DLL’s commitment to add value through financial solutions that benefit society as well as business proved a perfect match for global carpet and sport pitches company, Desso. DLL and Desso partnered to create a carpet leasing system that allows Desso’s customers to install affordable carpets that positively contribute to the environment and support the circular economy.
Desso CEO Roland Jonkhoff knows that while beautiful products are an essential factor in improving our state of mind, other factors help too. “Carpets that absorb sound, capture fine dust, or reflect light can all contribute to a positive, uplifting environment,” he explains. But what makes Desso’s vision particularly remarkable, and why partnering with them seemed like a natural fit for DLL, is the joint ambition of both companies to realize a circular economic business model.
“Rather than customers disposing of used carpet, we are building our company around the Cradle to Cradle® system, taking apart the backing and yarn from any used carpet so they can be put back into new production. However, taking back carpet tiles at the end of their lifecycle is an option not yet commonly used by customers. At this moment, it is something we negotiate with every customer for every project individually. Including the take-back of carpets in the leasing option helps ensure that products will be recycled according to Cradle-to-Cradle principles. We contacted DLL in 2012 and their willingness was 100%.” Desso’s plans fitted in DLL’s Life Cycle Asset Management Program, under which DLL uses its extensive knowledge to find solutions to extend the lifecycle of original products, or give them a second life.
DLL’s Sustainable Business Developer, Frits Engelaer, worked with Desso to create a carpet leasing option that would act as the missing link in their Take Back™ program. “It allows us to keep control of our carpets so they will be returned at the end of the leasing period. At the same time, it gives customers an affordable way to install carpets that contribute to a healthier environment,” explains Roland. Setting up the agreement has not been simple – a number of different partners have a stake in the leasing of carpets, including designers, architects and the end users, who typically come from sectors such as banking, transport or hospitality. Offering a leasing agreement that satisfies all of these interests can be complicated. “The involvement of DLL has been invaluable,” says Roland. “With their long history of leasing, DLL helps us understand not just the financial impact, but the operational part of the business.”
Frits is very happy with this partnership: “It is great to have found a partner who shares our vision on Life Cycle Asset Management, and with whom we can learn together and find ways to bring sustainable solutions to the market that not only have an immediate positive impact on the customer, but on the whole world in the long-term.” Roland stresses the market still needs time to get used to the idea of leasing a product like carpeting. “Customers need to shift towards a more sustainable way of thinking.” But the concept is gaining ground and the first leasing agreement has already been signed. DLL recognizes the importance of sharing knowledge across industries to facilitate the shift towards more sustainable options. As Frits puts it: “In the future, we would love to connect Desso with some of our other Life Cycle Asset Management customers, so we can share best practices on how to design, use, refurbish and recycle products in a more sustainable way.”