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How is circular economy embedded in the consumption habits of European People?

4 minutes

Consumption decoding – Access Panel Echangeur 2020

« Extracting, producing, consuming and throwing away »:  the linear model that used to dominate seems running out of steam. Circular economy is a model of production aimed to limit consumption by producing sustainable services and goods in order to control wastes. If the switch from a « all disposable » society to a more « circular » one is seducing more and more individuals, companies are many to grasp the trend by offering new services.

However, all consumers don’t appear to have engaged the same way into circular economy practices, mainly for budgetary and generational reasons.

Thanks to the Access Panel 2020, a consumer knowledge platform with 14 000 individuals interviewed in France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal, Echangeur BNP Paribas Personal Finance has scrutinized customers using its statistical analysis model to identify ten strategic targets and has studied their level of engagement with circular economy through a number of practices such as CtoC, mobility and leasing services, as well as attitudes towards price sensitivity and sustainability in buying decisions

To each lifestyle, a level of engagement into circular economy

The Wealthy Families: Champions of the circular economy

Wealthy families appear as circular economy champions as they are the target that has embraced the more deeply circular economy in their habits. As they benefit from budgetary leeways, they are at the cutting edge of consumption and can mechanically embed into more circular practices. They can prioritize, for instance, sustainability as a top 1 criteria in their buying decisions. Highly interest in CtoC and mobility services, they are also the main target of leasing services and of all kind of services that could allow them to live unprecedented and rewarding experiences while rethinking the production process.

The Carefree Young Adults, Evolving Couples, Tactician Families and Golden Middle-aged: circular economy sympathizers

Tackling circular economy as a mean to set them free from set-up costs while living thriving and fulfilling life experiences, Carefree Young Adults, Evolving couples and Tactician Families arise as circular economy sympathizers. Less entitled to ownership, they appear to demonstrate an interest in leasing services, are attracted to CtoC and mobility services and are quite concerned about environmental issues. Looking constantly for good tips, repairing services can also embed more deeply Tactician Families with circular economy as it can be another string to their bow. As they benefit from financial comfort and tackle consumption in terms of pleasure, Golden middle aged appear also as circular economy sympathizers but for different reasons. As they favor quality in their buying decisions, they can embrace circular economy practices through sustainability and can be enticed by durable products, even if environmental issues don’t arise as a major concern for them.

The Hard pressed families,  Modest middle-aged and Working singles : individuals a little engaged into circular economy practices

Grasping circular economy first and foremost as a mean to make cost-savings while coping with the high weight of pre-allocated expenses they undergo, Hard-pressed families, Modest middle-aged and Working singles, appear as little engaged with circular economy. Sensible to services that would enable them to make money savings such as CtoC second-hand buying or selling, they seem to be set apart from mobility services but the youngest have interest for leasing services. Let’s add that repairing services could enable them to keep their items of equipment or devices up to date or working longer. A little less connected to internet than the other targets and especially for the Modest middle aged and some of the Working singles, the big challenge for companies is to deliver an offer of circular economy services available online but also offline.

The Retired Couples and Lonely Seniors :  seniors not really enticed by services linked to circular economy

Remaining entitled to a more traditional consumption where ownership is important, Retired couples and Lonely seniors don’t’ appear as the strategic targets of services of a circular economy model and mostly for generational reasons.  However, as Retired couples remain attached to frugality and to sustainability, the principles of circular economy are well embedded in their mindset. Retired couples and Lonely seniors seem to be far from the use of CtoC and mobility services in comparison to the other targets. Likewise they are not the targets of leasing services. Nevertheless, as they are more and more willing to set themselves free from dependency to their family, there is an opportunity for brands to develop repairing workshops aimed to help them keeping their items of equipment or devices up to date or working.

Caroline is in charge of the Access Panel studies of Echangeur.
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