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European remanufacturing industry report released

January 13, 2016

ERN new logoThe study by the European Remanufacturing Network (ERN) estimates that the entire remanufacturing industry, including cartridges, is worth €30 billion, and could “triple” by 2030.

In a press release, the ERN highlighted the findings of its report, Remanufacturing Market Study, which you can download here. The report estimates that the European industry is worth around €30 billion ($32.4 billion) and employs around 190,000 people across the continent, with the “potential to triple” by 2030. This could be achieved, it notes, through “supportive governmental policies and industry investments”, with 255,000 jobs and a value of around €90 billion ($97.4 billion).

The “extensive market study” received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, with cartridge aftermarket and OEM respondents including Armor, Canon Europe, CMB France, GIT Dubai, Kleen Strike, Lexmark, PRINTek, Printerland, REFILLCENTER, and Ricoh. In turn, ETIRA Secretary General Vincent van Dijk is acknowledged with “particular thanks” by the ERN, alongside other remanufacturing associations.

The report itself will be analysed in a future issue of The Recycler, and contains a great deal of detail on the industry as a whole, as well as specific focus on inkjet and toner cartridge remanufacturing. It comments on the industry’s “significant tension” between OEMs and remanufacturers, the growing threat to both of “compatible but un-branded cartridges” that are “often in breach of copyright”, and the difficulties of “gaining access to the core” when it comes to consumer inkjets.

Among other findings were that Germany “undertakes the most remanufacturing by a significant margin”, with “almost a third of European remanufacturing turnover”. The ERN noted that while remanufacturing is an “important component of a resource-efficient manufacturing industry and a key strategy within the circular economy”, it is currently “an undervalued part of the industrial landscape and an under-recognised sustainable industry”.

It added that “without coordinated support, European remanufacturing could lose competitiveness against major competitors” including the USA and China, which are said to both “already have a common vision and strategy for remanufacturing”. The study, the ERN states, is “a first step in mapping the potential of remanufacturing in Europe”, and aims to map “the challenges of remanufacturing business models, product design and processes”.

Seigo Robinson, Senior Consultant at Oakdene Hollins, which also contributed to the report, commented that “the top motives for businesses to remanufacture are higher profit margins, environmental responsibility, a strategic advantage and increased market share. These all point to an encouraging view of the future of the remanufacturing industry from those within the business”.

The ERN was set up last May, and is a European Commission project aimed at “boost[ing] remanufacturing activities throughout Europe”, and the market study was begun on the network’s launch.


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