New business opportunities from resource efficiency, suggests WRAP study


A report from WRAP has shown that there is consumer interest in resource efficient services that could offer opportunities for businesses.

Research undertaken by WRAP looked at resource efficient business models for retailers and manufacturers of household appliances, consumer electronics and DIY and gardening products.


However, it found few were actually offering customers resource efficient services as businesses perceived that the infrastructure wasn’t available.  

The report shows that there is appetite for more circular business models, which keep products in use longer such as trade-in, rentals and repairs compared to linear models where we sell, use then dispose.

Appetite from consumers is particularly strong for these models to be delivered by large, household-name brands, which consumers trust and can readily access.

Buying new still shows the strongest preference from consumers however.

WRAP believes three business models have real potential. These are:

  • Trade-in model for consumer electronics – despite very few consumers trading in their TVs, laptops and tablets, it is not a reflection of their willingness to do so. Up to 90 per cent of respondents are willing to trade in their old and unwanted consumer electronics such as laptops and TVs if a high quality service could be provided by a major retailer.
  • Fixed price repair model for household appliances (workhorse products such as washing machines) – up to 70 per cent of consumers are willing to pay for a fixed-price repair service for their workhorse products if it was delivered by a manufacturer or specialist retailer of these products. This coupled with their confidence that it will extend the life of their product, presents a substantial potential consumer base and therefore significant business opportunity for the manufacturers and retailers of household appliances.
  • Rental model for DIY and gardening products – most consumers will use a DIY or gardening product for a short-term project and they inherently end up lying around the home or garden unused. If a rental model was available, over two-thirds of consumers said they would be willing to use it, particularly if they could rent well-known brands through a DIY retailer. 

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