Product-as-a-Service (PaaS) in Australia is on the rise

    By Emma Lucey  February 22nd, 2023

    In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the way businesses operate and individuals consume goods. Instead of purchasing products outright, people are increasingly opting for services that provide access to products as part of a package. This business model is known as Product-as-a-Service (PaaS), and it's changing the way we think about ownership.

    Australia has seen a rise in the adoption of the PaaS model in various industries, including technology, software, and infrastructure. PaaS works by providing customers with access to a product for a set fee, either monthly or through a subscription service. It’s about a shift in mindset from selling products to selling access to services and solutions.    

    In Australia, there are a number of companies that have adopted the PaaS model, such as HP Instant Ink, a service that is changing the way households and small-to-medium businesses use their printers and making it easier for them to reduce their environmental impact and recycle their cartridges. This service is the first of its kind in Australia. It uses connected HP printers to monitor how much ink and toner a customer uses and sends replacement cartridges before they run out. Instead of paying for individual replacement cartridges, customers are charged a flexible monthly rate that is based on the number of pages they print. 

    The service also delivers pre-paid envelopes for returning used cartridges for recycling through Cartridges 4 Planet Ark. The used cartridges are sent to Close the Loop’s recycling facility to be recovered and transformed into new materials, with zero waste to landfill. So far, more than 875 million Original HP Ink and Toner Cartridges have been recycled by customers.   

    Other examples include subscriptions to household appliances, clothing rental like GlamCorner, technology like Xero (a cloud-based accounting software provider), streaming services, car or rideshares such as GoGet and Uber, or the Australian engineered e-bike subscription service, Zoomo.  

    This approach to consuming goods offers several benefits over traditional product ownership, including convenience, cost savings, and a more sustainable approach to consumption. According to a Globescan study from 2022 which surveyed nearly 30,000 individuals in 31 markets, 66% of people are willing to halve their consumption to protect the environment. PaaS can support efforts to decrease consumption by encouraging more responsible use of resources. 

    Subscription and leasing models incentivise brands to implement product stewardship principles where products are designed more efficiently and built to last. There is also an incentive for the businesses using these models to ensure their products undergo regular maintenance to ensure their longevity.  

    Furthermore, the PaaS model provides various advantages to businesses. As the customer is paying for the use of a product on a regular basis, the business can generate recurring revenue, creating a more predictable revenue stream that allows for future planning. As part of the circular economy, shifting away from product ownership can decouple economic activity from the depletion of limited resources, ultimately leading to more sustainable sources of income in the future.  

    PaaS encourages the sharing of resources and reduces waste, making it a more eco-friendly approach to consumption. With the rise of the sharing economy and the desire for more sustainable solutions, PaaS is set to become an increasingly popular way of providing access to goods and services.  

    To learn more about HP Instant Ink read our case study, or visit the HP Instant Ink website

    Emma Lucey

    Emma brings experience in digital media and communications with a background in several industries such as tourism and hospitality. Prior to joining Planet Ark in 2022, Emma spent 5 years living abroad in London & Amsterdam where she developed a greater interest in the environment and sustainability. Outside of work Emma enjoys gardening, camping and crocheting.

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