FROM INDUSTRIAL SIDE STREAMS TO THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY BUSINESS – VALUE CHAIN, BUSINESS ECOSYSTEM AND PRODUCTISATION APPROACH, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS C 829
|Kustantaja:||Oulun yliopisto|| |
|Tekijät:||Leppänen, Tero|| |
Economic growth based on the linear economy has long been considered the source of our wellbeing.
However, owing to looming threats of climate change and resource scarcity, we are now
facing the difficult task of incorporating the paths of continuous economic growth and
environmental sustainability. The circular economy is one of the proposed approaches for solving
this equation and, although not a new concept, has gained considerable popularity during the 21st
century among scholars, practitioners and policymakers. The circular economy draws inspiration
from nature where waste does not exist. As opposed to the linear economy, in the circular
economy, waste is minimised and value creation is maximised using what has traditionally been
considered waste as a valuable raw material.
Circular economy research has been criticised for excessively focusing on the environmental
benefits of the circular economy while neglecting the business and economic perspectives.
Economic benefits and advantages for companies being inexplicit pose a huge risk for the
transition to the circular economy. Companies tend to view the circular economy more as a
constraint to their business than as an opportunity for more sustainable economic growth. Thus,
this dissertation focuses on the business process perspective of the circular economy and
emphasises the role of companies implementing the circular economy in practice. In the future,
competitive companies will likely be the ones that can renew their business to successfully meet
sustainability targets and, in the process, find new revenue streams or cost reductions through, for
example, industrial side stream utilisation.
This dissertation studies industrial side stream utilisation as a phenomenon from a holistic and
real-world perspective. The theoretical framework is based on a thorough literature review on the
circular economy, industrial side stream utilisation and related concepts particularly value chains,
business ecosystems and productisation. The study extends the understanding of utilising
industrial side streams as a valuable raw material in business cases and studies the role of value
chains, business ecosystems and productisation in efficient industrial side stream utilisation. As
the main contribution, this dissertation presents the side stream to business (SS2B) process to
create viable businesses from industrial side streams and associated technologies.
Keywords: business case, business ecosystem, business process, by-product, circular
economy, industrial side stream, industrial symbiosis, productisation, value chain