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From strategic goals to true circular transition in Halland

How can a company transition from a linear to circular business model, and, what can be gained by doing so? In its project on circular business models (Cirkulära Halland), both Region Halland and the participating companies gained knowledge and tools for turning strategic goals into real progress on making the transition to a circular economy.

In order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Action, transition is required at all levels. Still though, companies must be able to base their actions on sound business models and the public sector must also be assured a sustainable stream of tax revenue. One possible way forward is to follow the approach of a circular economy. But, transitioning from theory to practice can be quite difficult indeed.

– “At times, I know we’ve all felt like it’s just too overwhelming a task. Whether you’re a politician, company, or employee working in either the private or public sector, simply figuring out where to start is hard enough,” says Ann-Mari Bartholdsson, Senior Development Manager at Region Halland. "Regardless, we all need to keep pace and make the transition, or risk falling behind, eroding profits and putting future tax revenue at jeopardy,” she says.

Project with RISE

With this in mind, the Cirkulära Halland project was set up, in collaboration with RISE. It was originally designed to help the Region’s subcontractors to the automotive industry make the transition to a circular approach. But, it soon became evident that they just weren’t ready for it.

– “These subcontractors represent just one component in the chain and it’s difficult for them to make the transition without everyone else in the chain committed to it as well,” explains Josefina Sallén, Focus Area Manager at RISE.

15 companies and two municipalities

Other companies, however, were more ready and able to make the transition. And, by supporting them, the knowledge gained could be used to help the automotive industry make the transition later on. The project was therefore redesigned to focus on companies that were ready to review and adapt their business models, along with procuring entities that wanted to adapt their tendering processes, as a step towards achieving a circular economy. Over the course of the project, 15 companies and two municipalities were involved in various parts of the effort.

The practical work began in 2017 and initially, much of it focused on learning more about what a circular economy really means and how it can change a company’s business model.

– “Most people associate the concept of circular economy with recycling, which is of course part of it. But that’s not where the big gains are to be found,” says Peter Algurén at RISE. “We want to help companies see the bigger picture and how much there is to be gained by shifting their focus towards offering a service, rather than selling a product. It’s a shift in thinking, away from making individual, one-time sales to manufacturing superb products that last forever and can easily be upgraded by exchanging individual components. The business model thus gives you a stream of revenue over many years, instead,” he says.

It’s a shift in thinking

No simple transition

During fall 2020, the Cirkulära Halland project was wrapped up, with much having been learned by both Region Halland and each of the companies involved.

– “This project has generated many benefits,” says Ann-Mari Bartholdsson. “For example, we’ve learned how to make the transition in practice and how we can design our support systems and tendering processes to make it easier for companies. Above all, we’ve demonstrated that it really is possible. The project has made it easier for use to work with circularity at all levels, from political decisions to actual implementation,” she says.

"This project has generated many benefits"

During fall 2020, the Cirkulära Halland project was wrapped up, with much having been learned by both Region Halland and each of the companies involved.

“This project has generated many benefits,” says Ann-Mari Bartholdsson. “For example, we’ve learned how to make the transition in practice and how we can design our support systems and tendering processes to make it easier for companies. Above all, we’ve demonstrated that it really is possible. The project has made it easier for use to work with circularity at all levels, from political decisions to actual implementation,” she says.

Cirkulära Halland

We’re all familiar with the concept of a “wear-and-tear” or “throw away” society. Where we use a product until it breaks or it is time to replace it with a newer model. And then, you just throw the old one in the dumpster. Today, we think differently. We know that our world’s resources are finite and that we must take better care of our planet. With that in mind, the Paris Agreement on Climate Action and Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have set high demands on countries, regions, municipalities, companies and consumers alike. But, where do we start? How do we actually create a sustainable, circular economy? How do companies broaden and adapt their businesses to become both profitable and circular? And, how can the public sector (municipalities and regions) adapt their tendering processes to impact the market?

In Cirkulära Halland (Region Halland’s project on circular business models), RISE has worked in close collaboration with industry and municipalities to create the prerequisites for a circular economy. This is our story.

Cirkulära kartan

Cirkulära Kartan visar upp verksamheter där delar av verksamheten är cirkulär och man har ambitioner att göra mer. Kartan ska därmed vara en inspiration för företag som vill vara del av cirkulära affärsekosystem. Kartan skapades inom ramen för projektet Cirkulära Halland, som ett alternativ till en rapport som snabbt blir inaktuell.

Detta är bara början, avsikten är att kartan ska växa och utvecklas över tid, och ser du att ditt företag passar på kartan så tveka inte att kontakta oss: josefina.sallen@ri.se eller derek.diener@ri.se.

Du hittar kartan på https://cirkularakartan.ri.se/

Published: 2020-12-04
Josefina Sallén

Contact person

Josefina Sallén

Fokusområdesledare Cirkulär omställning och coach inom Cirkulär omställning

+46 72 208 93 60

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