Remanufacturing identified as high growth opportunity

March 13, 2012

A report by the London Environmental Investment Forum identifies remanufacturing and recommerce as high growth environmental investment themes.

The London Environmental Investment Forum (LEIF) has published a report extolling remanufacturing and recommerce – reverse commerce, referring to the recover and reuse of products often adopted by internet-centric platforms – as high growth environmental themes of value “for our age of austerity”.

The report states that remanufacturing and recommerce is being discovered in “value-added business models, more efficient processes and technologies and in the identification of new product categories and markets” and UK research and consultancy firm Oakdene Hollis states that ICT and renewables are emerging as future high growth product groups.

Nick Morley, Director of Sustainable Innovation at Oakdene Hollis, commented: “Continuing growth in emerging markets, rising energy and raw materials costs, and a broader understanding and acceptance of reuse as an often superior means of reducing waste and carbon is bringing change to the industry – it’s becoming more attractive to investors.

“The environmental benefits of product reuse usually exceed those of materials recycling and this is leading on to minimum reuse targets being built into policy instruments.

“Furthermore the impact of recession is being found in value-added business models, more efficient processes and technologies and in the identification of new product categories and markets.”

LEIF Chairman Tom Whitehouse added: “These sectors have attracted few ‘green’ investors to date, but that’s just because their growth prospects and environmental benefits are only now becoming apparent. This is an emerging investment opportunity.

“The opportunity and challenge for venture and growth investors will be to uncover the innovative smaller independents with disruptive technologies and business models that are required higher up the food chain.”

Remanufacturing has contributed approximately £5 billion ($7.8 billion/€5.9 billion) annually to the UK economy. The industry has also created more than 500,000 jobs and saved 270,000 tons of materials every year.

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