C-SERVEES: Circular economy brings new business models to electrical and electronic sector


It is estimated that more than 12 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) will be generated in 2020. With a growth rate of 3-5% per year, this type of waste is made up of a complex mixture of high value-added materials that can cause environmental and health problems if not properly managed.

AIMPLAS is coordinating the C-SERVEES project with the aim of fostering a circular economy that is more efficient in the use of the resources of the electrical and electronic sector by developing new circular business models. Four kinds of products have been chosen for evaluation of their business models:

  1. washing machines
  2. laser printers and toner cartridges
  3. TV sets
  4. telecom equipment.

These business models are based on eco-innovative services such as eco-leasing, product customization, better WEEE management, and ICT tools to assist with other circular services. ICT tools are currently being developed thanks to synergies between the circular economy and Industry 4.0. They will be used to implement new circular service models after taking into consideration the barriers and opportunities identified by stakeholders in a consultation.

Main results
  1. Eco-leasing, product customization, better waste management and ICT tools for bi-directional communication between manufacturers, consumers and waste managers will help reduce the 12 million tonnes of waste produced by the electrical and electronic sector each year.
  2. Consumers will also be able to learn how to make their consumer patterns more sustainable and waste managers will have access to useful information to facilitate WEEE reuse and recycling, thanks to QR codes on each product. 
  3. For model replicability and transfer, the project is also considering developing a series of WEEE ecodesign guides and recommendations on policies to overcome current legislative barriers, as well as a framework for standardizing the circular economy.