The innovation of BAO AN Recycled Material Ltd is the online resource recycling app that developed a new business model of the industry which combinates the internet, recycling, and the old item exchange.
Unlike the traditional process of recycling, the newly developed app provides users a much convenient 3-step process: Placing orders online by the users, recycling staff comes to your door, and the online payment settlement to the user’s account. By typing in the basic information of the item such as item name and weight, the app will automatically evaluate the price for the users. Lin, the director of the company said: ‘Now is the era of the big data, this app enables a more precise valuation for the recyclables based on the real-time market price from the collected data in the system and it also provides huge convenience for the users.’ Furthermore, the resource recycling app also offers free online lessons about material recycling to the customer. Lin had further mentioned that the main target of this innovation is not only for increasing profitability but also for improving the social engagement of resource recycling in order to protect our environment.
The inspiration for the resource recycling app is due to the reasons that the traditional resource recycling process in China is complex and lacks standardization. (Li, 2020). Lin said: ‘For maximizing the profits, some traditional recyclers will bargain with the customers to collect their recyclables at a lower price which enable them to earn a bigger price spread by selling to other manufactures.’ Moreover, the disassembly processes of recycled items are too hard to be tracked and unstandardized, some informal disassemble manufactures are only aiming to make a profit unethically by extracting the valuable materials from the recyclables such as copper or gold which the residual (valueless) materials can’t be recycled properly that will continue to damage the environment. (Zhou & Xu, 2012). These phenomena have created negative images of the recycling industry in society. For Lin and his company, the main purpose for developing this app is to solve these negativities and improve the status of the industry.
This innovation has had a significant impact in various aspects. Firstly, the recycling app enables the business to work more closely with the upstream customer and downstream enterprises such as the disassemble companies. Lin said: ‘Besides the convenience, the app has brought to the users, it can also increase the potential profits of the downstream companies which cooperate with this app because it ensures stable numbers of orders for the downstream enterprises.’ Moreover, the data from the downstream cooperated enterprises are to be shared with the company which simplifies the tracking and analyzing process which overall makes the recycling process of the business more standardized and efficient. Furthermore, this innovation has increased the social participants of resource recycling. Lin mentions further that the recycling app has boosted the market size of resource recycling because of the increment of the orders which has caused a significant increase in employment in the industry. Besides, society's perception of the recycling industry has also changed positively, as the software has improved the simplicity of recycling and the transparency of the price. Nevertheless, with the use of the recycling app, the recycling rate of the waste has risen from 10%-20% to over 50% which has realized the reduction of the waste products that greatly protects the environment. For Lin and the company, the short-term effects of the app are the improvement of the social acceptance and participation of the waste recycling where the long-term effects are the enhancement of sustainable development and the protection of the environment.
The innovating recycling app is beneficial to the business in many ways. Firstly, through developing and applying this app, the brand images of this company have improved in a positive way. ‘It enables our company to gain confidence from the customers which we are using the advance technology for the recycling service.’ Lin said. Moreover, this efficient platform has increased the users’ stickiness (loyalty) to the business and also lowered the operating costs of recycling which has potentially enhanced the profitability of the company. (Huaidong et al., 2016)
The benefits the recycling app has brought to society include the wages increase to the workers which the app has saved a significant amount of operating cost for the company’s recycling process. Lin mentions that the salary for the employees had increased about 10% in 2020 and there could be a further increase if the platform becomes more mature which in line with the SDG goal 8- Decent work and economic growth. (United Nations, 2020).
From an environmental perspective, as the efficiency of the platform increases the utilization rate of the recyclables which there are higher rates of the old materials are could be used for reproduction. In this case, the industrial emissions will be lowered because there will be less production of the new products. It significantly protects the climate which meets the SDG goals 11 and 13- Sustainable cities and economies and Climate change.
Reference:Huaidong, Wang., Honggui, Han., Tingting Liu., Xi, Tian., Ming, Xu., Yufeng, Wu., Yifan, Gu., Yaru., Liu … Tieyong, Zuo. (2000). “Internet+” recycling resources: A new recycling mode in China. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 134(9), 44-47. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921344918300995
Zhou, Lei., Xu, Zhenming. (2012). Response to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments in China: Legislation, recycling system, and advanced integrated process. Electronic Article of Environmental Science and Technology. 46(9), 4713-4724. Retrieved from: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es203771m
Shian, Li. (2020). Feijiu Jiadian Huishou Chuli [Recycling and processing of waste household appliances]. Retrieved from: https://wenku.baidu.com/view/aaeb0d8a11661ed9ad51f01dc281e53a590251d0.html?fr=search-4-income1-psrec1&fixfr=txLDsprvbCdzbE6Um1NoLA%3D%3DUnited Nations. (2020). Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development. https://sdgs.un.org/goals
YongZhao Lin, Director
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Shenzhen, Guangdong, CN
Business Website: http://www.likuso.com/city328/619193.html
Year Founded: 1999
Number of Employees: 51 to 200