ZWC 2014 – Philips and Lego, Embracing Sustainability and Redefining Markets

The Afternoon Keynote featured an armchair discussion with the individuals in charge of sustainability at LEGO and Philips. During the discussion the audience were given insights into how global companies are catalyzing a shift toward a circular economy. Hear what drives these industry pioneers, the obstacles, and opportunities they encountered. And discover some fun facts, such as which year Lego is predicting there will be more mini-figures than human beings on the planet!

TorahKachurModerated by Torah Kachur – host of CBC Radio One’s What a Waste radio program, with guests Tim Brooks, senior sustainability director at Lego and Markus Laubscher, program manager – circular economy at Philips, this half-hour session featured a wide-ranging discussion about the role major manufacturers can play in the circular economy. Learn how Lego divides its sustainability efforts into two areas. Find out how they eliminated 4000 tons of cardboard from their packaging. Hear why Philips is moving away from selling its products in favour of a service-based business model and how they are finding new markets through refurbishing. Discover the importance of supply-chain management in moving toward a circular economy and how these companies are collaborating with suppliers to improve their sustainability performance. Importantly, some tough questions get asked such as:

  • Isn’t there enough Lego already? Why make more?
  • What does the future look like with a burgeoning middle class demanding a higher standard of living?
  • Why isn’t Lego made from 100% recycled materials?
  • What does the marketplace look like in ten years?
  • Where is the profit in refurbishing existing goods and selling services rather than new products?
  • How do these companies work with municipalities to build sustainability into their business relationships?
  • Doesn’t coupling economic growth to circular economy mean we will still run out of natural resources?

Both Philips and Lego are multi-national companies with a global reach. Take advantage of the work they have already done in identifying both the challenges and opportunities presented by the circular economy, by watching this afternoon keynote session from Metro Vancouver’s 2014 Zero Waste Conference. And check out some of the additional questions and comments posed by the audience for the afternoon session at the conference’s Pigeonhole question and answer web page.


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