It’s increasingly clear that modern businesses need to transform how they operate.
The circular economy provides new business opportunities,
but what does this mean and which challenges will you encounter?
The world is inhabited by more people, of which a higher share lives in cities and is getting older.
Wealth has increased globally, creating a larger middle class, which uses far more raw materials.
The result is increasing CO2 footprints and waste production. As a result, global consumption currently goes beyond the earth’s regenerative capacity.
The upside is clear to many… Increase in economic growth* with 1% to 4% through circular strategies which entail maintenance & repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishment and recycling.
These strategies enable companies to:
…but what does this mean in practice and which challenges will you encounter?
Valuation of materials and components
Laws and regulation
Value chain collaboration
Ownership of goods
The linear “Take – Make – Dispose” system which depletes natural resources and generates waste is deeply flawed and can be productively replaced by a restorative model in which waste does not exist as such but is only food for the next cycle.
Participants get to run their own virtual company called The Blue Connection, a manufacturer of e-bikes. Due to the increased demand for companies to transform how they operate and the new business opportunities provided by the circular economy, the e-bike manufacturer hired a new management team to transform the company’s linear value chain to a circular one. Participants will learn how to adopt a circular approach by transition away from a take-make-dispose linear production towards a circular business models.
Negotiate on sales contracts with your retailers regarding circularity, warranty and the maintenance service of your product. Decide on a regular sales channel or a product as a service program with your retailers.
Collaborate with the right Recycling Service Providers and oversee the cost and process of disassembling, reusing, refurbishing and recycling. Manage labor capacities for refurbishing and maintaining your product.
Manage the design of your product. Selecting appropriate suppliers to source from and deciding on the quality and recyclability of product components to buy.
Determine a buy back price to create a reverse flow of products. Manage the financial arrangement with the bank and the potential lease agreements.
A high-performing circular value chain requires collaboration ffrom across the organization. Adopting a circular approach from a take-make-dispose linear production can be a serious challenge.
How do you adapt to the circular economy? Ideally, you’d like to experiment with different scenarios wherein people learn to overcome various obstacles and learn from best practices. This is where we come in: through our business simulation games, participants have the unique opportunity to learn by experience by immediately putting complex theories into practice.
Advantages of experiential learning:
... to help companies and individuals understand and experience the opportunities and challenges of adopting circular strategies.
Simulation gaming is a powerful way to facilitate learning, engage with clients and to profile your expertise.
The Blue Connection simulation game was a great - also sobering - discovery: it gives participants an idea of how to deal with some of the complex, interlocking decisions a Purchasing or Supply Chain manager for example must make, whilst bringing in the circularity factor (recyclability, refurbishing) which players will be unfamiliar with. Great for learning how to work in a team and seeing the more holistic perspective across the decision-making functions of a business, all this with sharp time constraints, on or offline. It is also a reminder that gamification is a stimulating way to learn.
The Blue Connection’s simulation software has been designed to be easy to use for anyone, on any platform from PC to tablet. There is no need to read a hefty manual before starting, because all help information is integrated in the game-screens and can be read on a need to know basis.
The Blue Connection is now available with textbook. Easy to implement!
Mastering the Circular Economy is an introduction to circularity from a business and value chain management perspective. With many reflections and exercises throughout, the book draws a direct link between relevant recent theory and practice and offers students and practitioners a deeper understanding of the topic.