A New Dynamic: Competitive Business in Circular Economy

Kristine Bezbaile & Edoardo Marchi Zigliani

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Growing attention is given to Circular Economy in the context of business and in academia because of theopportunities developed in the long-term. The Circular Economy is based on a holistic, system perspective ofbusinesses, which includes both the internal activities and the synergies that can be created between companies.The urgency of action has been set by the European political agenda through the creation of new policies andregulations. Thus, public and private co-operation is crucial in converting challenges into opportunities at aregional level. Nevertheless, policy makers have showed slow adaptability to the new Circular Economy. Theinitiatives tend to apply circular business practices without addressing the whole system, limiting to the microlevel. This thesis investigates how Danish small and medium-sized enterprises entangle Circular Economy valuedrivers with technological innovations to bring increased value to society and environment.The research is based on a multi-case study and illustrates how Danish small and medium-sized enterprises areproviding solutions that promote the transition towards Circular Economy. Circular companies are facing differentchallenges in shifting from a linear to a Circular Economy model to the consumption of materials and products. Inorder to extend their life cycles, innovative techniques have to be employed. It is found that there exists nocommon ground of communication between product design and cycling activities and across the stakeholdersbecause of different understandings of Circular Economy. In this sense, the use of technological innovations witha specific focus on Internet of Things technologies would increase the transparency across the value chain.The thesis concludes that companies have to drive technological innovations and business practices for thebenefits of the society and environment. Yet, end-users need to be educated to become conscious consumers. Itis suggested that this alignment can be achieved through the cooperation of actors throughout the Servitizationof business models by adopting Product-Service Systems and exploiting possibilities opened by Internet of Things.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages118