Applying the circular economy to a business model: an illustrative case study of a pioneering energy company
While the circular economy (CE) has awakened discussion in business model literature, understanding of the circular business model (CBM) and value-creation opportunities in practice have been limited. This study focuses on one sustainable business model archetype: creating value from waste. It supports sustainable development by material circulation. We aim to provide an answer to the question of how a company converts its resources and capabilities into economic value by creating value from waste.
This single case study in the Finnish energy sector focuses on a pioneering company applying CBM. The analysis more specifically illustrates the nine main elements of a business model: customer value proposition, segments, customer relationships, channels, key resources, key activities, partners, costs and revenues. Furthermore, we illustrate the internal and external adoption factors required to transform a business model canvas (BMC) to a CBM framework. Moreover, The results show that the CBM is strongly based on services and relies particularly strongly on the value and supply chains of the CE. In addition, we found that the company’s CE business also seeks to strengthen the company’s brand value and thus contribute to the company’s strategic efforts to invest heavily in future sustainable business solutions.
Authors: Ville-Veikko Piispanen, Kaisa Henttonen ja Eeva Aromaa, Itä-Suomen yliopisto
Published: Piispanen, V. V., Henttonen, K., & Aromaa, E. (2020). Applying the circular economy to a business model: an illustrative case study of a pioneering energy company. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 24(4-5), 236-248.
Potential beneficiaries of the results: Companies