Supportive and co-ordinated government policy needed

An extensive market study shows that with supportive governmental policies and industry investments, Europe's remanufactruing industry could grow to EUR90bn by 2030 and employ as many as 255,000 people. Europe's remanufacturing powerhouse is Germany, which accounts for almost a third of total European remanufacturing turnover. Despite remanufacturing being a key strategy within the circular economy - by keeping components and their embodied material in use for longer - it is currently an undervalued and under recognised part of the industrial sustainable landscape. Without coordinated support, European remanufacturing could lose market share to its major competitors, the USA and China, where the remanufacturing industry is more developed. The ERN market study is a first exercise in mapping the potential of remanufacturing in Europe. It provides the industry with a clear vision and strategy into the future. The study also highlights the added value for new remanufacturers, through mapping the challenges of remanufacturing business models, product design and processes.

Strong motives for businesses to remanufacture

"The top motives for businesses to remanufacture are higher profit margins, environmental responsibility, a strategic advantage and increased market share. These all point to an encouraging view of the future of the remanufacturing industry from those within the business," says Seigo Robinson, Senior Consultant at Oakdene Hollins. Other motives include a secure spare parts supply, potential to lower product prices, opportunities through alternative business models, reduced resource security risk, customer pressure, asset and brand protection, and reduced lead times. The study further identified customer recognition, availability of cores (used parts to be remanufactured into new products), quality of cores and high labour costs to be key barriers to remanufacturing.

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