Shifting Towards Circular Economy; A case study of the Office Furniture Industry
Background The awareness of the expolition of resoucses in a way where the world will not be able to sustainable continute to provide for has grown over the last decades. In turn this has given rise to the concept of circular economy and the idea of how to maximase utilisation of raw materials and products. Contribution This thesis aims to look into how the ideas of circular economy can effect the business models of producers in the office furniture industry and what opportunities and barriers there are for moving towards more circular models. The pracitical contribution consists of the mapped effects and impacts of circular economy in the Business model canvas. Methodology The research is conducted in a case study manner with ten semi-structrued interviews with actors within the industry. The empirical findings were analysed in a cross-case analysis. Then the empirical and theoretical findings were compared in a case-theory analysis. Findings Our conclusions suggest four main findings. Firstly, to extend the life of the products and to better take care of material waste after usage, sales of function through rental models are suggested. Secondly, the products should be designed for remanufacture, repair, reuse and recycle. Thirdly, there is a need of capacity by the producers to handel the return flow; the logisticst and how to intergrate the reusage of material in the current processes. Finally, the mindset of customers, where there today is a need of owning products in comparison to having the function of the product. Recomentations The authors recommend the producers to move towards circular models and suggest that some steps could be taken today. Firstly, developing the design of the furniture in consideration to choice of material and reusage. Secondly, make strategic partnerships with actors which in the long run can help the transition to a full circular business model and finally, give the cusomers the right incitements to make conscious decisions. The authors believe that with these steps the sales of function also will come more natural.
MSc in Innovation and Industrial Management