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Because the future is Circular

From the Academy for Circular Economy, you can find information and examples of business activities, products, and services based on the circular economy that can also facilitate the development of your own business.

The business world is full of inspiring stories about the circular economy. On this page, you will find some examples of inventive ways to embrace the circular economy as part of your business.

  1. Products as Services
  2. Extending Product Lifespan
  3. Resource Efficiency in Agriculture
  4. Reducing Waste
  5. Utilizing Surplus

1. Products as services - rent them instead of buying

The company, which previously sold machines for green maintenance and snow removal, developed its business by offering its products also as services. The products are of high quality, which means they can be used a lot and last a long time. The company decided to “service” its products by simply renting them instead of selling them. Customers pay a monthly rental fee and have access to lawn mowers in the summer season and snow blowers in the winter season. Machines that are not used during the season are stored by the company, which maintains them and ensures that they are always in good condition for the next season. The company’s main customers are municipalities and contractors working for municipalities. By having the machines looked after by professionals, their lifespan is extended.

2. Buying back the office furniture to extends their lifecycle

A company that sells office furniture is extending the life of its furniture by buying back furniture that is no longer relevant to the customer. The furniture is not thrown away, but repaired and refurbished and then sold to new companies or consumers. Office furniture is therefore used for a longer period of time, increasing the business efficiency of the company. Unserviceable furniture is used as spare parts, for which the company has built up a spare parts warehouse.

3. When resource efficiency came to agriculture

A small farm with cows and its own small-scale dairy ensures that nothing is wasted. The dairy produces a lot of whey, a by-product of the fattening process. Instead of throwing away whey, they have started working with a nearby pig farm. The whey becomes feed for the pigs and is also used as fertiliser in the fields. In the summer, some of the whey is also used in the company’s own dairy. It is used to make sorbet and as a batter for baking in the farm’s summer café.

Herasta voi valmistaa kaikenlaista. Myös lannoitteita.

Explore how other companies have adopted circular economy business models

The list of most interesting companies in the circular economy 2.1 shows you what operating a business in Finland’s circular economy means in practice. With this list of 41 pioneering companies, Sitra wants to encourage Finnish companies to develop smart business in the circular economy.

4. From waste to the dinner table

There are many good examples of companies on the market that make efficient use of food waste. One company opened an online shop selling only food that would otherwise be thrown away. The reason for the waste is overproduction, changed or incorrect packaging or an expiring best-before date. The company collects the goods from various supermarkets and sells them on through an online shop. The supermarkets are paid for goods that would otherwise have been thrown away, and customers get quality goods at a lower price. For the customer, the service works like any other online shop.

5. Efficiently utilizing surplus wool for soil covering and fertilizer pellets

Wool is a renewable resource with a small carbon footprint, but what happens to wool that is not suitable for the textile industry? One company has thought of this and is now using discarded wool to make everything from ground cover to fertiliser pellets. In horticulture, plastic is commonly used as a cover material to control weeds. Discarded wool makes it possible to replace plastic with soil made from wool. In other words, although wool itself is an environmentally friendly material, the surplus wool would have become waste if it had not been used to develop new products that create added value for the company’s business.

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