Yokohama, Japan, 23 October 2018 – Re-thinking how we manufacture industrial products and deal with them at the end of their useful life could provide breakthrough environmental, social and economic benefits, according to new research from the International Resource Panel.
If products were re-manufactured, comprehensively re-furbished, repaired and directly re-used, the amount of new material needed could be significantly reduced – by 80-98 per cent for re-manufacturing, 82-99 per cent for comprehensive refurbishing, and 94-99 per cent for repair.
The report released at the World Circular Economy Forum today called Re-defining Value – The Manufacturing Revolution. Remanufacturing, Refurbishment, Repair and Direct Reuse in the Circular Economy, says the adoption of these “value-retention processes” could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions in some sectors by 79 to 99 per cent.
These sectors examined in the report are automotive parts, heavy-duty offload machinery (for example, diggers and excavators), and industrial printing equipment. But there is significant potential beyond these sectors for further reductions.
Today, two-thirds of us live in cities, draining nature of materials to build homes, schools, hospitals, roads, transport systems and factories. Urbanization, together with a growing middle-class, has increased demand for consumer goods. In the 20th century, we dug up, chopped down, drilled for or harvested 34 times more construction materials, 27 times more ore and minerals, 12 times more fossil fuels and 3.6 times more biomass than in the years before.
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