The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended.
In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum. When a product reaches the end of its life, its materials are kept within the economy wherever possible. These can be productively used again and again, thereby creating further value.
This is a departure from the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a take-make-consume-throw away pattern. This model relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy.
Also part of this model is planned obsolescence, when a product has been designed to have a limited lifespan to encourage consumers to buy it again. The European Parliament has called for measures to tackle this practice.
Why do we need to switch to a circular economy?
The world's population is growing and with it the demand for raw materials. However, the supply of crucial raw materials is limited.
Finite supplies also means some EU countries are dependent on other countries for their raw materials.
In addition extracting and using raw materials has a major impact on the environment. It also increases energy consumption and CO2 emissions. However, a smarter use of raw materials can lower CO2 emissions.
What are the benefits?
Measures such as waste prevention, ecodesign and re-use could save EU companies money while also reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the production of materials we use every day account for 45% of the CO2 emissions.
Moving towards a more circular economy could deliver benefits such as reducing pressure on the environment, improving the security of the supply of raw materials, increasing competitiveness, stimulating innovation, boosting economic growth (an additional 0.5% of gross domestic product), creating jobs (700,000 jobs in the EU alone by 2030).
Consumers will also be provided with more durable and innovative products that will increase the quality of life and save them money in the long term.
(source: Circular Economy: definition, importance and benefites, 2015 www.europarl.europa.eu)
What is Commulite doing to help landlords contribute a circular economy?
Commulite has designed a highly energy efficient emergency and communal lighting system which minimises energy consumption, is designed to last and is fully recycled with finite materials reclaimed through their partnership with WEEE accredited scheme member, Lumicom.
So how exactly does Commulite do it?
LEDs will definitely save energy, but if a light is on when it doesn’t need to be, or is producing more light than is needed, then energy is still being wasted.
To realise the full energy-saving potential of LED lighting requires an intelligent control system that gives the right light, in the right place, at the right time.
This is Commulite.
It has a fully automated control system that provides optimum light levels and makes fully automated daylight saving adjustments.
Every Commulite luminaire has nine different light outputs and power settings ranging from 2 to 18 watts, which can be independently controlled. This enables every luminaire to be programmed to suit its location, time of day and time of year, maximising efficiency and minimising energy usage.
Commulite’s luminaires contain a high efficiency LED board that has a tested, long working life, no batteries, no chargers, no inverters, nothing to go wrong, nothing to replace in that time. In addition, the system self-tests and monitors its status so you don’t have to.
Commulite uses only the best LEDs, offering superior performance, reliability and longevity. Their fittings are equipped with a tough steel casing, tamper proof seals and the LED light board is virtually indestructible.
Full CIBSE lighting guide compliance is guaranteed, and their unique opal diffusers ensure uniform light levels without glare or spotting.
Giving you minimum energy costs, minimum light pollution with long life, maintenance free luminaires.
As well as the tremendous energy and carbon savings, there are zero recycling costs with the Commulite system. Commulite is a member of the Lumicom-accredited WEEE Directive scheme. All components are individually bar coded and tracked from manufacture to installation, and at the end of their working life they are returned to Commulite for recycling at no cost to you, your residents or your contractor.
Upon installation of a Commulite system, they also arrange for all old fittings to be removed from site and recycled free of charge, with all finite element reclaimed. Saving you the cost of skips, as well as helping the environment and further contributing to the circular economy.
The Commulite system is made in Britain, giving the company excellent quality control and further underlining their commitment to sustainability by avoiding the hidden carbon emissions associated with imported equipment.