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Transcript: Managing Circular Supply Chains with Adrian Segens

Transcript: Managing Circular Supply Chains with Adrian Segens

SEE THE SHOW NOTES AND LISTEN AT: Managing Circular Supply Chains with Adrian Segens

Katie Whalen [00:00:00] Hi and welcome back to Getting in the Loop. I'm your host, Katie, and today, I'm getting in the loop with Adrian Segen's about supply chain management and managing material risks. 

[00:00:15] Hi, I'm Katie Whalen and join me each week as I talk with experts around the globe about Circular economy. You'll find out what's being done to make it a reality and if it can really solve the problems it promises, it's time for Getting in the Loop. 

[00:00:36] Our guest today, Adrian Segens, is a corporate development consultant. Since 2008, Adrian has worked with innovative companies in that special place where technology supply chains and sustainability meet. His projects have focused on using innovative technologies to address issues such as supply chain transparency, natural capital accounting and corporate environmental reporting. In this episode, you will hear why having a better understanding of where our products come from and where they end up can help us create a more circular economy. We talk about different ways that technology can play a role in enabling supply chain management and the benefits of supply chain transparency for companies. 

[00:01:20] Before we get started with today's episode, I wanted to tell you about something awesome. If you're giving presentations related to Circular economy or if you just want to learn a little bit more about Circular economy basics, head over to slidedeck.Gettinginthelooppodcast.com to grab a free presentation that I've created based off of presentations that I've given over the course of the last couple of years. And what it is is you can use it as a starting point for your own presentation. So it's PowerPoint presentation. You can add or adapt your own slides into it, or you can just go through the presentation and learn a little bit more about the basics behind Circular economy. So it's 20 slides. It starts off with why we need a circular economy, what is the concept and how can we implement this in practice, and then at the end it finishes with some links to different reports and other resources so you can learn a little bit more on your own. Okay, so now onto today's podcast. 

[00:02:18] I'm so excited to have you on today, Adrian, because, yeah, we met at the subscript map program last night. 

Adrian Segens [00:02:27] That's right. 

[00:02:27] Yeah. It was like a year ago almost. . 

Adrian Segens [00:02:31] Yes, it has been. Yes. 

Katie Whalen [00:02:32] Yeah. And I've been trying to connect with you ever since then. So now it's finally happening today. 

Adrian Segens [00:02:38] Well, that's good. I've been looking forward to it. 

Katie Whalen [00:02:40] Yeah. So maybe you can just help my listeners. And actually, I don't know this for sure. But you're calling from the U.K., I assume. But where exactly? 

Adrian Segens [00:02:48] That's right. Well, today, I'm actually in the very beautiful Georgian building in the middle of London, which is the head office and headquarters of an organization called the RSA, as is known for short, although its full title is the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Manufacturers, Commerce and the Arts, which is a wonderful institution that was founded in 1754 not very far from here in one of the Enlightenment coffee houses of the London 18th century. And it's existed ever since. And it's a wonderful institution, which ever since it was founded has basically existed in order to bring people together who want to proactively cooperate on projects to make society and the economy better. So the definition of better is probably changed a lot over the past 200 years. But I'm what's known as a fellow, which is one of the members of the RSA. So anyone you see on LinkedIn or anywhere that has the name, the letters, FRSA after their name. What that stands for is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and there are around 30,000 of us all around the world. And the idea isn't that this is an institution that allows people to cooperate and share ideas. So going back to over 200 years now, previous fellows have included Karl Marx, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Dickens. So it's quite an August offer of honor to be associated with that kind of provenance. But we still do what we can to bring people together to cooperate on ideas, and particularly in recent times around the circular economy. So the RSA in the UK has been one of the leading organizations promoting the Circular economy. And in fact, later this week, this Friday, there'll be a daylong conference here at the RSA on circularity in the fashion industry where we've been promoting a lot of design initiatives based around that. So it's it's an exciting place to be. And the other thing that I only found out quite recently is that the word sustainability in its English language, environmental sense was first used in a public lecture here in the 1970s. So it's an organisation. I'm proud to be part of it. So we are still trying to keep up those great Enlightenment coffee shop ideas of the 18th century. 

Katie Whalen [00:05:18] Well, what are the what? I don't think we could have a better place for you to be calling from today for this podcast. 

Adrian Segens [00:05:23] Not really. 

Katie Whalen [00:05:24] Yeah. 

Adrian Segens [00:05:26] It's pretty perfect. 

Katie Whalen [00:05:27] Yeah. I was thinking, was the RSA behind the great recovery project or maybe they were-. 

Adrian Segens [00:05:33] Exactly. 

Katie Whalen [00:05:34] There- Yeah. So, yeah. Okay. 

Adrian Segens [00:05:35] Exactly. That was one of the first major sustainability projects of the RSA. 

Katie Whalen [00:05:41] Yeah. And for the listeners who- I'll put this link in the show notes, but for the listeners who aren't familiar of the Great Recovery Project, they have this great graphic and they were doing maybe even still doing, but there they did great work in early 2013-14 around circular economy so, yeah. 

Adrian Segens [00:05:59] That's right. So that's where I am today on what is a rather gray September day in London otherwise. 

Katie Whalen [00:06:06] Yeah. Yeah. It's starting to become fall here as well. So it's not so nice anymore but, yeah. So what we now know a little bit more about the RSA and I'm gonna look that up for sure. But tell us a little bit about your background, because when I was at Delft in 2018 now in October, you were presenting about mitigating supply risks and I really enjoyed your presentation. It was very engaging. 

Adrian Segens [00:06:34] Thank you. 

Katie Whalen [00:06:35] But I'm just curious. Yeah. What do what? Well, it was a little bit about about you, Adrian? 

Adrian Segens [00:06:41] Right. But the way I became involved in those issues around supply chain is that for many years I've I worked in the various technology companies, mainly small growing companies, but always around technology. And increasingly my work became engaged in supply chain technologies, how we can use technologies. My first involvements were how you could use technologies like barcodes and RFID and so on to tackle the tricky issue of how you begin to track these things through supply chains. And that being a being a an environmentalist and a true believer. Steve just took me to the areas where I wanted to apply those kinds of technologies around issues of sustainability and so on. So I've since then, for the past 10 years and I've been working with as a consultant with early stage technology companies, but all around those crucial areas of the fast think of technology, supply chains and sustainability. And what is the potential and the magic can happen when you bring those three things together. So that's that's really where I operate. And I work on a number of projects with with growing technology companies about addressing those kinds of issues with with new technologies. 

Katie Whalen [00:08:04] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I want to dive into that because from your presentation, it seemed like you had a lot of experience with helping companies to have a better view of their supply chain and also do this using technology. So, yeah, could you tell the listeners why it's important to have an overview of your supply chain? 

Adrian Segens [00:08:26] Well, the the the the need to have an overview of the supply chain, I think has become one of the one of the features of really the past 30 years. I mean, over the past 30 years in particular, we've seen globalization of supply chains in the economy in a way that was unprecedented before. But if you go back even 30 or 40 years, supply chains were much shorter and much more local. But of course, when manufacturing came to East Asia and supply chains went with them and became geographically much more distant from perhaps the manufacturers are then using those components. Other things became much, much more complex as well. In fact, it became almost exponentially complex like the weather, really. So having visibility suddenly in your supply chain suddenly became something like weather forecasting, something that was really had so many multiple factors involved. So we now find ourselves in a situation where it's really quite rare, no matter what any manufacturer tells you, it's really very, very rare for any manufacturer to have visibility into our supply chain that's beyond Tier 1. And so people tend to have the visibility of their suppliers who are Tier 1. But anything that happens beyond that is not secret in terms of a great conspiracy, its secrets and simply in terms of the fact that it becomes much, much more complex. So there are no direct relationships between OEM and TXU Tier 4 manufacturers. The relationship is between Tier 2 and Tier 3. And of course, that can change depending on what the requirements are to fulfill their orders and so on. So some things suddenly become invisible and also very, very difficult to manage. And yet, of course, there are so many issues that arise in in the supply chain. And it's not just issues. It's also opportunities, opportunities for business to control their supply chains better. It's the real opportunity to do so many things economically and commercially and sustainably as well. Because I think, again, one of the things that people have really started to understand in recent years is the impact of not just a company's operations, but it's where it sits in the whole value chain. So it wasn't until. So those are the visibility of those kind of risks that aren't always obvious because the supply chains evolved in their own way and for their own reasons. So, for example, in the early 2000s, it wasn't visible to anyone in the computing industry really that so much of the world's hard disk drives were manufactured in one single account. And that locality was, of course, an area of Thailand which was very, very badly affected by the Thai floods. So effectively what happened almost overnight, and much to everyone's surprise, was that the world's supply of computer hard drives suddenly literally went away. And it wasn't for another two or three years until the prices of computer hard drives and their availability reached the same levels that they were before the flooding. So it's had anyone had this ability about this consciously, then maybe you could think about. But of course, then when you add something like climate change into the into the equation and the kind of catastrophic, catastrophic weather events that are a result of climate change like those floods probably were, then of course, you had a completely new dimension to it. So we are in a. Asian, where climate change and material scarcity and so on are really ramping up the complexity of their supply chains even more. It was difficult to get visitors here before you had those kinds of things into the mix as well. It's going to become even more difficult now. 

Katie Whalen [00:12:33] Yeah, we have, we have a challenge in front of us. If all of a sudden overnight, like your hardest manufacturing can just be wiped out, essentially. 

Adrian Segens [00:12:42] Absolutely. Yeah. 

Katie Whalen [00:12:43] Yeah. It's because no one has that overview of our supply chain anywhere where you can spot things like that, where these these concentrations. Are you going to one critical supplier or or one critical locality and that can be affected in that way. Yeah. Do you see that you can't plan for. 

Katie Whalen [00:12:59] Right. Right. And you mentioned like Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3. And OEMs, for our listeners that are not so familiar with that. Could you just explain that briefly? 

Adrian Segens [00:13:09] Of course. So, yes, the jargon here, OEM is one that you'll often find which stands for original equipment manufacturer. But it means any manufacturer or retailer activity that sits at the top of the supply chain and assembles what comes in from below it. So Tier 1 in your supply chain would be the supplier of the supplies. You have a direct relationship with. So, for example, if I'm a retailer or a fashion brand, my Tier 1 relationship would be with clothing workshops in China or Vietnam or wherever who are actually putting together the garments. So those companies aren't doing the. Cutting spending they're not doing. The cotton growing, obviously, they're not even doing the dying and the laundry in the process. They've just taken the fabrics and manufacture the clothing. So at Tier 3 and the in the power supply chain is when you'll find what they call the wet processes, for example. So that's the people who are producing the clerks and dying and so on. Tier 4 below that would be people who are producing raw cotton for weaving. So. So that's why, as you can imagine, just in that one example, in a relatively straightforward supply chain, which is which is the apparel industry about just how complex it can become very quickly. 

Katie Whalen [00:14:29] Yeah. And what is happening? How are companies addressing us? Like how how do you how can you take steps in getting a better overview of your supply chain? 

Adrian Segens [00:14:38] Well, the difficulty is the concept historically, the the the way that it's traditionally been done has been by obviously with a tier one relationships. You can you can intervene a great deal. You have a direct contractual arrangements, which means that you can run audits and so on. And you can also if you want to use technology, you can use systems that feedback constant information from suppliers. So if you want them to have particular certificates, for example, around labor relations and so on or certain standards or if you want to apply reach chemical regulations, you can have that relationship where you're specifying certain processes and so on. You can gather information from them. But then when you get that relationship that's beyond Tier 1 into Tier 2, then things obviously become much more complicated. There isn't that direct relationship. So how you get information from your suppliers direct relationships can become very difficult, particularly as a Tier 3. You may have very large companies who who are producing some of their raw materials supplying to a relatively small company. Who is your tier 1? So you immediately get all of these different kinds of power relationships which make it difficult to collect information, particularly when people aren't always comfortable in sharing that information because it can be commercially sensitive. So that is that. So that's what makes it difficult. And that's why people have to rely so much on so many manual processes traditionally to delve into that. So it's been possible. It's always been possible. So I, for example, work on projects in 2012 where we are able to trace four garment manufacturers, the source of our cotton, for example, back to country of origin. So it's possible, but it's something was never an easy process. But there are emerging technologies which are making that's more plausible. So I think one of the exciting things technologically is the rise of China. Yeah, so block chain panacea technologies that come along every generation or so where people think we're in a situation where too many people are saying block chain is the answer. Now what's the question? Yeah, but but realistically, I think a block chain is the kind of technology that really can enable that kind of supply chain visibility, not in all supply chains and not in all circumstances, but it's going to be transformative because it will allow those kind of that kind of information to be exchanged in a way that is maintaining confidentiality. 

Katie Whalen [00:17:23] And so, yeah, I was in Delph, there's a startup that's called Circularize. 

Adrian Segens [00:17:28] I know them very well. 

Katie Whalen [00:17:30] Yeah. And I'm sure there's other organizations and companies that are also looking at how to do that. Because as you say, if there's a way to sort of tag where things are coming from and where things have gone without having just anyone be able to access that information, things like a powerful app also, you know, end of life to figure out what's actually in this product and how can we recycle it or how to can we remain accurate. 

Adrian Segens [00:17:57] So and this is where you just say that there in a nutshell really about the circular economy. Of course, this is is is a wonderful opportunity. It is the it is the only way that we can address supply chain risks that currently rightly preoccupy so many companies, manufacturers in particular. So great areas of supply chain, which at the moment are about materials. It's about the increasing scarcity of materials. It's COBOL, for example. The fluctuations in pricing over the past few years has been legendary, which means that, you know, two months can really give the same as it is the price of cobalt to accept that it's going up with an alarmingly fast rate because there is just so much global competition for what is a diminishing resource. And. The same for copper. We're going to see the same helium and so on. So the circular economy is is the only way in future. Any manufacturer can be able to look at its power supply chain of materials with any degree of predictability. But here's the big but. So if we think of the supply chain, as we always have done in the linear economy and the challenges that we've had to make that more sustainable. What happens in the circular economy is a nother step change entirely. If we said it's a complete change in the nature of the value chain and supply chain, so we have to address those issues plus new ones effectively. So let's take supply chain disability as just one aspect of it. So we've already discussed the challenges that have always been there about looking at the provenance of materials in the supply chain because of the ethical and the risk issues involved that. But if you then think about the way the CIRCULAR ECONOMY has to work as opposed to the linear economy, then what you also need to know is part of that visibility is going to be what the location, condition and the availability of those materials are, because that was never an issue in the linear economy to such an extent, because you've had the material, you've got it from the environment, it's used and gone, whereas in this like the economy, it's going to be potentially globally distributed. Some of it still being used. Some of it is in what condition you don't know and you don't know when it's going to become available, which means, again. The third issue that is entirely new is the supply chain risk. And the circular economy is that the material flows are no longer even as visible as they were under the linear economy. One of the great challenges for Circular economy is going to be currently the inefficient levels of waste management. So you've now it's inefficient. Waste management is now a supply chain issue. 

Katie Whalen [00:20:54] Yeah. 

Adrian Segens [00:20:54] It's yet another supply chain issue because that waste management. So we are a situation in the moment where, for example, only 21 percent is the figure that I saw recently quoted of countries currently collect any kinds of waste data and they are using different standards to do that. So how can you get this global view of where that materiality flow is in order to facilitate the circular economy? 

Katie Whalen [00:21:17] Well, in a way, we've kind of just actually added a completely different and completely additional supply chain. So we don't already have we already don't have an overview of what's upstream. And now we want to also have an overview of what's downstream, like why are doing this to ourselves.  

Adrian Segens [00:21:34] Well, because we have to and it's the right thing to do it. But the Chinese have allowed what's what's wonderful. I think is that we can envisage. I think what the solutions are, as I say, I've always been in that place with technology like supply chain and these solutions. So what what is interesting at the moment is that for all of those specific individual metal issues, I can see that there is a technological answer. For example, if two materials visibility issue. I love the concept, but one of the most important concepts come out of for me. For Circular economy discussion has been this this concept of urban mining that that's such a beautiful image and an accurate one. But if we can sort of step back and use that image again for urban mining, as it's always been traditionally in rich source mineral mining, I as an urban miner would want to sink the shaft unless I knew that there was something at the bottom of it. As an avid miner, you need to be able to look at a city and a country and know where materials are potentially and where you can then build that infrastructure to efficiently reclaim those. So without that kind of visibility, it's difficult to say the least, but the technology to do that is, I think, really well defined as it has a potential. It's perfectly possible for so many materials to be identifiable. Companies like Maersk, for example, when they build ships, now are using passports in effect for each of our ships in which you can drill down into these materials so they know exactly what has gone into it. What is recyclable, what is of oil and so on. So they have that visibility. You're seeing the same kind of approaches in the construction industry with Ben Beam will allow that as the technology. But there are so many elements of that that are missing. For me, the crucial one, there is a discussion that's been going on around the Internet of Things for a long time. And one of the terms that you hear in amongst. Things people. Is that what's necessary is a Facebook offense. If you haven't, it's intimate things that there needs to be this central place of truth. When there is a thing, but there is so much that needs to be known about that thing by various parties and needs to be to be to be accessible. So it needs to be readily updated in the same way that a social media pages, but for an individual assets. So I think along with that, there's the what's also been called the Internet of materials. We need structures in place and this need to be done in a very standardized way and a nonprofit way, which means that data about individual things can be shared. So, for example, I'm talking to you for government via a laptop computer. So it's my computer. I own it. And obviously, I have a vested interest in other people not knowing everything about this. So I'm in that situation, but I don't want to share all of its details and location and so on. But in these circular economy, there are other people involved. So anyone who wants to be a future urban miner would need to know that there is this particular computer with this with these elements that are recoverable in this location for the future. And so what its manufacturer potentially, because it's manufacturer would also want to know its location conditions so that they could offer me the service product as a service, for example. And so that, again, is how we can find those structures which enable people to understand things about materials and assets in a way that doesn't invade in the visual privacy or commercial craft of say, but still enables that structure is going to be one of the challenges. I think there are technologies emerging that can do that. Some of them are already with us. And very simple question, creating the right ecosystem around. 

Katie Whalen [00:25:46] Yeah, I was going to say you said like a non nonprofit, but I was curious, who do you think who should play the role in setting this up? Is it like a consortium of companies or is it policy makers in one case, maybe not part of the EU anyway, but-

Adrian Segens [00:26:03] There are still plenty of us here who are still fighting that one out. So watch this space. But that's completely different this year. We will. But let's let's look at that. 

[00:26:15] I think a good example, a good example is an organization that I once used to work for GSK. One is an organization that is a not for profit global organization that was founded by a consortium of consumer goods companies and retailers in the initially in the seventies. And what GM is one was fun to do and it still does. It is the organization that sets the standards for the use of bar codes and data interchange between the supply chains and so on. So if you and I were to sort of start making our own product and we wanted a bar code on it, we would become members of GM and one, they would give us the numbers that we can put on our bar codes and put our products, which means that anywhere in the world you have to scan that bar code. And it would say that it's the same product. So there are there are models. There are plenty of standards organizations that can drive that kind of technology adoption. They did the same for RFID when that came along and so on. So I think that there are ways forward. There are this question of the will. And I think that has to be the work. 

Katie Whalen [00:27:25] That reminds me, I am a member of GS one as well for for my boardgame, actually. 

Adrian Segens [00:27:29] So, yes, of course. 

Katie Whalen [00:27:30] Yes. So every year I I pay the membership fee basically, which enables me the right to keep using the barcode as I think. But I get. That's that's so funny. Yeah. 

[00:27:43] I guess there are a lot of models, as you say, that we can we can use and sort of and replicate that to the applicability of one of the in the meeting in Dallas. You gave an example of the what evidence like why companies actually might be incentivized to have greater control over their supply chains in particular. You were talking about the jeans example. 

[00:28:11]  I don't know. Would you be willing to share that with this example? 

[00:28:17] Yes, of course I should. Another anonymize the people who are involved. But it is one of those. You're right. It's one of those beautifully simple illustrations, particularly around something that say, you know, normally we don't give much thought to a project that was undertaken by actually was a major European fashion retailer a few years ago where they realized that one of the problems that they had in that supply chain in terms of exposure to all kinds of reputational risk and supply chain risk was the rivets that they put on to their jeans. So I'm old enough to remember when the rivets on jeans actually were made of copper. I think of you as an expensive, expensive classic Levi's you probably still buy them with with copper rivets, but in most jeans they've gone away from that because the copper rivets would now cost more than the rest of the materials. The jeans put together. So what most apparel companies now do is that they will produce a rivets and they will then sort of electro-plated so that it looks like it looks like copper, all that brass and so on. So it occurred to this organization that that is a something that happens at Tier 2 and Tier 3 and that supply chain, all they do is they specify to their garment makers, suppliers that they want a revote of a certain design and quality. But where those suppliers then got those rebates was entirely up to them. And again, that's a perfect illustration of supply chain complexity. The difficulty was, of course, that that electro plating process is one that involves harsh chemicals and has been shown to be sort of a source of a place, an industry in which there was child labor and also very poor working conditions, particularly in supply countries like India and China and Vietnam. So it was clearly an issue that needs to take more control of, not least, of course, because there's also the issue. But you've got your brand on that. So it is a risk that it's not there's no deniability. Every one of those rivets that goes onto your jeans has your brand stamped on them so they can also be used for counterfeit production or whatever. So a risk that clearly needs to be identified. So when they looked into their supply chain through through desk work and interviews that tail, once they found that something like 20 or 30 individual companies supplying these rivets around the world. 

[00:30:53]  So once they identify that, which is many more than they thought they might have, that they were in a situation where they could visit each of those companies and identify those ones which were assuming best practices and were treated that way as well and so on. 

[00:31:13] And eventually they reduced the number of suppliers from 20 down to four or five approved ones. So effectively what that meant was those four or five approved suppliers now were going to have four to five times as much business from their individual brand than they had previously. So that had economies of scale for them, economies of scale for the brand. But it also, I think is an important thing. That those companies who were doing the right thing, who were treating their workers fairly, who weren't using child labor, who were using safe environmental practices and workplace practices were rewarded for having done that. Whereas what often so often happens in the supply chain is that it becomes purely about price and nothing else. So this was an example of finding the people who were doing the right things and then being rewarded for doing that. And I think that's that's too often overlooked as an effect of looking into supply chains and working with suppliers. 

Katie Whalen [00:32:16] And maybe we can say something what the motivation was the company, because was it coming out that it was like this, you know, reputation thing or was it more like there was legislation? Because maybe I'm getting it confused with something about you were talking about the Dodd-Frank Act and these different these different EU. Now we have actual I think there is a materials sort of critical materials of compliance for the EU now and things like that. 

Adrian Segens [00:32:43] That wasn't around, that was purely about sort of reputational risk. But you're right that there's another issue right there where you need to have that kind of back with that kind of visibility. 

[00:32:54] Also, of course, that went to a course has been a big shift in understanding in recent years. Once you realize that your genes, the environmental management, tell us it's not just your scope, one impacts your own in direct operational impacts. 

[00:33:13] That has an environmental impact. But with most companies where the operation weather impact comes from is outside your own direct control. And it is usually a ratio of at least of aged 20 or 19 and above. So for most companies, 90 percent of our environmental impact does not come from our direct operations. It comes from our supply chain or it comes from the way our products are actually used afterwards. So, for example, Philips, for example, in one of our recent reports, reveals that well over 85 percent of that impact. As a company comes from the impact of Philips Electronics being used in the field. So for them, their emphasis is now in order to change, that has got to be around the way they design products because that's where the impact comes from. So that realization, of course, is also changing the nature of the way in which many manufacturers are particular environmentally aware, want to work from their supply chain. And I think the best example here that I know at the moment is a suddenly interface interface. Flooring have been poster child for a sustainable manufacturing for many years. They are the ones that win all the awards. And that's that's quite right, because they know more about sustainable flooring manufacturer than any other organization in the world. But to reduce their impact further than they currently have leases, anything they do in terms of reducing their impact in their own operations is going to be very minimal in terms of its end end result because they do it very, extremely well already. So what that program is at the moment is working with that supply chain in order to educate their suppliers on those same manufacturing techniques and how to reduce environmental impact and therefore cost in their own operations, which means that the suppliers have a different kind of relationship and interface. It's much more cooperative. 

[00:35:14] It's not threatening to me at all because what they're showing that suppliers have to do is to manufacture better environmentally and economically and so on. So that, again, in that relationship becomes much more of a two way one tradition in the past. So the suppliers are deeply engaged with that with our OEM. The relationship is better. The supplier is actually saving money by reducing energy costs and so on. A which they can then, of course, share with the OEM pass on some of that costs, but not all of it. And that's the kind of two way relationship that we're now starting to see. And that's that's a very significant. 

Katie Whalen [00:35:52] Yeah, it's funny. They use a interface because I actually had a John Lanier, who is the grandson of Ray Anderson on the show Episode 17, it was aired in June. And yeah, the sort of leading by example is about what we discussed the. Well, you also said about this, the reputation risk and the fact that with this brand that their name, of course, is on the, it reminds me of that when this airs when this episode airs, the other episode that I'm going to talk about will have aired. But for now, it hasn't aired yet. But it's still Daly of Close Loop partners. And it's episode 25, I think. Yeah, 25, and Kate talks about how using this, like using technology to track supply chains and one of the benefits of it is also like counterfeit risk and things like that. 

Adrian Segens [00:36:48] Absolutely. 

Katie Whalen [00:36:49] There are many different benefits of doing this and having greater control and awareness of what's actually happening both on the upstream in terms of where things are coming from and also at the downstream in terms of where things are going, so yeah. 

Adrian Segens [00:37:06] Absolutely. Absolutely. So, yes, it's not everyone should feel threatened by it. That's a difficult, difficult cultural thing to get her. 

Katie Whalen [00:37:14] Yeah. We have to flip it on its head and not have it be a threat, but have it be actually a massive opportunity, so. 

Adrian Segens [00:37:20] Exactly. Exactly. 

Katie Whalen [00:37:20] Yeah. Well, we could be here all day. Adrian, I'm sure. But I  wanted to ask you before we go, the sort of a winding down question that I ask all of the guests and you didn't have the chance yet to play In the Loop. We're still gonna have you some time. But it's a question I ask is about the In the Loop board game that I created and in the game your manufacturing company. You have to get your materials and then produce products. And as you know, it's not as simple as that. 

[00:37:53] So the the players have many different sort of supply chain issues and these come in the form of event cards so they can be positive or they can negatively sort of impact the companies and then to sort of address these challenges. They get the hint. I'll give you a hint on how to do it. But basically, you kind of have to. Well, we want people using circular strategies. So that's kind of the way to address it in the game. But if you could create an event for the game, Adrian, what kind of focus do you think it would be? 

Adrian Segens [00:38:29] For me,  it's absolutely critical for all of this is that realization there is this data issue that for everything material in the world it has to be what's technical technologies to make when digital twin. So I think it's that if you could bring in what is the most destructive thing, those enabling thing, it is that concept of a digital twin. This whole idea of the Internet of materials is what makes Lanza a game changer. 

[00:39:00] So if you could, in the event in the game, getting getting to give people the slightest hints, really. So the slightest hints of launch is in an asset, the how old it is and where it is and so on, then you really start to transform. So I would not just follow the game by giving it to everyone straight away. So you start to introduce even the simplest hints about whether something contains mercury or whether it doesn't or where it is, you really start to change things. 

Katie Whalen [00:39:31] Yeah. No, I think that's quite good. We can we can figure out how to create an event that would hint toward- 

Adrian Segens [00:39:37] Just stops to get these little clues and it gives people an idea of the questions that now need to watch. 

Katie Whalen [00:39:43] Yeah, exactly. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. It has been a pleasure to talk with you. 

Adrian Segens [00:39:50] It's been wonderful to speak to you at last. 

Katie Whalen [00:39:52] Yeah. Yes, exactly. Where can listeners go to learn more about you and the topics that we discussed today? 

Adrian Segens [00:40:00] Well, I'm gonna send you some links to do, too. Well, the RSA and some of the events that are happening here, but also the best way to find me is on LinkedIn. You can always find me on LinkedIn at Adrian Segens and I'm more than happy to connect to people and to ask or answer any questions. 

Katie Whalen [00:40:27] Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode for show notes and links, go to our website at gettingintheLoopPodcast.com. And while you're there, subscribe to our mailing list to have new episodes delivered to your inbox every Monday. See you next week. 

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About the Show

Getting In the Loop is a weekly podcast dedicated to exploring how to transform to a more circular society. Join host Katie Whalen as she examines the challenges facing our current resource use and discovers alternatives to the ‘take, make, dispose’ way of doing things. Each week she interviews circular economy experts about what they’re doing and learning. Together we'll uncover what circular economy means in practice and find out what's being done to keep our resources in a loop rather than sent to waste.

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