Our economy has traditionally profited from consumers by following a linear approach: take material from the earth and turn it into a product that consumers can use and then throw away. But now, as the population expands and non-renewables grow scarce, we are faced with the reality that this model is not the way to a sustainable future. Fortunately, the emergence of advanced digital technology is helping businesses adopt a more circular approach to using the world's resources that simultaneously offers greater flexibility and freedom to consumers. Peter Lacy explains:

Companies in the circular economy rely on product use, not sales, to generate revenues, and they grow their businesses by identifying and capitalizing on latent demand

– Peter Lacy, Managing Director of Accenture's Strategy and Sustainability Services businesses for Asia Pacific

Traditional and established businesses tap into circular economy

There are several examples of companies, both new and established, that have already capitalized on this growing trend of moving toward business models that create little or no waste. For example, Philips now offers "lighting as a service" to businesses which eliminates high upfront costs while ensuring high performance and efficiency and a low materials footprint.

Businesses that achieve greater sustainability command an advantage over their competitors, but this requires a shift toward a more innovative culture.

Learn about the circular economy by accessing Peter Lacey's report: Using Digital Tech to Spin the Circular Economy

Find out more about Ontario, Canada's environment of innovation

 

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April 8, 2015

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