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Problems and solutions for sustainable development
How the western world creates problems for themselves
Renewable energy sources
Narratives linked to sustainability
Stahel, Walter R. (2016) COMMENT – a new relationship with our goods and materials
would save resources and energy and create local jobs; Nature, Vol 531, 435—438.
(24 March 2016) doi:10.1038/531435a – Circular Economy on 3 pages
Stahel, Walter R (2010) The Performance Economy, 2 nd edition. Palgrave Macmillan,
Houndmills, ISBN 0-230-00796-1. 349 p. – 300 examples in practice
Stahel, Walter R. (2019) The Circular Economy – a user’s guide. with a foreword by Dame
Ellen MacArthur, Routledge, Abingdon - edited for easy reading.
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Silvija Seres: Hello and welcome to the LØRN series with BI on Sustainability in daily operations. In conversation with Caroline Dale Ditlev Simonsen from BI and several guests, we discussed the most important drivers of sustainability across the environment, society and management for all companies In Norway. We have a very pragmatic and practical approach in these conversations and we try to talk about actions, and action points that people can take with them to their daily operations after listening to these conversations. Our guest today is Walter Stahel, founder and director of the Product Life Institute, which was founded in 1982 in Geneva. So welcome, Walter, and welcome, Caroline.
Walter Stahel: Good morning to both of you.
Silvija: So I usually start these conversations by asking people to briefly introduce themselves. We have seen that people listen better and learn better if they imagine a real person in front of them. So, Caroline, very briefly, and then Walter, a little bit longer, please tell us, who are you?
Caroline Dale Ditlev Simonsen: Well, starting with me, I'm a professor in sustainability at BI and then focusing a lot on circular economy. I've been working on this for a very, very long time. I started recycling bottles when I was 12 years old and that was kind of my income at that point. And, I continued around the same track ever since. And here I am now.
Silvija: And you, Walter. Who are you?
Walter: Yes, I studied architecture and then went into research. I'm basically always tackling problems that don't seem to interest other people. And in 1973, we had the oil price crisis and we had unemployment. And so I said, why don't we substitute the one we have too many people and save energy? So I did some studying. Took me two years to find a sponsor for the European Commission, the potential for substituting manpower for energy. And this is 76. This is how I discovered the circular economy. Of course, it took about ten years until anybody really took notice of it. But that's quite normal because it was so far off mainstream economics. And since then, I've basically followed the same track. Yes.
Silvija: Walter, I'm going to let Cecilia introduce you as a guest, as it relates to her course. But I have to ask you a very basic question. So much of our economy is based on growth and so much of our regulation deals with value chains that are linear. So I understand why it was so difficult for people to latch on to these basic concepts. The central concept of circularity is both in the economy and in production. But is there somebody doing it for the economy? Or economical theory. What you are doing for, let's say, a production industry. And products?
Walter: No, because economics is still basically teaching is educating students to become active creative members in the throughput economy, the linear economy. How you can become an expert in the circular economy is what I tell everybody on an individual basis. Enjoy the use of your belongings and take good care of them. And this is also the way I live. I can give you the house I'm living in. Is from 1757. Of my three cars - two are from 1969 and one is only from 2020 or so. That's a youngster. But basically, you have to live what you believe in to make the apprenticeship of how things work, what you can do, what you can't do, and the reaction of people. And I think that's why I encourage anybody if you have a broken coffee grinder or radio, whatever. Don't throw it away. Try to repair it. You may not be able to repair it, but by failing, you learn a lot of things about the radio and how you could design a better radio. So. Whatever you do, try to learn from what you wanted to throw away and you are astonished at how often you can actually repair it yourself.
Silvija: I think that's a very good encouragement both to the students in Caroline's course, and also to anyone listening to this. And it is at the same time in sharp contrast to what marketing is trying to encourage us to do in most of the commercial life with being a better consumer by building new needs and replacing anything you have on a regular basis. But let's get back to that. I think Caroline would like to say something.
Caroline: Yeah. As I hear, Walter has long experience not only with cars but working on the circular economy. And that's why I'm so happy that you were able to come here, you're known as a guru in the field of circular economy and kind of a father of the whole concept. And you have written books or like the Bible of a circular economy, which is translated into 30 languages or something like that. And well, anyway, this is what you mentioned, economic growth is essential for thriving, which I think is even more important. But the teaching part, learning people how to deal with sustainability. And Walter, you mentioned what students are learning today, and like previously business students only knew how to sell, produce, sell, finance, and production. And. Whereas now we have courses like this circular economy, but we still have to have some kind of way to make it profitable to think about sustainability and especially circular economy. And that's a challenge, but it's also an opportunity.
Walter: Well, the big difference is that in the linear industrial economy, manufacturing ends at the point of sale, and the circular economy begins at the point of sale. So the circular economy is used focused. It's about optimizing the use. Now that means for industrial partners and industrial actors. They have to learn to sell the use of goods. Manufacturing is one thing, but if you double the service life of a product, you have the manufacturing volume and you have the waste volume. So it's obvious who is against the circular economy of extending the service life of products. But. So of course, sustainability means using fewer resources and making better use of resources, of products, and preventing waste. So if a manufacturer wants to profit from the longer service life of a product, it's his products, he has to sell the use of products. And there are different ways to do that. Products as a service, software as a service or pay per use for equipment or rental equipment powered by the hour of Rolls-Royce or Caterpillar. So when you do this, you actually profit from the long life of the equipment. So you make more money from selling the use than you would make from manufacturing. And this is the difficult transition that suddenly your knowledge and know-how of manufacturing become secondary to knowing how you can design products so that they almost live forever because that's where you get the profit.
Silvija: This goes and this goes very much against, you know, the old way of thinking where, you know, you actually want people to replace their products so that they would be good consumers. And I remember the story of Henry Ford when he asked his people in the factory, is there any particular part of this car that leaves much, much longer than the rest? And then he said, well, then we have to make that part a little bit weaker.
Walter: Change it.
Silvija: Change it. Right.
Walter: Well, the linear economy lives from what I call the bigger, better, faster, safer, greener syndrome, which is an incentive to change what you have. The circular performance economy leaps from upgrading technologically to upgrading the products you have so that you don't throw away the whole product, but you only change the component where you have the real progress. But then, of course, it's only the component manufacturers that really benefit, not the manufacturers of cars or airplanes or whatever. But airplanes are a typical example because airplanes have a manufacturer's warranty of 17-18 years. This means that nobody's going to change or throw away an aircraft as long as it's under the manufacturer's warranty. So the taxation follows the same thing. So the write-off period and depreciation period for aircraft are 15 years. The depreciation period for a car is three or four years. So the important thing is the incentives to encourage people to keep their products. And then you have to design, of course, for ease of maintenance, and profitable operation. But it's system thinking and you basically want to develop system solutions in order to really reap the benefits. From the EU's phase.
Silvija: Caroline, can I just ask one more thing before we go into your list of questions? I think this idea of systems thinking and design for flexibility, we have actually quite a lot of similar ideas in programming and computer science. When we build our systems, they become very quickly, very fragile. They become, if they are not built with modular, flexible components, that you have some very good rules to replace, etc. But this idea hasn't seemed to have caught on to the way that you produce cars or clothes. We just had another chat with a lady we discussed fashion, for example. You know, when you don't throw away clothes because they are used up, you throw them away because somebody says, you know, you need to look different. And if there was a way to do a little bit of work on this yourself, then those clothes could live much longer. Right? So this idea of component-based production, modularity, flexibility, and even the idea of something called DevOps comes from the programming world where the same person that develops is also responsible for the operations.
Silvija: Should we spread this more?
Walter: Well, the one thing is component standardization, of course, so that you can reuse. If you can't reuse the whole product, you can reuse the components of the product. But in military products, they even go further. They distinguish between mission-specific mission-critical components and other components. And mission-critical components mean that whatever happens to an aircraft or a tank, the specific mission it has must be guaranteed. If, for example, in a car, that would mean that even if your abs or any other electronic airbag doesn't work anymore, you must be able to continue driving your car. For example, you may have to take a friend to a hospital or something, and then you don't care if your abs are working or not. But in all modern cars, they will block the car if something is not working.
Silvija: Yeah. So, Walter, we talked about systemic thinking. We talked about the reuse of components and standardization. It's process improvements. Caroline, can you help us relate this to the models and the concepts that you use in your course?
Caroline: Well, we use linear to circular economy as the concept like everybody does, but try to make it more practical, example-based, and inspirational. And there are so many interesting things mentioned there. So I'll just pick up when some of the examples you came up with here and comments and I will start with what you said about Ford, Silvija, because Ford was also one of the companies that started not making new models all the time, which like they have pros and cons and they were making the car similar and then you don't want to change it. You keep the car for a longer time. And you also asked us to be personal here, so I'll share that. I have a Tesla which is eight years old. It looks like all other Teslas. So it's kind of just making it in the same way. It makes people keep it for a longer time. And like you mentioned, Walter, planes, we don't care what kind of plane we're sitting in if it's modern or not. We just want to get from A to B. Of course, it's comfortable if there is somewhere to charge on the plane. But apart from that, what we need is usually a product or a result of what we do. So when we, as I said, go with the plane, we just want to get from A to B there is also another typical example is that when you want to have a whole you don't want to buy a drill, but you want to have a whole, but you need to buy the drill or preferably rent the drill in order to get the whole. So we have to think more about what we actually need, not the product as such. So yeah, that's kind of the process.
Walter: Yeah, but let's come back to what's in it for the industrial actors. And if you look at money, because basically, economics is about money, competition, and innovation, the most profitable activity in the product life extension is the remanufacturing of key components. And in a vehicle with combustion engines, the wear and tear are the biggest on the engine. Diesel engines and building construction equipment or trucks. And Caterpillar was one of the first to look into this. And they discovered by doing it that the cost of a remanufactured engine cost to the client is 40% less than a new engine. About the same quality, but the return on investment in the factory or the remanufacturing is five times the return on investment of the manufacturing plant. And that's for the manufacturer, much more important. And then the second thing that Caterpillar learned is if there were a lot of third-party independent manufacturers. So how do you get your engine back to you rather than to a local manufacturer? And they realize that you don't give a discount for a remanufactured engine, but you buy back the broken engine. Up to 40%. If the engine comes with all the aggregates. And that changed that the owner of the broken engine didn't look at that as waste and just threw it in a container or something. But he put it on a pallet and sent it back with everything to get the highest return. So it's, it's a demand and supply. You have to educate people that even a broken engine has value and the more complete the engine is the highest value it has. But it was a year-long learning process by Caterpillar. How do you optimize the whole remanufacturing process?
Silvija: But I have to ask you guys. So one thing is optimizing the process so Caterpillar can do it. But I think of chip producers and Apple and computers and, you know, they really don't want us to be going directly to their suppliers and they don't want this value chain that they control to be disrupted or fragmented or somehow re-arranged. Right. So it's to a large extent about control over the value chain. No?
Walter: Yes. But this is not a circular economy. This is making money with all the tricks. So, for example, one of the tricks is if you use an apple or another computer is the apps. Because if you download an app, what you don't see is that up to 40% of the money that you pay for the app is actually going not to the chap who invented the app, but it's going to Google or Apple. And so this is why the manufacturer wants to keep control because it's smart to produce a smartphone that costs about $10 and you buy it for about $500. But most of that money goes to intermediaries, whereas afterward, the money during use for downloading apps, downloading anything goes to whoever controls the software. And as a user, you don't even know who controls this stuff. And so there is dishonesty in selling you a smartphone, So you become the owner, but you actually don't have control over it. And that is why I think a lot of these platform economics and economies and the Internet of Things are very dishonest because they should openly declare who is controlling. It's not you who are controlling your fridge or your car or whatever.
Silvija: Hmm. Well, what do you think are the most interesting opportunities? Where can we start? Is there a particular industry? So you started talking about cars and defense equipment. Is there somewhere where we can start this circular way of both arranging the economy but also the production process? First…
Walter: But in the production process, the biggest the high-hanging fruit - but probably the most profitable one is to innovate in circular energy, such as hydrogen and fuel cells. Circular chemistry polymers that can be depolymerized and repolymerized endlessly and circular metallurgy. And climatology the main challenge is green steel to produce zero carbon steel because any product that you buy either contains steel or is made on machines that are made of steel. So if you really want to get to a zero-carbon economy, you have to first produce zero-carbon steel and then reusable. Not recyclable, but reusable polymers, monomers, polymers, and energy. Zero carbon energy. And of course. Green electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, there are only three countries that have green electricity. That's Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland. Iceland is cheating because they use geothermal volcanic heat. Norway and Switzerland use hydroelectricity, which is a bit harder to make. But it's interesting that green electricity is really one of the foundations of a circular economy or is sustainable.
Silvija: Can I just ask you? Sorry, Caroline, I just have to ask very briefly if you could expand once more on these three things because I think this is such a clear picture. So circular energy, you said hydrogen.
Silvija: And then you said polymers that are reusable for materials and for metallurgy. You said green steel. Say once again, you know, why are they central and what exactly do they mean?
Walter: Energy, you can hardly do anything without energy. And I'm talking about manufactured products, not agriculture. So. Green energy and zero carbon energy are essential to produce anything. Then the polymers. And why hydrogen, hydrogen can replace natural gas in steelmaking or glassmaking? And green electricity can replace and is necessary for real steel recycling. But then the big problem is plastics. And of course, we shouldn't let plastics escape into the environment. So we have to keep it in a closed loop and in a closed loop we want to reuse the materials, the atoms, and molecules. So we have to be able to depolarize the plastic and then reuse the monomers to produce a new polymer. There are a few. So, for example, nylon PA six or 66. There are a few old plastics that can be polymerized. But the big thing is the consumer product plastics and there's a lot of research going into that. And the third thing is metallurgy. Steel is really the key because if you cannot produce zero-carbon steel, you cannot produce zero-carbon products because steel is used in almost every product or otherwise in the machines to make these products. So these are the high-hanging fruits. It's not obvious. Sweden actually already has one steel mill that is producing zero-carbon steel using hydrogen, but its solutions are not obvious. But on the other hand, if you find the solution, you can patent it and you get your money back for the research. But these challenges are not open to every small and medium enterprise because it needs a lot of hardware and a lot of R&D equipment to find the solution.
Silvija: Caroline, in regards to Norway. Hydrogen doesn't seem to be a very popular thing here. We work on many other things, but not that. And can we relate this somehow to the way we organize our countries and apply this to the most important fruits then, if not the low-hanging fruit for Norway?
Caroline: Yeah, I think Norway's focusing on hydropower still. We had a problem with that in the EU because the EU thinks hydropower is damaging to nature. So, yeah, nuclear energy is better, but that's another story. I really like what you are talking about. Big things, Walter. We often think about the circular economy, as we discussed earlier, and yogurt cups and plastic cups. But we also have to think in the small and we also have to think big. And I think especially what you talk about, the green steel is essential. Like these things, we use a lot of or which we definitely need. And I also think cement is a very interesting material considering that it actually emits it's on the list of the biggest CO2 emitters in our society, kind of along the lines of gas and oil. And that's the only kind of product in that kind of graph. But cement is so hard to recycle and reuse. So I wonder, do you have some kind of quick or at least some not quick, but approaches to cement? You talk about green steel, but what's an alternative to cement or a way of dealing with cement?
Walter: It's a greenwashing problem because cement, sorry, concrete is made of marine sand, aggregate, cement, Portland cement, and water. The only thing you can recover is the aggregate. So we shouldn't talk about recycled concrete. We should talk about recycled aggregate. You cannot recover the cement. You cannot recover the water. You cannot recover the marine sand. So the best sustainable solution to deal with concrete structures is repair and upgrade. Reuse. Because if you demolish it, it's an illusion to think you can make it out of broken, new concrete. But of course, the cement industry is looking for other ways. And they, for example, think that if they use waste to heat the kilns, then that is sustainable. And one of the really nice things is the blades of windmills. Made of carbon fiber or laminates. So burning these is sustainable because it's burning waste, But we have to be very careful. If you look at sustainable energies then. Windmills. You cannot recycle or not reuse whatever the molecules of the blades and offshore windmills you will never pay to recover the foundation, which is 60% of the material, would be much too expensive. Photovoltaic, you cannot recover the really expensive materials. You can recover the aluminum and the glass, but that is not where the money is in photovoltaic. So the so-called renewable energies that the energy is renewable, the wind and the sun, but the product itself is not renewable. You cannot repair it. You cannot recover the atoms and molecules. So it's very difficult. Sustainability, finally, is a very difficult game because, of course, we try to cheat ourselves by saying, come back, let's come back to hydrogen. I think you are mistaken. Norway is a major producer of hydrogen because they just signed a contract with Germany to supply liquid hydrogen to Germany for I think 30 years or so. And the Hurtigruten coastal ferries from 2025 onwards have to use either hydrogen fuel cells or electric batteries. They can no longer use a combustion engine. So it may be hidden or you don't talk about it, but hydrogen is something that is looked at and even produced in Norway because you have the competitive advantage of the fjords. Your water is normally very high up. And the sea is at the bottom of the fjord. And so almost any waterfall can be or any river can be transformed into a turbine. And of course, then you have the problem, you have green electricity, but of course, you have problems with nature. Again, you cannot do anything without having to do a trade-off with nature. Otherwise, we'd stop manufacturing at all. We stop. We go back to living in the medieval, even before medieval times we lived with nature. That would be one solution.
Silvija: I just need to latch on to what you were just talking about because it's a really interesting position you have with so much data and so much insight in many production areas, from energy to products and many things in between, in materials. And at the same time trying to see the big picture. And I think your final comment about, you know, you have to understand it's a trade-off. And I just heard a lecture about copper. Somebody is planning to build a very green copper mine in the very far north of Norway. There are reasons why they call it green, although it's difficult to follow. But the point is that if we are to reach our goals on electrification of the car fleet by 2035 or by 2050, we need to double the production of copper in the world. And, you know, until we can reuse the copper used in electric cars and in batteries and in many other places, we have an unsolvable problem. You know, in Norway, we really don't like the onshore windmills because they, as you say, disrupt nature or we don't even talk about the water. Hydropower plants, but. If we people are going to have the quality or a standard of living we have today, either we have to consume less or we have to have more efficient processes for everything, or we have to accept that there will be trade-offs and we are still damaging nature in some way. No?
Walter: Let's come back to electric mobility. You just made a mistake because the battery is one solution. The fuel cell, hydrogen, is the other solution. So the electric car is an electric motor. But how you produce the energy there, they have many more choices that also new batteries not using rare elements. You probably heard that in Sweden they just discovered a huge deposit of rare earth elements because rare earth elements are actually not rare. They're everywhere, but they're difficult to extract and it's very polluting to get them out. That's why we like to leave these things to China or Chile or wherever. The pollution is natural. We think it doesn't cost us anything. But sustainability is really finding a way forward for a society that balances the ecological, social, and economic needs. Because you have to distinguish between wants and needs. And the Third World lives on needs. We are in the industrialized world, basically. Mix up. We think our needs are our own. So if we have only three cars and new cars come up, a new car comes out like an electric vehicle. Then, of course, we need a new car. We don't. We have enough vehicles. I have three cars. So why should I buy a new car? So what we want, we have to learn to say, okay, I renounce the new car because I don't need a new car. And if we all change now, we scrap all the conventional combustion engine cars and buy electric vehicles. We possibly overlook the ways to produce synfuels. To produce zero carbon fuels that will allow you to continue using your combustion engine without producing carbon. So we mix again, we mix up zero-carbon fuel and the combustion engines. There's nothing wrong with the combustion engine. If we have zero carbon fuel. And unfortunately in many political discussions, it's always going this way until a year ago. Zero carbon was that one thing, there was no discussion. Now, thanks to Putin and his follies, nobody talks about zero carbon anymore. Now it's the security of the electricity supply. And of course, the problem of food supplies. And in many countries, they are subsidizing heat and electricity because people can no longer afford them. So what we need is really a vision in politics. And I think Norway has a relatively good vision, including the hydrogen economy. China, for example, China is the only country that has five pillars of its industrial strategy. One of these pillars is remanufacturing. So if you want to sell goods or produce goods in China, you also have to sell and produce re-manufactured goods, even if you are a European company like Bosch. This is accepted in China, but we don't want to do it in Europe. And in China, it's for strategic reasons. Because to put it very bluntly, if there is a war, you may no longer have access to a lot of imported resources, but you have access to all the stocks of goods and materials in the country. And so remanufacturing is a preventive strategy to avoid shortages of materials in a war-like situation. And I think in Europe, we now slowly start to think that war actually is not as far away as we thought. But then, of course, the overall topic is that the circular economy is part of an intelligent, decentralized economy or society. And decentralization is a megatrend that many people ignore at the moment. But if you think about 3D print robots that can produce the same thing anywhere in the world, the micro. Anything. Microcredit, microbrewery, the crowd, finance crowd. All these things are completely decentralized. As is repairs and remanufacture. And so the big thing, the big future megatrend, I think is an intelligently decentralized world, which means we will abandon globalization and we will start to do everything in the region or at the nation. It's called reshoring. For example, America is very consciously restoring all their industries because they have realized that the problem with that shipping was when Shanghai Harbour closed down and the Suez Canal closed down, and suddenly just in time, manufacturing didn't work anymore because you couldn't get the steel cars that are unsold. I won't tell you in which country because there is one microchip missing. They cannot sell the microchip as long as they don't carpet. So we have to decompress, pacify the whole industrial system and come back to more superficial structures that may be a bit more expensive. I'm not even sure there may be more labor intensive, but much less capital intensive. And you reduce the transport costs, the transport risks and all this. I'm not even sure that it would be more expensive. It would certainly be more resilient and therefore more competitive in the long term.
Silvija: Caroline. We went from talking about paper, "sugerør", whatever the English word is, straws and cups to actually a very kind of long-term perspective where perhaps this in some ways also is, as you said, anti-globalization as a consequence of a much more unstable world perhaps. I have two questions. One is what regulators like and what they do is some sort of a central control or at least a national economy. So how does this work? And the second is, Caroline, for your students, are there points that Walter was just talking about that you think they should think about in the long term? So, you know, if somebody there is talking about let's say they work for a shipping company and shipping has their own interpretation of what does environmental work mean to them. But there are very important strategic consequences for shipping what Walter just said. So how can you encourage them to think both short term and long term in relation to this?
Caroline: Well, I think it's essential to have knowledge. It's easy to talk about a circular economy and everybody should repair and reduce their consumption, but actually, go into the products and see what's actually possible to recycle. We've been talking about plastic and stuff. It's not just collecting plastic and recycling it. It's too complex and we have to kind of know the product better. And I think it's also important or very relevant or interesting with the war situation, how we see that things have to be more local. But we should not forget to think globally as well. We have to do that. And I also think it's really interesting that everything you said is interesting, but the China issue, China, it's a country where the government can make decisions and it goes on. Whereas in Norway, people, and politicians make a decision and people don't like it. And the next year we get a new government or new politicians that make different decisions. So we don't have this long-term perspective, which is crucial for a sustainable and circular economy. The final thing, maybe we'll finish in not too long. I just want to say I really like your need for a vision that we can think locally and like our own behavior. But we have to have a long-term vision in order to make changes. And what's kind of been positive with the corona, if you can say something positive about that, is that we actually manage that we can do things in the short term when there is a big problem. Things happen and we see that with less and more expensive metals and resources, we manage to make things more efficient and find replacements. But we have to have this vision thinking long term that things actually can change more efficiently than what we can think about now.
Walter: Yes, the trick is really we need a more resilient society. So if something like the war in Ukraine or Corona COVID happens, it should not completely throw us off the track. And I think that is definitely the lesson that many countries have learned from the last few years that we are completely dependent on. We were dependent even on face masks from China as if we would not be capable of producing face masks in Europe and things like this. So I think the last two years, three years have been a very good learning exercise. Now, the question is, are our politicians really drawing conclusions? Or as soon as the problem is over, they fall back into the old manufacturing paradigm. That is the big question.
Silvija: I think that's a very important lesson both for the circular economy and in general for societies. I have a feeling that we are tired and we just want to go back to the world as it was, but it won't. So, Caroline, then my last question to both of you is, I think also your point about we need knowledge. We can't just be waving our hands in a circular motion and talking about all things circular, but the sort of examples and the numbers that Walter has, that you have. Where can students go to learn relevant facts?
Caroline: Oh, I think it's all out there. It's just like to study, to find, and to maybe also zoom in on specific products and resources like to take it apart and see what's replaceable and what can be recycled, as you said with Ford, that they found what lasted for the longest time and remove that maybe we should think the other way around. Find out what lasts for the shortest time and how we can extend the life or replace the product. But we have to think big, but we also have to think narrow when it comes to, for instance, products like plastic. What is really plastic? It's not just plastic. It's lots of different parts of it. And some can do some work for some products for use, for instance, for making food that lasts forever for longer time, whereas other types of plastic cannot be recycled and it's less efficient. So yeah digging into more specifics. We have to have patience, and not just think about recycling, but also how we can do it on a more product-based basis.
Silvija: And you, Walter, other than reading your Bible?
Caroline: Yeah. You have to do that too.
Walter: I would recommend any student to do a practice. A practical time in any company. You have Ground force In Denmark, you have Svenska kuku lager fabric in Sweden. You suddenly have Norwegian shipping companies. Because you have to understand how today's economy works in order to compare this to your vision of sustainability, a circular economy. And then you will see what the missing links are, where you can innovate that is beneficial to the company as well as the society and sustainability. But you have to get out in the field of what management is called management by walking. I worked at some point for DuPont as a consultant and the CEO of DuPont spends three weeks a month walking around factories, just talking to people, looking at things, and saying, Why are you doing this like this? And so for students, textbooks are very important. Everything is important. But actually seeing life how it's done, you suddenly realize what could be done better, differently. Then, of course, convincing somebody to change. That's another question. But at least you have learned your lesson.
Silvija: So I heard you say, Digin and I heard you say, get out. So we'll do both. Thank you so much, both of you, for a really, really interesting and educational chat.
Walter: Thank you both very much. It's been a pleasure.
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