- Circular economy
Domiciliary Equipment Service: Circular Economy Pilot - Analysis Report (2019)
This study applies a set of circular economy indicators to a pilot case study organisation. The case study organisation, the Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES), is a business unit of the South Australian government Department of Human Services (DHS) and provides assistive technology (AT) that allow people to maintain their independence and safety in the community. The DES business model differs from standard government delivery of programs model by loaning equipment to clients, taking back equipment when no longer needed and refurbishing them where possible. The standard equipment supply model, sources and supplies equipment to clients who are responsible for their ongoing care, maintenance and disposal.
Green Industries SA approached DES to be a case study to demonstrate an example of an organisation applying circular economy thinking. From a circular economy perspective, this case study demonstrates using resources efficiently and avoiding unnecessary waste by maintaining AT equipment in use for as long as is safely possible. This is enabled by a service model rather than a product supply model. The motivation for this model by DES is to lower costs, shorten equipment supply times and to be more environmentally sustainable. This study analysed the performance of the DES service model against a standard government delivery of programs model, using a number of circular economy indicators, namely:
1. Relative life of equipment
2. Relative intensity of use of equipment
3. End of use fate of equipment materials
4. Lifecycle cost to deliver AT.