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Explore resources on product lifetime extension and circular economy!

This webpage collects resources and tools on the topic of product lifetime extension. Product lifetime extension is the postponement or reversal of the obsolescence of a product through deliberate intervention, thus contributing to circular economy.  

 

Here, you can access reports, case studies and other relevant materials on measures and processes to be taken by the private sector, governments and consumers, to accelerating the circular economy by extending the useful life of products. You can read our report “The Long View” to learn about policy recommendations to address product lifetime extension, and be inspired by real-life good practices that target business solutions on product design and use. 

 

The Long View: Exploring Product Lifetime Extension - download here

 

The Long View report aims to provide recommendations on the opportunities available to consumers, private sector and especially governments, of developed and developing economies, to fight against planned obsolescence and address product lifetime extension, strategies that in turn contribute to the circular economy. Product-specific policy measures and opportunities for product lifetime extension are presented.

 

Case Studies

Here, you can access seven case studies that were collected to illustrate or exemplify product lifetime extension strategies. Our aim with these case studies is to inspire and encourage organisations to shift to more circular models, to improve their business models towards prolonging or extending a product’s lifetime.

Caterpillar: a case study on remanufacturing

Geração Ecotrônicos: a case study on repair and recovery

Neptuno Pumps: a case study on remanufacturing

OLX Brazil: a case study on second-hand market

Refazenda: a case study on upcycling

Retalhar: a case study on upcyling

Swane Design: a case study on upcycling

 

Video

This video explains what product lifetime extension is and what it means for everyone on the planet. It highlights how businesses can apply product lifetime extension and circularity concepts to their corporate strategies and how consumers can help too by making little shifts in their daily routines.

English version

Spanish subtitles 

Portuguese subtitles

 

Infographics

These two infographics summarizes business strategies on how to extend products lifetime. andhighlights elements from the case studies listed above. This is by no means an exhaustive list of strategies. 

Infographic 1 - Business strategies for extending product lifetime

Infographic 2 - Product lifetime extension - Real-life Case Studies

 

Events and webinars

Did you miss any of our events or webinars? Here you can find the recording!

Watch the launch webinar of the report The Long View (12 October 2017): here 

Watch the webinar ‘Product Lifetime Extension: Which business models work?’ (30 January 2019): here

Watch the webinar 'Longer Lifetime for Products: A Compelling Case Towards Circularity' (5 September 2019): here

 

Training on product lifetime extension

UNEP currently offers a training course which guides companies, policy makers and civil society on strategies to implement product lifetime extension whithin the scope of circular economy. The main objective of the training is to strengthen the technical capacity of stakeholders in support of the implementation of product lifetime extension strategies and initiatives. The training introduces the concept of product lifetime extension within the scope of circular economy and discusses measures that can be taken by policy makers, businesses, consumers and NGOs related to the topic. If you are interested in receiveing more information on this training, please reach out to us

 

Want to know more about product lifetime extension?

Please check below other guidance materials recommended by us:

A Longer Lifetime for Products: Benefits for Consumers and Companies (European Parliament, 2016)

Obsolescence: Political strategies for improved durability of products (German Environment Agency, 2017)

Strategies against obsolescence: Ensuring a minimum product lifetime and improving product service life as well as consumer information (German Environment Agency, 2017)

Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy - Final Report. Prepared by LE Europe, VVA Europe, Ipsos, ConPolicy and Trinomics (European Commission, 2018)

Ecodesign Requirements for Textiles and Furniture (Nordic Council of Ministers, 2018)

Repair or replace? Extending the life-span of your home appliances – FAQs and helpful hints (Öko-Institut e.V., 2018)

Business models for the circular economy: Opportunities and challenges for policy (OECD, 2019)

Influence of the service life of products in terms of their environmental impact: Establishing an information base and developing strategies against obsolescence (German Environment Agency, 2020)

Promoting Product Longevity (European Parliament, 2020)

A new Circular Economy Action Plan: For a cleaner and more competitive Europe (European Commission, 2020)

Impacts and Insights: Circular IT Management in Practice (TCO Development, 2020)

 

Collaboration

The product lifetime work of the Consumer Information Programme is led by UN Environment and Akatu Institute and funded by the French Ministry for Ecological and Solidary Transition. The report ‘The Long View’ was authored by TU Delft, which regularly organizes the international conference Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE).

 

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