When circular economy means faster growth


When circular economy means faster growth

In 2017, 49% of Solvay’s revenue came from sustainable products and services. This achievement is all the more impressive considering that it had projected hitting a target of only 50% of its sales coming from responsible solutions by 2025. The results show that sustainable practices are a good way to generate profits. Their experts believe that a successful integration of the circular economy depends on considering the different perspectives of stakeholders, and on collaboration between them. At the Movin’On Summit 2018, Solvay’s Bruno Jestin and Dominique Debecker were joined by Orange Group’s Philippe Tuzzolino to discuss how to manage complexities by considering stakeholders’ perspectives in circular economy endeavours.


“Doing good for the planet is good for the business – it makes money” 

– Bruno Jestin, Solvay


A second life for raw materials

100,000 tonnes of airbag waste are sent to landfills each year. Solvay’s research team has developed technology to recycle these air bags into plastic components used in automotive engine design. Learn more about Move4earth technology.

The sustainable solutions proposed by Solvay provide a 5% faster growth rate than so-called neutral solutions, which include product-application combinations not influenced by sustainable development practices. Conversely, solutions that are in sharp contrast to consumer expectations of sustainability and responsibility, account for 8% of revenues and a 3% drop in profits.

Solvay’s Sustainable Portfolio Management methodology allows it to categorize all its products and services according to two factors:

  1. The environmental footprint of their production process
  2. The environmental impact (positive or negative) of their products on the planet, from a market perspective


Your tools for a circular business model

Here are a few actions you can take to conceive a truly circular business model that will profit both your company and the planet.


Combine forces

  • Confront your ideas by exposing them to people from different backgrounds, even your competitors
  • Build partnerships in your supply chain


Show you are open to extravagant solutions

  • Prioritize second-hand materials in production
  • Integrate collaboration for an efficient production process
  • Promote a long-term vision
  • Produce sustainably through eco-design
  • Globalize your network


Move ahead one step at a time

  • Get financing through investors or crowdfunding
  • Do a pilot project with a supplier
  • Negotiate with the government
  • Create partnerships with mobility stakeholders
  • Propose actions to modify infrastructures


Get started

  • Change perspective by taking risks
  • Limit negative ramifications with the help of experts like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Learn from your successes and failures, and share them


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