Business Models for the Cascading of Wood in Chile: The Case of Rubrum Reutilization & Skateboards

Diana Ortega Martín-Rubio

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master thesis analyses how Rubrum Reutilización & Skateboards, a circular born company from Chile that is reutilizing wood from skateboards to create jewelry and other handcraft made objects, can improve its circularity for better contributing to the cascade use of wood in Chile, an application of the circular economy. The main research question has been divided into three sub-research questions, the first one focusing on the main barriers and drivers for circularity, both internal and external that a company like Rubrum faces, the second one in Rubrum’s environmental value proposition, this is, the benefits that the brand beliefs that brings to the environment and how it can be improved, and the third one analyzing the most suitable partnerships as well as the value that its current and potential partnerships could bring to the network and to Rubrum. This piece of research is a explanatory single case study and has used in qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews with the founders of the company and with four of their clients as well secondary information from reports and relevant websites. The main findings of this research have been that there exists a main barrier for the development of the business model of Rubrum which are the lack of key resources, such as financial and material resources. This main barrier has been compensated from the beginning of the project with a suitable brand culture and motivation. Additionally, it was found that social media can be a driver or a barrier for the development of their circularity, and therefore, the brand needs to make an intelligent use of it. Moreover, Rubrum’s environmental value proposition can be enhanced by increasing the control the brand has over their used products and by increasing the brand’s value creation capacity, but since the brand suffers from lack of financial resources, sustainable investing could be an option for Rubrum since they have problems accessing public funding. Lastly, it was found that it would be highly valuable for Rubrum to proactively seek to increase their distributors’ portfolio. This master thesis contributes to research of the cascading of wood in Latin America, within the field of circular economy and it is innovative since no other studies have been made on the functioning of this type of business models in the region.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages99
SupervisorsSönnich Sönnichsen