Gate C is a consulting firm helping clients to map the benefits of the circular economy
What we do
Circular economy allows business to save the equivalent to 8% of their annual turnover, according to the European Commission. But the adoption of circular economy business models is often challenging.
We help clients mapping the circular economy benefits. We assist them in assessing and experimenting a circular economy business model, such as remanufacturing, refurbishing or pay-per-use services.
We also deliver industry or company specific trainings to allow them building circular economy capabilities.
Why we do it
Most existing business models are not sustainable.
They consume endlessly finite resources. At current consumption levels, phosphorus reserves will be depleted in around 80 years (MIT). By 2025, about 1.8 billion people will be living in regions or countries with absolute water scarcity (World Bank).
They also generate large quantities of waste that pollute water, soil and air. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. 33% of land is degraded due to, in particular, acidification and chemical pollution of soils (FAO). CO2 levels in the atmosphere are at their highest in 400,000 years (NASA).
How we do it
We offer proprietary tools and databases to accelerate and increase impact.
Business models repository
Mapping the benefits of a circular economy requires an in-deep understanding of each circular economy business model. There are six main business models, from pay-per-use to sharing economy. We have build a business models repository that qualify each business model: benefits, limits and challenges. The repository details the model per industry: remanufacturing, refurbishing, predictive maintenance, chemical leasing, etc.
Transition towards a circular economy is not yet an common journey. Leveraging lessons learned from existing initiatives is critical. Therefore, we have consolidate hundreds of circular economy cases studies. These cases studies allow us to quickly demonstrate circular economy benefits for a given industry or function.
Based on the analysis of hundreds of case studies, we have designed a robust methodology to implement successfully circular economy business models. This 3 steps methodology helps clients identify, qualify, experiment and roll-out circular economy business models. It has been summarised in our latest book.
Examples of our work
For a leading industrial equipment manufacturer, we explored remanufacturing opportunities for their end-of-life products. We estimated that remanufacturing would increase company turnover by 10%.
For a large consumer goods company, we assessed the benefits of paying chemicals per use rather than per volume. We identified that switching to a pay-per-use model would reduce chemicals total cost of ownership, in some cases, by 15%.
For a chemical producer, we identified industrial symbiosis in order to sell chemicals by-products rather then to pay for their disposal. We leveraged big data technologies to identified local customers for these by-products.
For an industrial company, we reviewed production waste flows and recycling opportunities.
For an international industrial group, we reviewed existing sourcing strategies for industrial equipment (such as compressors, valves, DCS, forklifts) used in more than 100 sites worldwide. We assessed alternative circular sourcing strategies such as buying refurbished equipment, paying-per-use or sharing. We identified strategies reducing the total cost of ownership of several equipment by up to 20%.
For a logistics service provider, we reviewed the performance of its reverse logistics. We made several recommandations to improve infrastructures, operations and collaboration.
The circular economy and digitalisation will be the two most important trends employed by Germany’s chemical industry as it moves towards 2030. These trends, according to the German Chemical Industry Association, will “fundamentally alter the way” the industry is working.
Today, as they demonstrate major economic, social and environmental benefits, remanufacturing, refurbishing
and repair need to be better supported
by governments, businesses and, also, consumers. Thanks to them, products are
not just consumables anymore, they become assets, our assets.
The time when flights were cancelled, trains were delayed and elevators broke down may soon be over. Today, products are able to predict their own future. Thanks to predictive maintenance, they can forecast failures before they occur.
In France, few purchasing departments are leveraging the benefits of a circular economy. Yet, for some purchasing categories, circular economy reduces costs, resources consumption and greenhouse gas emission.
For a long time, reverse logistics has been seen only as logistics going in the “wrong direction”. But that should no longer be the case. Today return flows are becoming the norm rather than the exception. By closing the loop of product lifecycles, reverse logistics plays an important role to transitioning to a circular economy.
Electronic and electric equipment manufacturers are amongst the world’s most innovative companies. They are working hard to make everyday life easier. But so far they’ve taken little advantage of their unique capacity to adopt circular design approaches and invent more effective production and use models, or reduce the use of high value materials. And that needs to change.
Circular economy principles rely on a very simple equation, “waste = resource.” However, the reality is somewhat different. Making used equipment “as good as new” is difficult without information regarding its design or its past use.To maintain the value of materials and products in the economy for as long as possible, the circular economy needs to have access not only to waste, but also to information regarding said waste.
Switching to pay per use services is a great way to reduce or eliminate capital intensive investments such as hardware and facilities, while significantly curtailing overhead costs in management and maintenance. Yet, if such services are common on the office floor, they still barely go through the factory door. But, slowly, change happens.
With a debt exceeding two trillion euros, the French administration must reduce its expenses. It must reduce, especially, public procurement amount which represents 10 % of the country GDP. Surprisingly, France barely leverage circular economy to reduce public procurement amounts, unlike several other European countries.
Developing countries have not benefited from the linear economy. They have poor access to cheap goods to improve the quality of life of their populations. They do not take advantage from the extraction and exportation of raw materials to developed countries. Conversely, they have large quantities of waste brought in from developed countries. Can developing countries better capture the value of the circular economy?
Remanufacturing reduces manufacturing costs, diminishes resource consumption and creates jobs. In Europe and in France especially, it still remains underdeveloped. But this is not a fatality.
Squeezed between product price increase and consumer purchasing power decrease, challenged by new consumption models (such as online sales), retailers have to face many challenges. But circular economy can help.
For decades, industrial companies have improved labour productivity to reduce their costs. But labour represents only 17 % of their costs against 45 % for raw materials. Companies should focus on resource productivity, and create jobs.
Materials represent 50 % of an industrial company production cost. To reduce these costs, factories should not limit themselves to incremental improvement programs such as lean manufacturing or zero waste projets. They should implement resource efficiency programs.
The world's cities occupy just 3 % of the Earth's land, but account for 75 % of ressource consumption and 50 % of waste production. A growing number of cities are willing to adopt circular economy models. But, unlike corporations, they are crossed by countless flows of resources. What are their possible strategies for a transition towards a circular economy?
At least 140,000 chemicals are used globally in a wide variety of products and processes. While they largely contribute to the economy, they expose human health and the environment to major risks. An innovative model may help to drastically reduce these risks.
Responsible for 73% of waste production in France, the construction sector should accelerate its transition towards a circular economy.
In the press
We work mainly with corporations, from a wide range of industries. We also work with territories and business associations. Our clients include:
L'économie circulaire : Stratégie pour un monde durable
The book examines the six circular economy business models from pay-per-use to sharing economy. Based on hundreds of case studies, it recommend a roadmap for a transition towards a circular economy. It includes the testimonies companies that have successfully implemented circular economy business models such as Philips, Steelcase, Bouygues, Renault, Veolia and Suez.
The previous edition has been awarded the ACA-Bruel book prize from the association CESA, HEC Paris.
Gate C is a consulting firm that helps clients qualifying, experimenting and implementing circular economy business models. Gate C has been founded and is managed by Rémy Le Moigne.
Rémy Le Moigne has managed dozens of circular economy projects. Before founding Gate C, Rémy has been a partner of Deloitte supply chain strategy practice where he led projects in Europe and Africa. He is also the writer of several award-winning books including Circular economy: strategy for a sustainable world and Supply Chain Management.
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