Around 60 representatives of the commercial, not-for-profit, social, academic and government sectors gathered at the event held at the Engineering Employers’ Federation in London on 14th January. Coordinated by consultancy Oakdene Hollins and sponsored by Defra (the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the CRR aims to stimulate the uptake of remanufactured and reused products. The event reviewed the previous 12 months’ activities and included presentations by organisations working in this important and emerging field. In an opening review, Head of Remanufacturing David Parker highlighted key developments including work on remanufacturing protocols. Brian Griffiths from British Standards discussed new definitions for remanufacturing that CRR and the Institute has been pioneering – in response to the needs of remanufacturers expressed at last year’s event. In 2007/08, CRR funded a number of feasibility studies testing new ideas in product or business design for reuse. A notable success has been BioRegional’s Building Material Reuse Centre which has now received further funding from WRAP to commercialise the concept. CRR has engaged BioRegional to apply a similar methodology in a study of eco-parks including remanufacturing units. A new project promoting the reuse of end-of-life corporate clothing was also expanded and has already garnered broad industry support. Nationwide, E.ON, Wilcox, LMB and Royal Mail are among leading firms working together to explore ways to overcome common technical and organizational barriers to reuse. The consortium aims to deliver an on-line package of assistance to interested parties by mid-2009. Speaking at the conference, Shelley Arnett, Marketing Manager at Nationwide said: “This is a fantastic project that we’re pleased to support. It’s really adding weight to our Zero to Landfill policy.” ZF Trading, a major supplier to the auto industry, presented its take on remanufacturing. “Our reman product is indistinguishable from new,” said Technical Sales Manager, Matt Shakespeare. “We can also demonstrate that reman can deliver 90% carbon savings”, he expanded - a reference to a recent analysis by Andrew King an Associate Consultant of the CRR. The need to increase awareness of remanufacturing, and its potential to offer savings in the recession was also debated at the Conference. Unsurprisingly, China loomed large in the discussions, and a presentation by guest speaker Bin-Shi Xu of the country’s National Key Laboratory for Remanufacturing indicated the scale of Far Eastern ambition. Summing up, David Parker said: “The Chinese investment in remanufacture and reuse is large and growing. They’ve spotted the opportunity, so let’s not get left out.”