A circular business model for material reuse in buildings: implications on value creation

Julia Nussholz, Freja Nygaard Rasmussen, Katherine Whalen, Andrius Plepys

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Buildings are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. A large proportion of their life cycle impacts derives from emissions embedded in materials. Material reuse has the potential to reduce these embedded impacts, since reused materials often have smaller environmental footprints than primary materials. Institutional settings and the structure of the building sector pose multiple barriers to businesses developing and commercialising products based on reused materials. Although material reuse is claimed to create multidimensional values for several stakeholders, the implications on value creation are still insufficiently understood and considered in decision-making. This study presents a business model developed by a pioneering Scandinavian company offering three building products based on reused materials – windows, wood cladding, and concrete. Using a multi-methods approach, the study investigates and discusses implications of the business model in creating value for the firm, value chain partners, customers, and the environment. Findings indicate the business model has significant potential to ensure that reuse is price-competitive with linear production practices, to offer value for customers and partners in the value chain network, and to provide significant reductions in environmental impacts. If the business model were to be upscaled, implications for value creation at industry and macro-economic level should be further investigated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume245
ISSN0959-6526
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Fingerprint

Industry
material
Business model
Reuse
Value creation
macroeconomics
Gas emissions
Greenhouse gases
footprint
Environmental impact
Macros
Life cycle
Wood
stakeholder
greenhouse gas
environmental impact
life cycle
Decision making
decision making
Concretes

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • life cycle assessment
  • Building Design
  • Business Models
  • material reuse

Cite this

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title = "A circular business model for material reuse in buildings: implications on value creation",
abstract = "Buildings are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. A large proportion of their life cycle impacts derives from emissions embedded in materials. Material reuse has the potential to reduce these embedded impacts, since reused materials often have smaller environmental footprints than primary materials. Institutional settings and the structure of the building sector pose multiple barriers to businesses developing and commercialising products based on reused materials. Although material reuse is claimed to create multidimensional values for several stakeholders, the implications on value creation are still insufficiently understood and considered in decision-making. This study presents a business model developed by a pioneering Scandinavian company offering three building products based on reused materials – windows, wood cladding, and concrete. Using a multi-methods approach, the study investigates and discusses implications of the business model in creating value for the firm, value chain partners, customers, and the environment. Findings indicate the business model has significant potential to ensure that reuse is price-competitive with linear production practices, to offer value for customers and partners in the value chain network, and to provide significant reductions in environmental impacts. If the business model were to be upscaled, implications for value creation at industry and macro-economic level should be further investigated.",
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A circular business model for material reuse in buildings: implications on value creation. / Nussholz, Julia; Rasmussen, Freja Nygaard; Whalen, Katherine; Plepys, Andrius.

In: Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 245, 01.02.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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AU - Rasmussen, Freja Nygaard

AU - Whalen, Katherine

AU - Plepys, Andrius

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N2 - Buildings are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. A large proportion of their life cycle impacts derives from emissions embedded in materials. Material reuse has the potential to reduce these embedded impacts, since reused materials often have smaller environmental footprints than primary materials. Institutional settings and the structure of the building sector pose multiple barriers to businesses developing and commercialising products based on reused materials. Although material reuse is claimed to create multidimensional values for several stakeholders, the implications on value creation are still insufficiently understood and considered in decision-making. This study presents a business model developed by a pioneering Scandinavian company offering three building products based on reused materials – windows, wood cladding, and concrete. Using a multi-methods approach, the study investigates and discusses implications of the business model in creating value for the firm, value chain partners, customers, and the environment. Findings indicate the business model has significant potential to ensure that reuse is price-competitive with linear production practices, to offer value for customers and partners in the value chain network, and to provide significant reductions in environmental impacts. If the business model were to be upscaled, implications for value creation at industry and macro-economic level should be further investigated.

AB - Buildings are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. A large proportion of their life cycle impacts derives from emissions embedded in materials. Material reuse has the potential to reduce these embedded impacts, since reused materials often have smaller environmental footprints than primary materials. Institutional settings and the structure of the building sector pose multiple barriers to businesses developing and commercialising products based on reused materials. Although material reuse is claimed to create multidimensional values for several stakeholders, the implications on value creation are still insufficiently understood and considered in decision-making. This study presents a business model developed by a pioneering Scandinavian company offering three building products based on reused materials – windows, wood cladding, and concrete. Using a multi-methods approach, the study investigates and discusses implications of the business model in creating value for the firm, value chain partners, customers, and the environment. Findings indicate the business model has significant potential to ensure that reuse is price-competitive with linear production practices, to offer value for customers and partners in the value chain network, and to provide significant reductions in environmental impacts. If the business model were to be upscaled, implications for value creation at industry and macro-economic level should be further investigated.

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