In a world where critical resources are often finite, a business model that drives down the need for new materials and increases supply chain resiliency can provide its adherents with a competitive advantage. The concept of a Circular Economy (CE) looks beyond the current extractive, "take-make-dispose" business model toward a system that redefines growth, focusing on positive societywide benefits. Incorporating CE principles into manufacturing results in less new material requirements and energy inputs, generates less production waste, and reduces external emissions per-unit.
Advocates of the transition to a circular economy predict enormous economic returns for those companies that successfully incorporate "circularity" into their business models. On behalf of its members, therefore, NEMA is directing an effort by global sustainability consultants to define the principal "Value Retention Processes" (VRPs) associated with the CE vision of manufacturing and explore their potential application to the electro-product sector. Meanwhile, some NEMA Member companies are moving forward with this transition through concepts such as remanufacturing, 'product as service' arrangements with customers, and integrating environmental criteria into product design.
Contact Mark Kohorst of NEMA Government Relations for more information about NEMA's engagement in the Circular Economy.