Category 18 April 2019

Providing support to companies in remanufacturing decision making

Setting up product manufacturing standards and procurement specifications orientated towards remanufacturing can turn waste reduction opportunities into profitable ventures. The Centre on Remanufacturing & Reuse (CRR) in the United Kingdom advises industry how to start new service-models (e.g., corporate venturing with remanufacturing organisations).

The challenge

Significant material and energy savings can often be realised through the remanufacturing of products. Manufacturing in key industry sectors (automotive, consumer electronics and industrial equipment etc.) is done without considering the commercial and financial opportunities of remanufacturing. Many manufacturers are in need of training and tools to design products for later remanufacturing. The CRR provides manufacturers, industry associations and traders, support with the related training and tools.

The innovation

The CRR received public grant funding for demonstration and commercial exploitation from the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Development (Defra). The project aimed to promote the remanufacturing and reuse industries in the country.

The Centre offers governmental and private clients services such as carbon footprint analysis, sector reports, policy analysis, procurement advice and the development of industry standards, etc. An example of such projects is Uniform Reuse. The project was approved by Defra since it will impact key supply chains (clothing and textiles) and complements the work that the Defra Sustainable Clothing Roadmap team is carrying out. was created to provide corporates with a central resource for information regarding corporate wear recovery and create awareness of the opportunities to reuse, remanufacture and recycle corporate uniforms.  The website has incorporated several guidance tools for corporates such as: an interactive map showing where to find sustainable uniform manufacturers , repressors; a fabric database covering information regarding the characteristics and end-of-life options for current and emerging fibres; as well as a series of case studies of companies who overcame the barriers to the recovery and reuse of clothing across the supply chain.  

In partnership with leading UK universities, the Centre has designed presentations and materials covering topics such as the benefits, business models, design for remanufacturing and case studies. The Centre also offers tailored training solutions for the operational and managerial staff of interested companies. In addition it can organise a workshop, training course, lecture or a module on remanufacturing and reuse for its clients.

Why did it work?

The remanufacturing initiative (CRR) is developed to support Defra in the promotion of the remanufacturing industry in the UK.  

Further deployment

The CRR initiative provides a good example of institutional eco-innovation. There is great potential to replicate this model in other regions. The maturity of this good practice is estimated to be 9 on the GML scale. 

 Links:The website