Taking Part in the Circular Economy: Four Ways to Designing Circular Business Models

21 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2017

See all articles by Sunniva Adam

Sunniva Adam

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

Christian Bucker

HEC Paris

Samuel Desguin

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Nicolai Vaage

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

Tina Saebi

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Strategy and Management

Date Written: January 30, 2017

Abstract

The traditional “take-make-dispose” consumption model cannot sustain in the long run and companies need to adapt their business models to find more sustainable ways to create, deliver and capture value. Business models that decouple economic growth from raw material input, using a circular approach, will become essential in the near future. This idea has come to be known as the circular economy. In the circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible, by for example reusing or repairing products that would have been thrown away in a linear economy. To illustrate how companies can implement circular business models in practice, we provide examples from the do-it-yourself-construction retail industry in Norway - a traditional industry known for its wasteful “take-make-dispose” approach. We propose four business model designs that offer different ways for companies to become more circular rooted in the ideas of product life extension, resource recovery and product-as-service logic. As we will discuss, while some of these practices can be added to the retailer's existing business model, others require a more radical change in the traditional business model. By means of our findings, we intend to encourage retailers to change their business models towards greater sustainability and eventually steer their suppliers and customers towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

Keywords: Sustainability, corporate social responsibility, circular economy, business models, business model innovation

Suggested Citation

Adam, Sunniva and Bucker, Christian and Desguin, Samuel and Vaage, Nicolai and Saebi, Tina, Taking Part in the Circular Economy: Four Ways to Designing Circular Business Models (January 30, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2908107 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2908107

Sunniva Adam

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Christian Bucker

HEC Paris ( email )

1 rue de la Liberation
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Samuel Desguin

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Nicolai Vaage

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Tina Saebi (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Strategy and Management ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5045 Bergen
Norway

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