The targeted members have to understand the obvious purpose of the system

Experience immediately showed Pascal Hardy that circular economy projects, even on a regional scale, must always start with the needs of the local players, rather than with an injunction that comes from on high. This method represents a breakaway from a certain culture of the public authorities, which have a tendency to plan and manage projects, he explains. It is essential to create the possibility for the players to invent, experiment and dis- cover the connections themselves, even if an initial vision and regulations are necessary, explains the entrepreneur.

For businesses, the open-minded approach that the circular economy demands is not something that comes naturally. A lot of companies still prefer to solve their problems internally, and do not make the effort to get to know their neighbours. Pointing out these opportunities is not enough. We really have to push for a change of culture.

Inex has drawn the conclusions from this collaborative and bottom-up approach, and recently launched a digital platform that will operate like a social network connecting companies for resource issues. Digital technology is the essential instru- ment to massifying these initiatives and to addressing the real problem of quali- fying the mobilisation of the players. Today, for a local industrial ecology project, we have to contact five hundred organisations in order to persuade twenty, estimates Pascal Hardy. In the future, the digital platform will provide the means of contacting these organisa- tions with a value proposition that is more personalised and easier to understand.

The targeted organisations have to understand the possible synergies, concludes Pascal Hardy. Only then, will it be possible to set up magnificent coop- eration projects, in which two companies will get to know one another, as one com- pany s waste is instantaneously trans- formed into another company s resource.

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