Taking circular economy from strategies to business plans

If we lived in a perfect world...

In a perfect world choosing environmentally friendly products would be the ones with best quality, easiest to access and the most affordable choice for your wallet. Sounds too good to be true? Well, currently the responsibility and pressure to find the sustainable choices are entirely on the consumer's shoulders. Finding out what is environmentally the best option to choose demands a lot of effort and time, and often even agreeing to pay double the price.

Individual consumers calculated together is a huge force driving corporations to offer sustainable alternatives. This specific market of conscious consumers is growing so fast, that the fastest and most innovative suppliers will take a king size portion. The huge potential of moving into continuous resource loops and taking over the growing market potential has been calculated to be over 3 billion euros annually in Finland alone. Every single corporation, company and startup should want a slice of it.

Collaboration is the key

Big corporations are already waking up to the challenge and potential of circular economy by making deadlines and commitments to a more sustainable change. At the moment circular economy is stated in numerous strategies, but how many companies have it in their business plan?

“Pressure on resource scarcity is here to stay, and disruptive companies offer some of the more interesting opportunities for investors and society. Change cannot happen without the support of the capital markets.” Katherine Garrett-Cox, Gulf International Bank.

It's a long way from a business plan to creating new pattern breaking products and services. A global corporation’s infrastructure can be hard to modify into a lean venture building machine. Corporate-startup collaboration has been seen to have a positive impact on the company's performance and the capability to work on open innovation projects. Since independent startups can reach the market in half the time as an internal venture, it feels like a logical way to respond rapidly to the changing market and consumer needs and embrace more agile ways of working. From the startup's point of view, the gain is to get visibility and reputation, business development and accessing new markets.

“Their (the startups) business models are beginning to deliver success and impact in terms of driving competitive benefits.” says Peter Lacy, senior managing director for strategy, growth and sustainability at Accenture.

Pairing up with a relevant partner who can spar, steer and provide the missing resources in a new venture is a key issue in taking the selected venture through the ramp-up phase to a successful co-operation or an integrated part of the corporation.

Enormous potential

Circular economy and the knowledge related to it has enormous potential for economic growth and for the Finnish export. Succeeding the task requires exactly the engineering skills combined with the early adapting society that Finland has.

We are clearly living the time of big changes and huge new technical and conceptual opportunities. Even maybe the Fourth Industrial Revolution.



Avanto Ventures and Sitra are building a global circular economy accelerator

We will bring together dozens of large corporations with great impact and 1000+ fast moving startups with momentum within the circular economy themes: food & plastic. In our 9-month accelerator program the best will join together in concrete ventures.

Our goal is to create an ecosystem that generates new business and supports the global goals of circular economy.

Please see in short:

Interested in discussing a partnership in the circular economy accelerator and be a pioneer of change?
Please contact:  susanna@avantoventures.fi