The circular economy is set to be a game-changer. It’s about much more than recycling used materials back into the manufacturing process – it’s about changing business models too. A transition from take-make-dispose linear production towards business models that design and produce products for extended use and recycling means organisations sell performance rather than products. The incentive to build obsolescence disappears.
Start-up ENSO, are passionate about becoming part of this. With over two billion tyres discarded every year we face an escalating environmental challenge - how do we safely recycle the hazardous by-products of our increasingly mobile lifestyle? In urban areas, tyres are also a significant cause of air pollution – emitting harmful particulate matter into the environment as they wear down. ENSO wants to find a way to solve the environmental impact stemming from tyre use.
ENSO already have a well-developed vision for a new sustainable tyre for electric vehicles (EV), which will be made from cleaner, bio-based materials, without compromising on either performance or price. For ENSO, performance means a more durable tread with lower rolling resistance and therefore reduced energy consumption and increased driving range.
To bring this idea to life, they needed help defining their business model. This included understanding how a leasing model – where drivers lease tyres-as-a-service and pay according to miles covered – would work.
PA are members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy 100, a group of organisations committed to accelerating the transition to a circular economy. We work with companies, big and small, to help them implement the circular opportunity, from strategy development for plastics companies, to building machines to manufacture seaweed based alternatives to plastic water bottles. So our business design and technology experts were perfectly placed to help. We evaluated potential markets and articulated ENSO’s offer for different customer groups, including established car-makers, EV manufacturers and major fleet managers. We also explored the capabilities they would need to source materials, identified how to choose supplier partners to realise their vision and evaluated the pricing options for tyres-as-a-service.
Our work enabled ENSO to clarify their business model and decide on a global strategy for market entry. It also informed their business plan and ability to raise investment to develop the concept to an engineering prototype.
“PA has been helpful in preparing ENSO for our vital first tranche of investment. We now have the defined the strategy we needed to tackle tyre emissions and waste based on circular principles, while delivering our tyres-as-a-service to electric vehicles.” Gunnlaugur Erlendsson, CEO, ENSO Tyres Ltd.
“We worked with ENSO at the very start of their journey. I was struck by just how insightful the idea behind their start-up was and the enormous scale of the potential opportunity it offered. PA is passionate about helping companies develop more sustainable ways of working. We were well-positioned to help them realise their vision. Local tyre emissions and global tyre waste is a huge global challenge and it is great that addressing this is at the core of what ENSO are doing." David Rakowski, PA circular economy expert