The manufacturer is exploring new ways it can innovate to capitalise upon the growing emergence of service-based industries and is linking up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a global partner to pioneer this work.

According to Philips’ EcoVision programme senior director Robert Metzke, the company is working with specialists in this field, Turntoo and Thomas Rau, to bring the idea to market.

“We started to develop the concept of light as a service … that we are currently scaling up, where we don’t sell lightbulbs anymore, but where we start selling light.

“So people pay for the performance … not selling the material but keeping the material for us, using renewable energy of course, and the last level really is system level changes.”

He added that the circular economy was now critical to the business going forward. “Really, it’s the next logical step for us on this journey,” he said.

“We took the report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and tried to understand what is the value that could be created from the industries that Philips are in … try to understand which part is where in the supply chain, what kind of change would be needed, what types of products and services would be most feasible for it.”

Philips, who is a world leader in lighting, will be joining the ranks of B&Q, National Grid, BT/Cisco and Renault in powering the work of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in accelerating the transition to a circular economy.

Maxine Perella

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