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Economy of functionality

The economy of functionality is an emerging economic model that offers a credible alternative for companies wishing to be part of sustainable development.

What about?

The economy of functionality is an essential element of ADEME’s vision of ecological, energy and social transition. It accompanies the economic changes of the circular economy.

The economy of functionality establishes a new relationship between supply and demand that is no longer based solely on the simple sale of goods or services. Contractualisation is based on useful effects (benefits) and supply adapts to the real needs of individuals, businesses and communities as well as to issues relating to sustainable development.

For example, we are moving from the sale of boilers and energy to solutions for thermal comfort and energy efficiency, from the sale of industrial compressors to solutions for compressed air supply and energy efficiency, from the sale of food products to solutions for food well-being and health preservation.

This new business model represents a real change in culture, moving away from the immediate transactional logic between a product supplier and its customer to a contract of trust that evolves over the long term, requiring a genuine personalised and close relationship with the beneficiary.

More broadly, this economic model induces profound transformations in the modes of production and consumption : consumption without ownership of goods, strategic investment in the intangible resources of the company (development of employees’ skills, cooperative management…), development of the reuse and repair of goods, income linked to useful effects, fair distribution of value between the partners of the offer, new governance…

It constitutes a new reference for the sustainable development of territories and leads to the implementation of territorialized cooperative ecosystems associating companies, communities and citizen associations. These ecosystems articulate the entrepreneurial dynamic and territorial development. See the note «  Sustainable development of territories : the path of the economy of functionality and cooperation  » which describes the theory of this model, the different stages of the approach and the first concrete actions in the territories.

Para saber más sobre esto

  • In 2017, ADEME produced with the ATEMIS firm a prospective vision on the economy of functionality by 2050. The study explores heavy trends and weak signals leading to contrasting scenarios, the possible path towards the vision and the conditions for its deployment. The prospective is completed by the analysis of the first territories and companies involved in the economy of functionality.