Unusual Rigging (Unusual) began their circular journey around five years ago. Embedding of the principles of the circular economy in the business has been the guide for this journey.
Historically, Unusual has employed a rental system for its products which has been efficient at managing material loops. As the company strives to transition towards a fully circular business model, its new goal is to become effective at closing material loops.
In short, the company is striving to:
Prolong the life of their products
Design their products for disassembly and resource recovery
Offer products as a service
A key innovation that is helping them to achieve these goals is their asset tracking software system. This system, first introduced in 2014 for their own products (and in 2016 for those of their clients), provides Unusual with the ability to conduct predictive maintenance and gives each product a material passport.
By no longer viewing their products as having a limited lifespan means Unusual are able to design and offer them as a service. It resulted in more than 50 tonnes of steel being reused during the course of a year, saving thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions.
“We would define [the circular economy] as an economy ‘where objects never die’ – we are dealing predominantly with ‘technical nutrients’ – finite stock that through digital innovations can continuously be tracked, assessed, utilised and returned with an almost zero marginal loss in values.”
Tom Harper, Director and Head of Circular Economy, Unusual Rigging
In terms of closing their own energy needs loop, the company has committed to renewables to power their principle site through the installation of solar panels.
An important additional step Unusual are taking is to share the story of their journey of working collaboratively with their community of suppliers and customers to bring the circular economy to their industry. Through collaboration and sharing they are demystifying innovations in the circular economy and showing that it is not just achievable but optimal for medium size businesses to also embark on that journey.
Established in 1983, Unusual Rigging is the UK’s most experienced provider of rigging and stage engineering solutions, working across Europe, principally in the entertainment, special event, exhibition and presentation industries.
This is an extract from the forthcoming ‘The Business of Wellbeing – Alternatives to Business as Usual’ Guide, launching in January 2020. For more extracts, please click here