ABN AMRO’s recently published Sustainability Monitor shows that Dutch consumers are becoming increasingly enthusiastic about the circular economy and increasingly want to use ‘product-as-service’ (PaaS) services such as shared cars. In fact, 1 in 3 consumers expect to no longer have a car in five years’ time and 1 in 5 expect to no longer own a smartphone or bicycle. Providers of PaaS expect a further increase in awareness due to the corona crisis.

The fact that consumers see a greater role for themselves in the sustainable transition is good news. After all, Dutch citizens play an important role in the transition to a circular economy. In a circular economy, preservation of value is central: raw materials, materials and products are reused as long as possible and the impact of the economy on nature is kept to a minimum. Last year, half of the consumers expected to contribute to the circularity in the next five years, in the latest Sustainability Monitor this has risen to 70 percent.

An overwhelming majority of 80 percent of those surveyed cited concerns about the depletion of raw materials as a reason. Because the survey was conducted just before the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, the effects of the crisis were not included in the results.

It is expected that the crisis will lead to a further increase in awareness of sustainability. Companies are not lagging behind the increased consumer awareness of sustainability and circularity. This automatically creates more momentum for PaaS, the business model in which the consumer becomes a user of products that remain in the possession of the supplier. For example, the user pays for each time he or she uses a product.

In return, the supplier ensures that the product remains available, is well maintained and repaired when it is broken. This relieves the environment: existing products are used to the maximum, fewer new products need to be produced and products remain in circulation longer. And it becomes more interesting for the supplier to make high-quality products that last as long as possible, so that maintenance costs are reduced.

A large majority of 60 percent of respondents expect more initiatives involving payment for use in the coming years. Last year, less than half of those surveyed were convinced of this.

More info: www.abnamro.nl