“Those who don’t adapt to the new consumption models are accepting their business death”. That is the categorical opinion of Luciano López López, École Hôtelière de Lausanne economist, when referring to the circular economy.
“The current market system, based on producing, using, and throwing away, was created to promote economic growth, but is no longer valid because our resources are limited. The circular economy is a solution”, whether applied to tourism or any other sector.
And, above all, “it is a business opportunity: it helps to reduce costs and generate new revenue. For example, the Umicore company, an old mining company, is currently the leader in the recycling of mobiles and electronic waste. It has evolved to focus on the new mining, the urban mining”, says Pablo Bascones from PwC España. Without a doubt, there is a very appetizing business here because, unfortunately, the electronic waste accumulated in 2018 is equivalent to 4,500 Eiffel Towers and continues to increase.
HOW TO WORK WITH SAME RESOURCES TODAY AND IN 100 YEARS
The move towards a circular economy involves rethinking everything in a company, from the supply chain to operations, the services we offer, the involvement of clients… A total and innovative re-engineering of the processes must be done. The goal is to imitate nature where there is no waste. In other words, “work with the same resources today and within 100 years”, explains Ana Pociña from Telefónica’s Environment area. A long-term view is required!
Some examples to promote the circular economy at Telefónica: “We have undertaken to be 100% renewable by 2030 (we are already more than 50%). And in the procurement model we stopped purchasing some goods and opted for services. Thus, we don’t invest in Capex but in Opex. In addition, we have digitised the waste flow in our operations in order to quickly identify opportunities for reuse and sale“.
EL DORADO: NEW TECHNOLOGY-BASED SERVICES
As we could see in the Fiturtech #techYsostenibilidad Forum, the circular economy’s real business opportunity is in new digital solutions.
For example, we have apps to transform a hotel room into a smart room in order to manage the consumption of energy, light, air and water. Or the digital lock by BeCheckin, a start-up supported by Wayra, that allows guests to open the doors of their rooms through their mobile phones.
Another case: the LUCA Tourism solution, which thanks to big data predicts the number of tourists and analyses their behaviour patterns so that both the hotels and the city can size themselves better and adjust the resources to the flow.
The future is already here, and it’s circular! Will you join us?