The opportunity that improved product repairability presents in extending product life, facilitating reuse, and preventing usable goods and their parts from being lost to disposal, is gathering significant attention as Canada transitions to a circular economy.
Although the economic, social, and environmental benefits of increasing repair and reuse are clear, barriers exist that prevent Canadians from undertaking and participating in repair activities. In order to better understand the factors that obstruct repairability and how to overcome them, CSA Group and Circular Innovation Council have conducted a landscape review of repairability in Canada and are pleased to announce the launch of this research report.
Four product categories were selected for inclusion in this report: automotive, agricultural, home appliances, and consumer electronics. These categories represent a wide array of consumer-facing products where improved access to repair can have impactful environmental, social, and economic outcomes.
To support and contextualize the research findings, Circular Innovation Council conducted stakeholder interviews with experts from government, industry, academia, and consumer advocacy organizations. The literature review and stakeholder interviews revealed that product repair is limited by three key barriers:
The report also summarizes the environmental, social, and economic outcomes that improved repairability and access to repair offers. Intervention opportunities in addressing barriers to repair are also presented and include; standard development, consumer reporting tools/indices, and regulatory interventions.
Given the critical importance value retention processes play in accelerating a circular economy for the products and services Canadians rely on every day, Circular Innovation Council looks forward to continuing to support and advance reuse and repair across the Canadian marketplace.
“Extending the life of products and their parts is crucially important to establishing a circular economy in Canada,” says Michael Leering, Director, Business Excellence and Environment Standards, CSA Group. “To move the needle on repairability, we must better understand the challenges impeding reuse and repair for organizations and individual consumers. We hope that this research will contribute to identifying not only the barriers, but the opportunities for standardizing and implementing value retention processes.”
“Circular Innovation Council recognizes the opportunity repairability represents to increase the value of products by extending their useful life and facilitating reuse to reduce the need for new and minimize the economic and environmental losses of disposal,” says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director, Circular Innovation Council. “We are pleased to support CSA Group through our collaborative work on this research report, ensuring repairability has a strong place in Canada’s marketplace and consumers are empowered to participate in this aspect of the Circular Economy.”
About Circular Innovation Council
Circular Innovation Council is a not-for-profit environmental organization operating nationally across Canada. For more than 40 years, Circular Innovation Council (formerly Recycling Council of Ontario) has been delivering programs and projects that raise awareness and challenges Canadians to take action on waste reduction, resource efficiency, sustainability, and more recently the benefits of the circular economy. In concert with our members and partners, we leverage our experience to deliver on the broad gains inspired by the circular economy through programs, projects, and pilots. Our mandate is to inspire greater sustainability across Canada by putting circular economy concepts into action.
About CSA Group
CSA Group is a global organization dedicated to safety, social good, and sustainability. We are a leader in Standards Development and in Testing, Inspection, and Certification around the world including Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Our mandate is to hold the future to a higher standard.