A methodological approach to development of circular economy options in businesses

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Abstract

Three types of re-design processes are described in the development of circular economy options in businesses: 1) Re-design of the provided services considering changes in the roles of products, users, service, infrastructure, etc.; 2) Re-design of the value chain relations up-stream to suppliers and down-stream to customers and users; 3) Redesign of internal business organization considering necessary changes in tasks, competences, structures and technologies. These redesign processes have been developed as methodology within a research project based on cooperation with businesses in Denmark about analyses of potentials and barriers to circular economy as part of their business strategies. Circular economy is understood as slowing, narrowing and closing resource flows in order to increase resource effectiveness.
Before the re-design considerations, initial mappings are done of material relations of the business based on an environmental mapping in life cycle perspective and an organizational analysis mapping of value chain relations, competitive position, innovation practices, user practices and relations to regulation and civil society. The article shows that circular economy can be relevant to businesses within many product and service areas, to both start-ups and existing businesses and to businesses with different roles in value chains, including manufacturing, retail and service. The article develops the concept of ‘circular economy journey’, understood as the activities carried out as part of development and analyses of potentials and barriers to circular economy through slowing down, narrowing and closing resource flows in a specific business and its value chains.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProcedia CIRP
Volume69
Pages (from-to)816-821
Number of pages6
ISSN2212-8271
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018
Event25th CIRP Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) Conference - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 30 Apr 20182 May 2018
Conference number: 25

Conference

Conference25th CIRP Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) Conference
Number25
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period30/04/201802/05/2018

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • re-design
  • value chain
  • social practice

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