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As electromobility has become a part of the reality of business, there has also been a rethinking of sustainability in commercial activities. While two decades ago this was about predominantly acting in a cost-saving manner, one can now also loudly ask the question about the life cycle assessment of new acquisitions. Of course, this also leads to the general question: Is financing commercial goods through rent actually good for the environment?

What is changing, however, are the innovation cycles of the items acquired through rent. What impact does this have on the environment? For the topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly important in companies. This is because with the rent acquisition type, entrepreneurs always have technical material available that boasts the most modern and environmentally friendly technology. Technical devices are usually replaced with newer and, in most cases, more economical models after 24 to 36 months. And consider how difficult the switch to electromobility would have been in recent years if entrepreneurs had not had the possibility of convenient rental contracts.

A study by the German recycling bureaucracy confirms that old, used equipment is not recycled, but shipped overseas to replace old-style power-guzzlers there. The earth's resources are limited. Nevertheless, more trees are being felled than can be regrown. And more CO2 is produced than oceans and forests can absorb. We know all this. It's high time for a rethink! The sharing economy presents itself as a possible solution for achieving greater sustainability. People share and rent instead of buying.

There are many things today that we use only a little or even just once that we no longer have to buy. We can also consume these things in other ways. In fact, we already do that: we all know how to borrow books from the library. Books are usually only read once and then become decorations on the bookshelf. However, they can be read by many people and suffer little wear and tear.

The temporary use of things has expanded in recent years to many other areas: with car sharing, several people share a car. In many cities, countless bicycles or electric scooters are available for shared rental. For more and more things, we are therefore facing the question: to rent or to buy?

What is behind the sharing economy trend?

The term sharing economy is a collective term for business models, companies, and online and offline platforms that enable the shared use of resources. As an economy of sharing, it is therefore an alternative to the purchasing form of consumption. Ownership of an object takes a back seat. The focus is on use, from short-term rental to long-term rental, in order to avoid fixed assets and the associated depreciation. The more people rent, the less gets produced.

The commercial rental of products also contributes to the production of more high-quality products. This is because high product quality is simply a prerequisite for renting out a product commercially. Cheap products that are common in the field of purchasing consumption are not suitable for rental.

The sharing economy can, therefore, also be seen as a kind of counterpart to the credo of consumption "Bargains are the best". Fast-moving, low-quality products that are offered cheaply do not work in the rental business model. Better product quality leads to a longer service life of the product and reduces the production of inexpensive low-quality items, which are usually ordered in a shopping frenzy due to the cheap offer and then quickly discarded.

The biggest contribution to greater sustainability therefore comes about as a result of the significantly increased intensity of use of a product over its lifetime. Compared to the model of purchasing and subsequent private use, the ecological footprint of an item's production when it is consumed jointly is distributed over many more units of use.