In this Interview, Peter Lukassen, Circular Economy Manager at Robert Bosch GmbH shares insights on how to capitalise on Circular Economy, this interview – made by Marie Bicrel from BLUMORPHO – was part of the open web meeting session dedicated to value creation in a circular economy context. At BLUMORPHO we embrace customers’ behaviors change and the society movement towards a more sustainable direction. It builds market opportunities and sustainable business model innovation is key leverage for scalability and sustainability performance.
Dr. Peter Lukassen joined Bosch in 2008. After positions in Controlling, Manufacturing and Logistics, he become Circular Economy Manager for the Automotive Aftermarket Division of Bosch in 2019. In his role, Peter accounts for the cross-business field Circular Economy aftermarket strategy and represents Bosch in several industry workings groups.
Marie Bicrel: Can the circular economy approaches be contrasted for a start-up vs. a long-established, large corporation and what are the differences?
Peter Lukassen: When talking about Circular Economy, approaches are fundamentally different if you’re a start-up or a corporate. Start-ups have more flexibility in trying, failing and doing it all over again while corporates are stuck in their not so agile processes. Start-ups have to rely on this agility to strive for revolution instead of evolution.
A side effect for corporates is the cannibalization effect on their existing customers, which they have to consider in their approach very carefully. Bosch has found that, as long as quality is maintained or improved, remanufactured systems can provide greater margins.
Agility is key
MB: How to make circular economy approaches profitable?
PL: Circular economy is about saving resources and energy. Both of which are not free, but rather costly. The lever to turn circular economy profitable is by sharing those savings amongst the different parties involved.
Circularity as a value enabler
MB: What are the biggest opportunities and the biggest challenges?
PL: The biggest opportunity is to save 300 million + tons of CO2 by 2050 and save the according efforts (which would be otherwise necessary) for the « new » production of steel, iron, etc. We are talking about billions of EUR which can be distributed amongst the circular economy participants.
The biggest challenge is agreeing on common standards as circular economy is by definition more complex than linear economy. Without standardized processes and general return, the possibilities for used parts and products will fail from consumer acceptance.
Circular Economy challenges and opportunities
MB: How are statistics and data for circular economy progress tracked? Are there existing tools or organisations providing such data ?
PL: As there is Circular Economy in all industries and sectors, there is no « general » place where to find everything. The Material Economic Report from the European Climate Foundation is a good starting point. If we focus on the automotive industry, there are organizations like the CLEPA or ARPA with dedicated circular economy groups. The European Union also has Circular Economy Packages and Initiatives, there are the Europen Climate Foundation and other organizations regularly publishing reports and studies.
Data monitoring and circularity