Environmental sustainability can only be achieved by creating closed loop supply chains. These closed loop systems are designed to manage and explicitly consider the reverse and forward supply chain activities over the entire life cycle of the product. This involves recovering the materials used through collection, recycling and recovery through mechanisms that are built and communicated to the end consumer.
Circular systems need significant efforts from stakeholders and the commitment to make a change. To create a circular system for any sector would mean a realignment of all factories and suppliers in all the suppliers in all the countries they exist in. Hence a dramatic shift would need to take place in the entire chain.
Circular systems should be understood, planned and implemented with a keen direction on restorative design. The focus has to be on restoring environment and other ecosystems because the global push towards sustainability is also happening because of several macro forces around food, population, water, health and climate change which are altering our world.
Companies focused on circular systems may evaluate some or all of the following – Product as service models
- Services and products that extend the lifecycle through increased use cycles, repair or refurbishment services
- Products from available waste materials
- Smart materials that minimise waste or energy
- Low energy consumption models, smart grids and renewable energy sources like solar and wind