The transition to a circular economy does not happen by itself. Taking steps in the right direction requires cooperation. This is where Alpheios and Cirmar found each other: in a shared circular ambition. That ambition translates, among other things, into capturing the circular products in C_passport®. Birgitte Engelen, proposition manager sustainability at Alpheios: “Doing things sustainably means being transparent and providing proof. We are doing that now and we are gathering more and more insight into our raw materials.”
The use of digital product passports is a logical consequence of the steps Alpheios had already taken. Birgitte points out that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals have guided circular developments within the company. “The challenges the world faces and our own goal to have a positive impact gave shape to what we do. We work on two themes: Co2 neutral by 2030 and increasing circularity. This is ambitious, especially since Alpheios does not produce any products itself. Cooperation in the chain and motivating each other is therefore essential.”
Still, circularity and sustainability fit Alpheios like a glove. After all, the company is already doing a lot in areas where it does have an influence. “We supply cleaning products, but we advise and train as well. We possess lot of knowledge about cleaning methods. “These may seem obvious to us, but that is not the case for everyone,” says Birgitte. For example, in many cases, cleaning with water is not even necessary. “At Alpheios, we have the knowledge and expertise on how to clean in the most vital and sustainable way. And we’re providing proof as well!”
Cleaning methods are one way to make a positive impact, a more conscious use of materials is the next step. That is why Alpheios now records all items it produces in C_passports®. “We don’t like greenwashing at Alpheios. With Cirmar’s passports, we are transparent and show the impact of our products. In addition, we learn a lot because we track the raw materials we need.”
As a seller of its own products, as well as those of other producers, Alpheios thus chooses to take responsibility. “The world is in crisis. We don’t have the luxury of pointing at others to come up with solutions. We want to inspire others to follow our example.” Fortunately, Birgitte also sees positive developments at other companies. “Everyone is starting to see that it is not only important to take circular steps, but that it is possible. In many places in our production chain, the application of used materials is being explored, which is great!”
‘Playing’ with impact figures.
Communicating those important, circular steps to your customers is a way to show added value to other companies as well. For example, Alpheios uses C_passport® to provide insight into the positive impact of its sustainable products. “Together with our customers, we can ‘play’ with impact figures. Are they unsure about choosing circular products? Then we show them at a glance in C_dashboard® how much positive impact they make by doing so.”
Even within the company itself, Birgitte sees that circularity takes a prominent spot on everyone’s agenda. “At the Christmas party, I caught conversations of employees discussing the differences in impact between recycling and refurbishing. That awareness is important to take the next steps.”