Innovation methodology focusing on sustainability

Waste management based on circular economy

In the last years, the approach to sustainability changed drastically; preventing harm to the planet is no longer enough. To ensure a viable future for mankind it’s necessary to replenish and restore what has been lost for so many years.

The objective of the new sustainability is to REGENERATE society, economy and the planet, incorporating the principles of circular economy, where the resources are consistently and effectively recycled and optimized. The corporations and their brands will be the protagonists of this change, playing an active role in mobilizing society to:

  • RETHINK the existing systems and processes;
  • REEVALUATE the way we do business;
  • REIMAGINE production;
  • RECONSIDER the way we live.

As Ray C. Anderson, CEO from Interface Floor, said in his celebrated speech “A better way: business leadership for the greater good”:

The only institution on Earth that is large enough, powerful enough, pervasive enough, wealthy enough and influential enough to lead humankind out of this mess is the same one that is doing the greatest damage, the institution of business and industry – my institution!

In this new context, brands are being increasingly pressured to adopt the principles of circular economy in practices and processes, mainly concerning the management and disposal of the waste generated by their production. However, the modus operandi is not yet clear, bringing companies to set aggressive goals without having a strategy to reach them.

To face this challenging scenario, CBA B+G has developed a proprietary methodology to support and boost clients on their transformation journey to a more circular Corporation concerning the generation and management of the waste produced.

The methodology was devised taking into consideration some important aspects in the search of effective solutions:

1. Collaboration – solutions are not produced by one or two market players, but by the collaboration and co-creation of players with different perspectives and knowhow;

2. Technology – the use of digital tools ensures scalability of solutions;

3. New business models – inevitably, effective and viable solutions in the long-term will come from new business models, some of them still unnamed.

With that in mind, we developed a methodology that includes multidisciplinary teams working together:

  • From the agency: strategists, creatives and makers;
  • From the client: marketing, innovation, research and development (R&D), logistics, sustainability, finance;
  • From the market: clients and consumers;
  • Expert partner: we rely on Boomera’s expertise, a startup with focus on reverse logistics and circular economy, set up in 2011.

The methodology

The teams get together for immersive workshops to develop solutions from three key standpoints:

1. People – create appealing initiatives to mobilize and engage consumers, partners, clients and collaborators;

2. System – build efficient and scalable reverse-logistics journeys with the purpose of achieving a closed-loop packaging cycle, from the product’s purchase, consumption, to post-consumption;

3. Packaging – explore materials and smarter ways to develop packaging with less environmental impact (improve recyclability, lower carbon emission, optimize the use of materials, favor returnability etc).

The working process

The working process follows four subsequent and collaborative steps:

1. Diagnosis of the client’s situation concerning waste production, identifying the priorities to be tackled;

2. A two-day co-creation workshop, when the reverse-logistics journeys are designed with the purpose of achieving a closed-loop packaging cycle;

3. Field Research, where ideas are assessed from the consumer’s, partners’ and company’s point of view, identifying the strong points and the ones who deserve attention and must be rethought;

4. A two-day prototyping workshop, when ideas are made tangible in low to medium fidelity prototypes – physical and digital -, tested with clients/consumers to be finally presented to the company managers in a “Shark Tank Pitch” format;

With the prototype in hands, the solutions are tested by the company to generate a study backlog, that is only possible when ideas are put into practice. Based on the improvements, the solutions are made real through projects that bring clear solutions to consumption inside and outside the homes, from plastic to glass, from the recyclable to the returnable.

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