Many companies today put sustainability issues high on the agenda. There is a great interest in finding circular business models (CBM) with solutions that reduce, reuse and recycle materials and energy resources. In a new project financed by Formas, researchers at Luleå University of Technology will investigate how a company can create, deliver and capture values in a more sustainable way.
– We will look at how companies can create more long-term sustainable business with their partners. A missing piece of the puzzle is the right business models, says Vinit Parida, project manager and professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Luleå University of Technology.
Digitization gives new opportunities
Together with international partners, Vinit Parida and David Sjödin, assistant professor of entrepreneurship and innovation, will study a number of ecosystems in, among other things, the mining industry, the construction industry, the manufacturing industry and the forest processing.
According to the researchers, digitization opens up for more sustainable ways of doing business, as companies can work more efficiently with, for example, maintenance to extend the life of products and reduce environmental impact. A successful example is available at Volvo CE, which has reduced carbon dioxide emissions for wheel loaders by 95 percent by introducing new technology and a so-called fleet management system that collects data on, for example, driving behavior and fuel consumption.
Another way of thinking
Vinit Parida and David Sjödin note that the introduction of circular business models on a larger scale today often fails, as it requires a radically different way of thinking.
– We conduct extensive case studies to study barriers, driving forces and conversion processes for circular business model innovation in industrial ecosystems. The hope is that we can create valuable knowledge about conditions and change needs in order to facilitate and accelerate the circular economy in Swedish industry, says David Sjödin.
The researchers' goal is to actively disseminate the results from the project in academia, industry and the rest of society.
– Increasing knowledge about how business models can be transformed for circular economy and making the results available to a wider audience is crucial to a successful business transition, says David Sjödin.