In the circular industrial economy, the decision takers are the individual object owners. Their motivation to maintain the value and utility of infrastructure, buildings, equipment, vehicles, goods and other manufactured objects and their components at the highest level through reuse, repair and remanufacture are central. Providing incentives to maintain and repair objects, or to sell them for reuse, should be a key strategy for policymakers.

The era of ‘R’ is modern, economically profitable, ecologically desirable and socially viable, but counter-intuitive to manufacturing economics. In the new logic, small and local is beautiful and profitable, bigger and more global is less profitable and less sustainable. Remanufacture is the most advance stage of the era of ‘R’. This knowledge exists in SMEs and with fleet managers but is lacking in academia, public procurement agencies, investment companies and manufacturing industries.

Extending the service-life of objects creates a decentralised economy and substitutes skilled labour in local service activities for energy and material consumption in centralised production. It facilitates hands-on vocational training because repairing broken objects – with the exception of heritage objects – uses zero-value objects. If a trainee destroys a broken object, experience is gained and only his labour input lost.