Companies that want to make the transition to a circular economy faster and more effectively benefit from practically applicable knowledge about successful interventions in the various phases of this transition. After all, different activities are needed in an initial phase than with a more mature and integrated initiative. Recently started research by Sustainability University and Nyenrode University analyzes and describes 50 current cases of Dutch companies, with an in-depth study of the most successful interventions. The research aims to help sustainability professionals at companies in their daily work.
An increasingly large group of companies and organizations is changing (parts of) business operations towards a circular economy (hereinafter CE). The transition from linear business operations to circular business operations at existing companies is often supervised by a sustainability manager or a CE professional. They are the ‘change managers’ who focus on the implementation of changes in companies and organizations in the transition to the circular economy. The current challenge is that this professional is still insufficiently aware of the various interventions associated with the transition phases and the most relevant business processes that play a role in implementation. This research therefore uses scientific models and practical examples from Dutch companies to clarify this.
What new knowledge does the CE professional, charged with tasks aimed at accelerating to a circular economy, need to accelerate the CE initiatives in existing companies?
In addition to the recently developed guidelines for specific competences, this professional group needs practical intervention options to make circular initiatives a lasting success. To develop this knowledge, the Sustainability University Foundation and Nyenrode University, supported by the Goldschmeding Foundation, are starting a large-scale study. This study examines two important aspects for the realization of circular initiatives: the different phase of market transition in which the initiative finds itself and insight into the relevant business processes that must be involved.
How can the CE professional use knowledge of market transition and relevant business processes to work more effectively?
Using a scientific model focused on “market transition phases” (Changing the Game, Nijhof and Simons, Nyenrode 2020), the research will provide CE professionals with knowledge and insights into suitable interventions in these transition phases. The research covers at least 50 relevant cases, lessons learned and insights about circular interventions in business processes. The research is being carried out in collaboration with Nyenrode University, TheRockGroup and University of Amsterdam. The results are made available to the target group and through a wide network of various training courses and courses in the field of sustainability and circular economy. In this way, the initiators contribute to the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy at existing (larger) companies.