Don't buy it - hire it: the real green consumer
30th March, 2010
It's an unfashionable idea, but would a return to hiring products and services rather than buying them help us reduce our ecological footprint and turn businesses green?
Picture a world where products are manufactured to be extremely durable, upgradable and reliable. When finally obsolete, all of a product's parts would be carefully conserved, and not 'downcycled', but remanufactured to make exactly the same product.
In such a 'closed-loop' world, customers would get the use of high-quality everyday items, and the energy demand of industry (currently one third of the world's total), would be slashed - primary resources would no longer be extracted and processed on anything like the scale the are today.
It's a nice idea, but with massive interests in the status quo and resistance to government regulations, how can we get there? Many green business leaders believe the path to a closed-loop technological world makes perfect business sense. The interesting thing is, the path they believe will get us there involves what has become a rather unfashionable idea – hiring things.
Buying a service
The sale-of-service (sometimes called product-of-service) approach is the revolutionary green idea that instead of buying products, we should, for many durable...
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