The company Godsinlösen makes sure that damaged property is repaired and brought to new use. The concept of circular damage cover is a collaboration with insurance companies, where damaged property is collected and repaired, and repaired products are offered as compensation. Damaged goods from transports and e-commerce are also given a second life.

Godsinlösen (GIAB) is a company specializing in reuse and return logistics, and has developed a circular concept to turn a profit from damaged or rejected products. By extending the life of the products, the company contributes to the circular economy. The concept emerged in a collaboration between the founders of Godsinlösen, Christian Jansson and Patrik Zalewski, and one of the large insurance companies.

Jens Thulin is employed as Circular Business Developer at Godsinlösen – likely the only one with that title in Sweden. Photo: Aktuell Hållbarhet

”We have developed the service of Circular Damage Cover together with several large Swedish insurance companies. Basically, it means that policyholders have to turn in the property they ask compensation for. When a policyholder wants damages covered for a TV, mobile or laptop, the product have to be sent to Godsinlösen. The service includes damage verification, prevention and reuse. If possible, we try to repair the product, or take advantage of working components. What can’t be saved is properly disposed of”, says Jens Thulin, Circular Business Developer at Godsinlösen, Staffanstorp.

The Mobile Circle™

”The Mobile Circle™ is a service within the concept of Circular Damage Cover. In brief, the policyholder is offered a repaired phone as compensation instead of money for a new one. It is a distribution service for damaged cell phones, including collection, damage verification, measures to fix the damage, and compensating the policyholder. We decide on the best solution for each case based on the type of damage, model, time frame and the insurance company’s cost frame”, Jens says.

”Returning the damaged phone after repair is one option. Another is to replace it with an equivalent, remanufactured product of the same model. All components are original. Some parts will be brand new, other may be recycled spare parts. If the repair would be too expensive, or if the phone is otherwise not fit for reuse, it is rejected. The policyholder then receives compensation in cash and the damaged phone is taken apart to harvest components. The process is fast, normally the policyholder can collect the replacement sent by mail within a week”.

”Godsinlösen does not repair any phones in Staffanstorp, but rely on a global network of external partners such as Apple, Samsung and Sony, both for repairs and replacement units. The providers are carefully chosen to guarantee quality, cost and sustainability.

Applied sustainability provides a profit

”The concept reduces both environmental impact and cost. A recycled mobile translates to more than 80 kg of waste savings and more than 60 kg of carbon dioxide emission savings. Godsinlösen provides the customer with a report specifying the environmental benefit. The system is mainly used by insurance companies, but it can be applied to other sectors as well. Circular Damage Cover saves resources and also helps prevent overutilization of the insurance system”.

”Out of ten damage reports, about three policyholders choose to drop the claim rather than send in the damaged property. That means that 30 percent of the compensations never happen, which saves money for both insurance companies and policyholders. During 2016, approximately 7000 Mobile Circle™ claims were dropped before compensation were payed – with the same level of customer satisfaction”, Jens Thulin says.

Helps companies and organizations become more circular

The Returhuset store in Staffanstorp is where Godsinlösen sells toys, bicycles, clothes, shoes, household items and many other products that for some reason has been rejected, but now are given a second chance by the circular economy. Photo: Staffanstorpsnytt.

”The basis of our business model is to assist companies and organizations with turning the circular economy into practice, in a way that increases profitability. It turns out that it is profitable to find the link between waste and resources, and our return logistics operations are one important reason. Our services are based on profit sharing. We charge our customers for logistic solutions, warehousing, reconditioning, repairs and sales. When there is money left in the end, that profit is shared with the customer. This principle can be applied to other sectors as well and we are using the same circular concept for outmoded IT equipment, for instance”, Jens says.

”Other interesting applications that we are working on is the handling of goods from transports and e-commerce. A refrigerator that gets a dent in the door during transport is rejected by the receiver, and the transfer company suffers the cost. We help them find another use for the refrigerator instead of throwing it away. Returns and reclamations from e-commerce companies can be resaled in a similar fashion. We are selling the upgraded products in our store called Returhuset, on e-commerce sites such as Tradera and Blocket, or through our network of sales persons”.

”Godsinlösen’s starting-point is that products should live as long as possible. If a profitable resale is not possible, we try to find other utilizations. I am convinced that the circular economy will contine to grow and that the demand for such services will increase. I am talking about logistic companies that do collection and distribution of products, resale platforms where they can be exhibited, and companies with expertise in repair and refurbishment. Circular solutions offer new ways to be creative together with the customers, and establish long-term relations”.

The next step: remanufacturing

Christian Jansson, CEO at Godsinlösen, suggests that circular economy has taken the step from buzzword to business practice. Already experts in reuse, the company now sets out to become remanufacturing experts as well.

”We are planning a merger between Godsinlösen and one of Sweden’s most prominent remanufacturing companies, Our goal is to build a company that can be a driving force towards the sustainable economy, either on its own or as a supplier to key sectors. We are planning the merger now and the future looks exciting. Energy is also an important issue in the circular economy and development of business concepts in renewable energy and energy storage is also in the pipeline”, Christian Jansson says.

Research and development project

Godsinlösen is participating in several national and international research and development projects. One of the most important is REES (Resource Efficient and Effective Solution based on circular economy thinking). The project was launched in 2015 and is funded by MISTRA. The purpose is to promote the circular economy through knowledge and innovation. The consortium includes several universities and a number of companies. Godsinlösen has a long-standing collaboration with Lund University and The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), aimed at project work, life cycle assessments and other things.

The article was published in Januari 2017.