HAS-student Amarens van Bentum and her team win the Venlo Circular Challenge 2016

Together with 3 fellow students, Amarens van Bentum has won the Venlo Circular Challenge 2016. Amarens is studying International Farm Management at HAS University of Applied Sciences in Venlo. A total of 48 Dutch and international students took part in the event that was organised by SustainableMotion, an innovative project bureau that applies the expertise of the new generation to tackle the questions of the future.

6 Weeks’s work on one issue
The core subject of the event was the circular economy: using and re-using natural resources as efficiently as possible. Three companies from Venlo each came up with one problem on this theme: Canon Océ, ZON and Office Depot. The 48 students worked for 6 weeks in 12 teams – 4 teams per company -  to find innovative solutions for these problems. 

Beating off 3 Canon Océ teams
Amarens worked together with 3 international master students on the problem brought in by Canon Océ. “My colleagues were Stefka Nenkova, Amit Koikkarah Aji and Nila Patty,” says Amarens. “Together, we spent 6 weeks brainstorming, attending workshops, making analyses and developing a complete concept. During the final on 16 December, we presented our concept to the company jury from Canon Océ. They chose us as winner out of the 4 teams that had worked for them.”
The winner!
During the 2nd round, where the 3 winning teams from each company battled it out, Amarens’ team once again succeeded in convincing the jury of their strategy. “We can now call ourselves the overall winning team of the Venlo Circular Challenge 2016. A great honour! On 22 March 2017, we will once again present our idea, this time at an international circular convention in Venlo. A great recognition for our work!”
Concept to change the perception of quality
The students came up with a new concept for Canon Océ to change the perception of quality for both the internal and the external customer - in a positive way. It was all about the refabricated parts of machines: refabricated means using a part in a machine that has been sent back to the factory because it has reached the end of its lifecycle. The part is cleaned, - if necessary- adapted, extensively tested, and then placed in a new machine.
Refabricated or is new better?
Amarens: “Experience teaches us that products with refabricated parts are less popular compared to completely new products. Whereas machines with refabricated parts emit 50% less CO2 compared to completely new products. By getting various external parties involved to support Canon Océ in changing the perceptions of the internal and external customer, you have a solution to the entire problem, not part of it. We mainly looked at the underlying cause of the problem: a distorted perception of quality and risk with respect to products with refabricated parts.”