The philosophy of the ICARRE 95 project is largely inspired by the concept of circular economy.

Since the dawn of the industrialisation era, the economy has been characterised by a linear resource consumption method which boils down to extracting – manufacturing – discarding. Many businesses have become aware that this system increases their exposure to risk, from rising prices to stock shortages.

A circular economy is an industrial model that aspires to be “restorative” or “regenerative”. By definition, it targets waste disposal. Waste and the “end of life” concept no longer exist – technical products are designed and optimised with a view to reintegrating a cycle through dismantling and reuse. This closed loop based on components and products ultimately rejects the very notion of waste, even the notion of wastage and downcycling whereby induced energy and labour are lost.

The automotive industry is particularly well suited to the implementation of this concept, throughout its life cycle as illustrated by the diagram opposite:


Renault has for a long time been putting the principles of circular economy into practice, notably in its Choisy plant where remanufactured engines are produced. Remanufacturing consists of refurbishing a part or product, in accordance with its original condition, i.e. providing the same guarantees and quality for a price 30% to 50% lower than a new part or product.

For Renault, the circular economy is also the business model of the electric battery that we lease to our European customers and control throughout its life cycle, from its production to its end of life. This “short loops” programme encourages us to rethink the notion of design, notably in terms of sustainability and associated services.

Renault is a founding member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation since its creation in 2010, the objectives of which are to encourage new generations to design and build a prosperous and sustainable future, and serve as a catalyst for exchanging on the practices of the circular economy.