Access economy

DEFINITION: 

A business model that gives customers access to goods and services rather than outright ownership. The access economy refers to renting assets on a temporary basis, producing environmental benefits through reduced mass consumption. Companies such as AirBnb, ZipCar and Uber are good examples of the access economy in practice.

See also: Circular economy

See also: Sharing economy

See also: Servitisation

Related items

The discussion at the V&A was the most-attended select committee hearing in UK history. Photo: UK Government/ Gabriel Sainhas

Corporate action on fashion sustainability 'insufficient', MPs warned

A group of environmentally-conscious fashion designers and academics have warned MPs that the current business models used across the fashion industry are unsustainable and that corporate efforts to embed circular economy principles into operations have proved themselves to be "insufficient".

Cheshire explained that greenhush and greenwashing could both harm business reputations. Tucker Images

No more 'Greenhush': Sir Ian Cheshire urges business to get vocal on sustainability

The chairman of Barclays UK and Debenhams had suggested that the business community has a "moral imperative" to deliver and communicate real change that brings in new business models to alleviate key climate concerns.

This 30-minute masterclass offered a taster of the full Sustainability Leadership Programme that has been developed by Cranfield University for edie's network of sustainability professionals

30-minute masterclass: Seven ways to adopt the circular economy across your business

During a 30-minute masterclass webinar hosted by edie last week, Cranfield University's senior lecturer in circular innovation Fiona Charnley outlined the essential skills needed to implement circular economy principles. Here, edie rounds up her key takeaways.

The 30-minute masterclass offers a taster of the brand new Sustainability Leadership Programme, developed by Cranfield University for edie's network of sustainability professionals

Available on demand: edie's 30-minute masterclass on implementing the circular economy

Sustainability professionals seeking to drive value from the transition to a circular economy can now watch the free 30-minute masterclass, which is available on demand.

Future thinkers: 20 sustainability and CSR experts have shared their views on what the future holds for green business

Thinking forward: 20 business leaders define the next 20 years of sustainability - Part two

EXCLUSIVE: In the second half of a two-part feature, edie brings you the voices of 20 sustainability professionals and political activists to discuss what will define the next two decades of corporate sustainability and business leadership.

The 30-minute masterclass offers a taster of the brand new Sustainability Leadership Programme, developed by Cranfield University for edie's network of sustainability professionals

edie's next 30-minute masterclass: How to implement the circular economy

Sustainability professionals seeking to drive value from the transition to a circular economy are invited to take part in a free, online masterclass taking place on Wednesday 12 September.

Schreve said that investors need to ensure that the green finance market focuses on backing “quality” over quantity for environmental and social funding opportunities

How ING is avoiding greenwash in the new green finance era

EXCLUSIVE: ING's global head of sustainable finance Leonie Schreve believes that stronger internal relations between the finance and sustainability departments within businesses will create more access to green loans and bonds to assist the low-carbon transition.

Take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories, and click the links in the descriptions below to read them for yourself

Cup innovations, blockchain trials and the Sustainability Leaders Awards: Top 10 sustainability stories of July 2018

Aside from the never-ending heatwave, it was a month of climate-positive pledges, battery storage boons and the official launch of edie's 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards. Take a look back at July's biggest sustainability stories in this round-up.

The metrics aim to help corporates assign a monetary value to natural resources which are often depleted through the sourcing of raw materials

Business giants launch new natural capital metric

A global network of big-name companies including Mars, Asda and Primark have today (July 11) unveiled a new set of metrics to help other organisations identify, measure, and value impacts and dependencies on natural assets, raw materials and natural infrastructure.

Almost one-fifth of sustainability leaders think 100% of their range will be low-carbon by 2028

Majority of products to be low-carbon within a decade, say firms with science-based targets

The majority of executives at global corporations which are leading the transition to a low-carbon economy believe most of their company’s branded products or services will be classed as low-carbon by 2028, new research has revealed.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Plastic-free supermarkets and lessons in leadership: This week’s top 5 sustainability success stories

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

Sandrine Ricard told edie that all 17 SDGs will be applied across the firm's operations, from offices to its supply chains

Pernod Ricard to embed SDGs in sustainability strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Beverage giant Pernod Ricard is set to align its sustainability strategy, which also applies to its owned brands such as Chivas Brothers, Malibu and Absolut Vodka, with the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals "in the near future".

This new weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Achieving Mission Possible: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Achieving Mission Possible: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

The circular economy route map sketched more than 100 practical actions - but how many have been taken so far?

How close is London to achieving a circular economy?

EXCLUSIVE: A year after the launch of a route map outlining how the collective actions of the private sector could catalyse a transition to the circular economy in London, edie investigates how much progress has been made to close the loop.

VF Corporation are working with the Renewal Workshop to ensure that all products hosted on the platform are suitable for purpose

The North Face Renewed: VF Corporation takes next step into 'new world' of servitisation

EXCLUSIVE: The North Face's recent launch of a refurbished garments service is acknowledgement of a "new world" of corporate business models that will see the brand's owner, VF Corporation, trial a number of closed-loop, service-based models.

C&A Foundation has provided funding for the innovative projects which it believes could bridge the gap in the implementation of circular business models

C&A Foundation commits more than £1m to circular fashion innovations

C&A Foundation, the corporate foundation affiliated with global fashion retailer C&A, will invest more than £1m (€1.29m) in a string of initiatives aimed at accelerating the industry's transition to a circular economy.

edie invites sustainability professionals and industry experts onto the Mission Possible sofa to discuss how business can achieve a sustainable future

On the Mission Possible sofa with UK GBC's Alastair Mant and the EIC's Matthew Farrow

The fourth episode of our new sustainable business chat show sees the UK Green Building Council's (UK GBC) head of industry engagement Alastair Mant joined by the Environmental Industries Commission's (EIC) executive director Matthew Farrow to discuss the role of collaboration.

The initiative aims to tackle issues like coral reef degradation, marine litter and overfishing

Businesses team with UN to plot course for 'healthy' oceans

Oil and gas firm Total, insurance giant Gard AS and Norwegian maritime conference Nor-Shipping are among the six corporations which will lead a new United Nations (UN) initiative to help the private sector tackle ocean issues including overfishing, marine litter and acidification.

Dow has set a target of generating £750m ($1bn) from

Dow generates £90m from natural capital projects

The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has continued to prove the business case for measuring impacts on nature, generating almost £90m ($120m) from putting an economic value on natural resources in 2017.

Mike Barry discussed plastic pledges, stores closures and consumer demand following the release of the retailer's Plan A sustainability update

Paradigm shift: How ‘unsatisfied customers’ are driving M&S’s sustainability progress

With Marks & Spencer (M&S) publishing the latest update to its Plan A sustainability strategy this week, the retailer’s director of sustainable business Mike Barry explains how mounting consumer pressures have helped to accelerate progress towards delivering sustainable products and packaging.

The report highlights that Europe is primed to embrace a new circular economy, with EU industrial emissions potentially reduced by 56% by 2050

Report: Circular economy a 'powerful force' to meeting Paris Agreement goals

Circular business models and greater material efficiency of products in the transport and built environment sectors could reduce emissions by 3.6 billion tonnes annually - putting the globe on course to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.

This new weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Achieving Mission Possible: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

One of the strategy’s flagship goals is seeing the Group’s estate become “the world’s first SDG compliant city”

Making Sustainability Real: Inside Canary Wharf Group's bold net positive strategy

EXCLUSIVE: British property giant Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has this week unveiled a sweeping new 2030 sustainability strategy, including goals of becoming a circular economy leader, transforming its estate into the world's first 'SDG-compliant micro-city' and becoming net positive.

The new plan forms part of the group’s five-year ‘one Kingfisher’ strategy, which was launched in 2016 and aims to transform the company’s structure by “unifying” its key brands

New sustainable growth plan acts as 'roadmap' to Net Positive for Kingfisher

EXCLUSIVE: Home improvement retailer Kingfisher has unveiled a comprehensive range of short-term sustainability targets in a bid to engage its customers and 77,000 employees in the company's long-term ambition of becoming "truly sustainable".

Globally, IKEA has already trebled the sales from its 'sustainable life at home' products

How the circular economy is fuelling sustainable growth at Ikea

EXCLUSIVE: Ikea's aim of doubling sales by 2020 are not at odds with an embedded ambition to become more circular, according to the company's UK sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen, who believes closed-loop solutions will be fundamental to future growth.

Analysis of the DRS in Norway by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) found that businesses will not suffer losses from such a system

UK retailers 'will not suffer financial losses' from bottle deposit scheme

Retailers will not suffer financial losses from the introduction of a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) in the UK, according to an analysis of a similar system in Norway.

Take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories, and click the links in the descriptions below to read them for yourself

Top 10 sustainability stories of March 2018

It was a month of plastic take back schemes, big Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitments and high-profile business innovations. Take a look back at March's biggest sustainability stories in this round-up.

Thomas believes collaborative approaches hold the key to tackling waste and embedding the circular economy as a “business as usual” approach

Plastic pledges provide gateway to circular economy, says John Lewis

The recent focus on plastic pollution has given sustainability professionals an opportunity to "reframe the narrative" on resource efficiency to move business models towards the circular economy, John Lewis's sustainability manager Ben Thomas has claimed.

The campaign will encourage parents to donate surplus clothes to one of 42 participating Mothercare stores. Image: Hubbub

Mothercare and Hubbub expand baby clothing redistribution scheme nationwide

A pilot between environmental charity Hubbub and Mothercare to redistribute baby clothing is being expanded nationwide, after more than 20,000 items of clothing were allocated to around 2,000 families last year.

According to a study by GM Insights, the global car-sharing market is expected to increase by one third annually between 2017 and 2034

Auto giants launch EV-sharing platform in China

Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing (Didi) has partnered with 12 automakers, including Geely Auto and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, to launch a new app-based, electric-vehicle-sharing platform.

The UK recycles just 38% of its plastic packaging, while it ships more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China every year

Plastics now a 'competitive issue' for business, CIWM chief warns

EXCLUSIVE: Eliminating unnecessary uses of plastic from production and supply chains is quickly becoming a "competitive issue" for businesses, with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) chief executive Dr Colin Church urging companies not to wait for legislation.

All sectors will be covered by the fund, image: ING

ING announces €100m Sustainable Investments fund

Dutch Bank ING has today (18 January) launched a €100m Sustainable Investments fund to help start-ups and innovative new business models scale up concepts and projects tailored for energy, water and resource efficiency.

Rugarli said that potential rental schemes were part of VF Corporation’s move to capture new business opportunities while placing sustainability at the forefront of product design

VF Corporation exploring servitisation to champion circular economy

EXCLUSIVE: Global clothing giant VF Corporation is exploring rental and service-based business models to promote the circular economy to its consumers, as the company pushes ahead with a new corporate strategy that commits to science-based targets and 100% renewable electricity.

The report encourages Member States to develop pricing mechanisms that support material reuse

Long-term policies can help business capture €324bn circular economy opportunity

A new report has called on European Union (EU) institutions to promote resource efficiency beyond the completion of the Circular Economy Package, by learning from best practice scenarios that could add €324bn to the EU's economy by 2030.

Starbucks is working with Pentatonic to turn post-consumer plastic waste and coffee cups into furniture

Starbucks targets a plastics circular economy to drive waste management

EXCLUSIVE: There is no "competitive leverage" to be gained by failing to work with rival brands to tackle ongoing waste issues regarding paper coffee cups and the wider use of plastics, Starbuck's vice president of corporate affairs Simon Redfern has claimed.