Organised by the Swiss Economic Forum, The CSCP played an active role in this conference and led a deep dive session on the consumers’ role and responsibilities in the circular economy.

“If you look after me, I’ll look after you” was the slogan under which Ken Webster from the University of Exeter presented the basic principles of the circular economy, which is reduce, reuse and recycle. Through this, he also reminded us that we only have one earth to live on.

In addition to discussions on circularity and entrepreneurship, many innovative start-ups also had the opportunity to present their products and services. One example is HeiQ Materials GmbH, which produces innovative, resource-saving and recyclable textiles. They were awarded the Swiss Environmental Award for the Economy at the conference.

One of the main challenges regarding the circular economy is how to bring these innovative ideas to the (mass) market, and CSCP’s deep dive session on Consumer Responsibility had a few solutions regarding this.

  • Collaboration: Search for partnerships with stakeholders, since sustainable solutions are found and tested together.
  • Co-Creation: Talk to your customers, get to know their daily behaviour and co-design new solutions together at the beginning of the innovation process!
  • New business models: Think outside the box! The recycling industry is not only about selling more sustainable (and often more expensive) products, but also offering services which including repairs, leasing, and consulting.

To stick to the theme of the circular economy and the “reuse” principle, the conference took place in an old market hall which had no air conditioning. Since it was over 35°C, this was quite a challenge for the 350 participants who were able to bear the warm weather. This shows the relevance of the topic and the interest of the (Swiss) economy.

If you are interested in circular solutions, the CSCP can support you with collaborative processes, co-creation formats and developing circular business models.

Contact Imke Schmidt

photo Ⓒ NZZ Mediengruppe | 2019