During January 23-27 2013, Stef Kranendijk, Chairman of the European carpet and sports pitches company Desso, will be speaking at the World Economic Forum's summit in Davos about the benefits of the circular economy.
Based on Desso's own experience of developing Cradle to Cradle® processes and products since 2008, Kranendijk will be able to speak from direct experience about how you can develop a new business model on these lines.
He will say that the circular economy provides the most effective way to reignite the world economy and generate wealth in a sustainable way.
Kranendijk says: "We decided to become a Cradle to Cradle® Company in 2008 to enable us over time to build a business model that will turn waste into nutrients to be recycled in the manufacturing process or through the biosphere, to encourage the greater use of renewable energy in our production processes and the design of our goods with the healthiest possible ingredients, benefiting people's health and wellbeing and the environment."
"I hope the world leaders at Davos hear this message," says Kranendijk. "In particular, I hope they realise that the Circular Economy boosts innovation and profits as well. It is right from all angles: people, planet and profit. The more businesses that sign up to this concept, the faster we can rebuild economic prosperity in a truly sustainable way."
"Since developing our Cradle to Cradle® strategy our market share in carpet tiles in Europe has increased from 15% in 2007 to 25% in 20121), which is in part due to the changes we have made. And last year the report Towards the Circular Economy produced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Mckinsey demonstrated that European industry could save up to $630 billion per year by moving to the circular economy."
It is a long haul though, Kranendijk adds.
"It is tough to do and you need a long-term vision. But we are convinced it is imperative to develop these new business models taking us away from the unsustainable 'take, make and waste' linear economy into a circular one, which is why I am delighted to be able to contribute to the discussions on the topic at Davos this year."
1) External sources used for calculation of market share date include: BMW, Palmer, Fedustria, UFTM, real estate agencies, architectural billings and supplier information (yarn and other components). Internal data is based on local management estimates.