Spanish companies fail in circular economy but 72% of consumers value the change of habits

The Capgemini report warns that the Spanish are aware and concerned about the problem of waste and the use of dirty resources.

The circular economy is becoming a revolution that will change life in homes and the operation of companies.

There is no turning back. Either companies adopt circular economy models and reduce future supply chain risk or they will not meet with consumer approval. It is the main conclusion of the report Circular economy for a sustainable future: How organizations can empower consumers and transition to a circular economy of Capgemini Research Institute, which he presents exclusively in EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia.

Consumers are now leaning towards companies that adopt circular practices, demanding that companies be responsible. The polls back it up. The report states that more than seven out of ten consumers want to adopt circular practices, such as the reduction in overall consumption (54%), the purchase of more durable products (72%), and the product maintenance and repair to increase its useful life (70%).

This means that consumption habits are changing. You want to buy durable products that are recyclable or made from recycled materials; keep them in use for a long time through effective maintenance and repair; o ensure responsible actions at the end of their useful life so that they generate little or no waste.

And companies are not doing their homework. According to Capgemini, they should develop products and business models that eliminate waste through design, reduce the use of raw materials, and plan for the return/recovery of products and packaging, among other actions.

more circularity

More data. Almost 50% of consumers believe that organizations are not doing enough to recycle, reuse and reduce waste in all sectors, and 67% expect companies to be responsible when they advertise products and do not encourage excessive consumption.

Companies are not taking firm measures in their Circular Economy practices, which could harm them in the medium and long term. For example, 44% of consumers have increased their spending in the last 12 months at food and beverage companies that focus on recycling, reusing and reducing waste; and 40% have done so in product companies dedicated to personal and home care.

There is more awareness and concern about waste issues and resource depletion.

Three out of five (60%) cite a lack of sufficient information on product labeling (on origin, recyclability, recycled content, etc.) as a reason for not taking positive circular actions.

Effect of e-commerce

Another 55% say expense is a barrier to reusing products, though more than half (53%) declare that they do not want to make such a commitment. This is a result derived from the rise of the e-commerce of the last 10 years, which has fueled the desire and expectation for low-cost opportunities through major retailers offering overnight or even same-day delivery services.

Although there are regulatory efforts, such as the EU initiative on the “right to repair” to extend the useful life of products, Capgemini advises: companies must also take sides and establish their own mechanisms.

Currently, circular consumer approaches focus primarily on the post-use phase. For example, 58% of consumers say they separate and dispose of food waste after use, but only 41% of consumers say they buy food that uses minimal packaging. This indicates that there is still an excess of superfluous packaging and polluting plastics in the products that are made available to the consumer.

“The Circular Economy is the key to sustainable growth. From now on, consumers are going to make more ecological decisions,” he says. Roshan Gya, General Manager of Intelligent Industry at Capgemini Invent.

“The winners will be those who minimize the impact of their current products and services; develop products with principles of circularity by design; and reinvent new sustainable business models. These companies will be the new leaders of tomorrow in their markets.”

More awareness in Spain

But what about the Spanish? The report reveals that there is a high degree of awareness in our territory. For example, him 88% of Spaniards are aware of all the food produced that is wasted each year, while the world average is 79%; 63% know that almost 85% of textiles end up in landfills every year (51% is the global average).

However, much remains to be done. More than four out of ten Spanish consumers (45%) are not aware of the environmental impact of their consumption choices, whether in the purchase, use or disposal of products.

48% of consumers in Spain want to buy products that are recyclable or made with recycled materials and 52% of Spaniards say they buy exclusively from brands that focus on circular and sustainable practices, especially when it comes to personal care and hygiene products . Spain is above the world average (45%).

Finally, 60% of national consumers believe that it is the responsibility of the government, the retailer or the manufacturer to take care of reducing waste, compared to 54% of the global average.

There is only one stain on such a magnificent record. In the age group between 31 and 35, it is surprising that more than 60% of consumers say they do not perform circular actions because they are not willing to give up comfort and commitment due to the extra effort involved.

Recommendations for companies

The report also offers an action plan for companies to implement Circular Economy initiatives, such as rethinking value chains to “close the loop” or “establish organizational elements that support the transition towards greater circularity”.

And for this, you can rely on emerging technologies that drive that strategy.

The survey has been conducted to almost 8,000 consumers in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, India, China, Japan, Australia and Singapore. The goal is to get your opinion on major consumer-facing industries such as automotive and consumer products and retail (including food, personal and home care products, fashion and clothing, furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances).