Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ERN (The European Remanufacturing Network - coordinating and supporting European remanufacturers)
Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2017-01-31
Despite these accolades, remanufacturing is an undervalued part of the industrial landscape and an under-recognised sustainable industry. Activity to promote remanufacturing is currently undertaken at a sectoral level for some product sectors. In Europe, unlike in the recycling industry, cross-sectoral activities to facilitate knowledge transfer and promote the industry do not exist. Our major competitors, the US and China, already have a common vision and strategy for remanufacturing within their industrial landscape. An outcome may be that European remanufacturing could lose competitiveness against these more organised sectors. As a result, there is a real need for a European-level solution to encourage remanufacturing throughout Europe.
This project has seen the formation, coordination and support of a European Remanufacturing Network (ERN). The overall objectives of this two-year project were:
- To map the remanufacturing landscape in Europe through a detailed market survey.
- To equip remanufacturers and would-be remanufacturers with the tools to remanufacture profitably and resource-efficiently.
- To facilitate the development of sustainable partnerships between remanufacturing organisations for future research, collaboration, knowledge transfer and lobbying.
- To raise the profile of remanufacturing in the public and political and policy making spheres.
- To set up an industry-led council that will represent the views of remanufacturers across Europe and continue the work started under the Council after the project has completed. This will ensure the potential impact of the ERN continues beyond the duration of the project.
The action concludes that the ERN has helped foster relationships between remanufacturers and to capture and disseminate remanufacturing knowledge. Key recommendations for furthering European remanufacturing have been collated and the Conseil Européen de Remanufacture (CER) will further promote the interests of European remanufacturers.
In summary, remanufacturing activity in Europe generates around €30bn in turnover and employs around 190,000 people. These are substantial numbers but represent an intensity (ratio of remanufacturing to new manufacturing) of only 1.9%. Both intensity and overall value lag the US experience. It is, therefore, apparent that there is substantial headroom for growth, given the right interventions and framework conditions.
Landscaping studies on remanufacturing business models, design for remanufacturing and remanufacturing processes were conducted to describe the different approaches taken by remanufacturers. This work was also used to produce case studies of best practice, which were incorporated into an on-line tool for actors to see exemplars of remanufacturing practice and disseminate this knowledge. An on-line educational course, consisting of seven, narrated videos, was also produced.
Workshops were conducted around Europe to disseminate knowledge on remanufacturing amongst industry and academia. The results of the market and landscaping studies were also presented. Some of the latter workshops also included opportunities for participants to contribute towards the compilation of the targeted recommendations report. This report took a methodical approach to capturing and prioritising recommendations for furthering the development of the European remanufacturing industry, with the recommendations targeted at specific actors.
Throughout the project, the outputs were published on the project website and remanufacturing actors were also able to sing up to the European Remanufacturing Network.
The project concluded with the launch of the CER, an industry-led council to promote the interests of remanufacturers in Europe, which will continue to operate beyond the conclusion of the ERN project.
The resources made available to actors interested in remanufacturing via the project (landscape reports, on-line tool kits, on-line educational course, recommendations reports) will also help raise the profile of remanufacturing and help foster knowledge transfer between actors and sectors. The networking opportunities created by the numerous workshops held and the launch of the CER have also benefited remanufacturers in developing new relationships and partnerships.
The CER will be a lasting legacy for the project, and will contribute towards the strategic positioning of European remanufacturers as world-leading practitioners.