So I’m just and I’m working on research in circular economy and automotive sector. And I would like to know your point of view. If you accept, I’m going to record our conversation, transcribe it and put the transcription with a pseudonym, not with your real name in a repository of text documents that will be used for the research. If you do that and you change your mind later and no longer want to participate, get in touch with us and we will immediately remove your interview from the repository. I’m leaving you an information sheet with contact information. If you agree, then please tell me your first name and that you agree.
My first name is George and I agree.
Thank you very much. George. Can you define a circular economy in your own words?
Well, whatever you use that you whatever you put in, you take out at the end and reuse it again. And so that it’s a close circle.
Do you participate in a circular economy yourself in any aspect of your life?
No, that’s a good question. I a circular economy in my own life. Hmm. Maybe you’re reusing. No, I would say no, no, no, no.
How did you become interested in the circular economy, ideas and principles, practices?
I studied sustainability ten years ago, so it was already a big topic in the academic sphere and world, and now I’m working as an IT consultant. So we have the discussion as well. What can be the impact from IT on on carbon emissions and, and how to generate a positive impact via IT and digitalization. Um, but for us it work the circular economy it’s not it’s a topic people talk about, but it’s not for us as a business. It’s it’s it’s. Not that someone is paying us money yet so that we can do something with it. So. Yeah.
In your opinion, can a circular economy be implemented in individual sectors or industries?
Yes, it can be. Definitely. It will be just it’s it’s linked to high costs and someone has to pay those high costs. And most of the time it’s kind of the business owners or the shareholders or the CEOs of some companies. I think definitely it’s possible to reuse lots of resources. Um, but there’s a price tag for it and someone has to pay that price tag. Either it’s either the society at the end, we as individuals or some corporations, and it’s up to the politics at the end of the day to decide who is carrying that cost. Yeah.
Um, do you think the circular economy already exists in the car industry?
Oh, from what I know, maybe very little. I mean, they want to. If I think about the whole car itself, I think the outside metal. I guess when some cars get pressed into little blocks and then those things might get, um, um, I don’t know. I don’t know the English word when you, when you burn it or heat it up again and then you try to separate some different metals, maybe that to a certain degree already is in place. That’s but there are so many different parts in the car. You know, it all needs to be separated. It’s all a lot of work. It’s quite toxic. I can imagine. Um. So I don’t yeah, the political framework, as I just said, it’s just not not there yet. It’s either there are only two ways businesses will change. Either it’s because they have to, because it’s a law or it’s driving costs. And if it’s still cheaper to get new raw materials in if you. Extradite like raw materials from lithium, from Chile or from China or whatever. If that’s still cheaper than recycling then or reusing in a circular economy, then businesses will. Most businesses won’t do anything about it.
Do you currently own a car or did you own a car?
I did own a car in the past, but no, I’m not owning a car anymore.
Yes. Yes. Sometimes in bigger cities like Munich, Berlin, Hamburg. Um, I use twice. Three times a month. Some kind of from from the three, four big three, four big companies like sixt now and Miles. I use their services if I need to transport something or if I have to get somewhere where I can’t easily get with my bike or public transport to.
Uh, when is the one adjective that comes to mind when you think about car electronics or electronics in the car?
The one what? Objective.
adjective. adjective. What? What? What? You think at first. At first. When you hear car. Electronics, what is the first thing what you are thinking about that.
Complex. Complex, I think. From what I know, working with with with some companies in the car industry, it’s kind of complex because you have so many different suppliers. Like I think a typical car nowadays, 80% of the stuff comes from suppliers and it’s not made anymore by someone is just putting it together in a big factory at BMW or Audi, Volkswagen and all the other parts come from so many different suppliers from all over, all over Europe and the electronics as well. So that’s quite complex. It’s all connected and. Yeah. A dependency or dependent on world economics. So, for instance, I think when I don’t know if it was when Corona started, I think they had already trouble in Bavaria to, um, to get the cables from Romania for the cars because the supply chain was cut off from China or something like that.