Ecosystems as a Tool to Circular Economy

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    Circular economy aims at system level optimization for sustainability, by applying lean manufacturing, lean patterns of consumption, dematerializing, and delivering value rather than products. The end goal is to minimize the climate and environmental impact while providing for the needs of our growing population. By default, systemic optimization and transition requires the involvement of different stakeholders, including the industry, the government, and the consumer. In transition to circular practices, discussion and measures need to take place even simultaneously between the industry and the regulator, the citizen and the society, and companies and their customers. Tight cooperation between the stakeholders is needed for the change from linear to circular value networks. Ecosystems have been recognized as a cooperation vehicle to circular transition. VTT has studied seven different circular materials oriented ecosystems or industrial networks in Finland to understand the characteristics, the targets, the challenges, the opportunities, and the practical needs in these ecosystems towards growth. Potential policy measures to boost the ecosystems have been identified from the field and from literature.
    In the study, several specific challenges and needs related to circular material ecosystems were identified. The challenges and needs in implementing circular practices relate to ecosystem orchestration, openness of data, access to and quality of secondary raw materials, materials processing and productization cost, project and company funding, current regulation and permitting practices, circular materials and intermediates market acceptance, and undeveloped markets and pricing for circular products. The public policy measures suggested to overcome the challenges include informative measures, financial incentives, and regulative measures. The ecosystems studied included features from the different layers of ecosystems, namely business, innovation and knowledge ecosystems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    EventEuropean Days for Sustainable Circular Economy - Helsinki, Finland
    Duration: 30 Sept 20191 Oct 2019


    ConferenceEuropean Days for Sustainable Circular Economy
    Abbreviated titleEDSCE
    Internet address


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