Title: Applying the circular economy to a business model: an illustrative case study of a pioneering energy company

Authors: Ville-Veikko Piispanen; Kaisa Henttonen; Eeva Aromaa

Addresses: Business School, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland ' Business School, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland ' Business School, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland

Abstract: 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 has 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.

Keywords: circular economy; sustainability; business model; business model canvas; BMC; innovation; case study; business opportunity; value creation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2020.108253

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2020 Vol.24 No.4/5, pp.236 - 248

Received: 06 Sep 2018
Accepted: 04 Jun 2019

Published online: 13 Apr 2020 *

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