Kan de circulaire economie ook toegepast worden in de service industrie: de financiële sector, het verzekeringsbedrijf, pensioenfondsen, uitzendbureaus en in de IT-sector? Ja, staat in een White Paper, ter voorbereiding op de conferentie ‘Closing the Loop’.
READER: Circular Economy in de Service Industry
De auteurs Pablo Smolders en Sanne Snieder (Dutch) zijn in hun paper kritisch over de huidige financiële sector. De bedragen die hier omgaan hebben niets meer van doen met de werkelijke economie, stellen zij in deze Engelstalige analyse.
“The financial sector is stated to be the ‘mirror’ of the economy. Yet the financial sector is far bigger than the real economy. The financial crisis shows how the collapse of the virtual economy has a tremendous impact on the real economy. A virtual economy has emerged: Large parts of the financial sector for example merely exists of internal trade in derivatives. These form an unstable source for the real economy. Moreover, American and European scientific research has indicated that size and efficiency negatively correlate, meaning that larger banks perform worse than their smaller counterparts10. Transaction-oriented banking, such as trading and financial market activities, has cost frictions with the regular relationship banking.
Net als vele andere critici, hekelen de auteurs de ontwikkeling die de wereld op zijn kop zette en banken veranderde in op winst gerichte bedrijven, in plaats van dienstverleners.
“Going back to the essence of the service industry, service companies’ goals are to service their customers in their best interest. The current economic situation and culture of greed show that the customer is all but served. Besides being a facilitator for customer needs, the service industry has become an independent business sector, making profits for their own accounts. Perverse incentives to maximize profits for shareholders induce excessive risk-taking at the expense of long-term value creation for customers, or even viability of companies. Managers are incentivized by compensation in the form of bonuses to reach financial targets that are too often focused on short-termism. Moreover, the hedging of risks instead of focusing on long-term value creation prevents sustainable innovation to take place. As everything is connected in systems, we need the service sector to come along in the transition towards a circular economy.”
Zonder namen van ondernemingen als Turntoo (de grondstoffenbank van architect Thomas Rau) te noemen, geven de auteurs aan hoe bedrijven in de service-industrie principes uit de circulaire economie kunnen toepassen.
“In practice, the circular economy has two different implications for the service sector. First of all, new circular business models in the industrial sector require new service models. The leasing scheme type of business model that the circular economy is moving towards requires the service sector to provide service products conducive to these systems. Financing and securing circular systems is a totally new approach than the approach where deals are solely closed on a bilateral basis. This requires long-term vision and reciprocity within the system. Value creation is the ultimate goal, and this goal has to be leading at all times. One can image that this is quite a paradigm shift for the service sector, which is used to hedge risks as much as possible and aims at short-term returns. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation also determines two other possible developments: New businesses will arise that facilitate the circular service provision of production companies. These new companies need funding and insurances. Moreover, it is expected that corporate lending will exceed consumer financing, which means that more robust types of products and services are needed.”
De volledige White Paper is gratis te downloaden, zie de linkerkolom, onderaan.