“The most interesting companies in the circular economy” is a list compiled by Sitra to showcase Finland’s most inspiring examples of the circular economy. During the first phase, the list will present the new circular economy business models of 19 Finnish companies, but will expand to include as many as one hundred companies throughout 2017. Indeed, Sitra is using the list as a way to challenge Finnish companies to meet the changing needs of the world.
The most interesting examples on the new list have been divided according to different circular economy business models. New types of business models are needed in order to ensure that materials and value stay in circulation for as long as possible with minimal waste. In a circular economy, companies create added value for their products by means of services and smart approaches. The greatest increase in value is generated by, for example, the maintenance, reuse and remanufacturing of equipment.
The list includes such companies as Valtavalo, which sells lighting solutions as opposed to light fixtures; EkoRent, which provides a shared electric vehicle solution for housing communities and companies; and Eko-Expert, which offers a recycling method for surplus building insulation. Finnish-owned Swap.com facilitates the recycling of goods from the United States on its online consignment and thrift store, and tractor manufacturer Valtra offers factory remanufactured gearboxes as an alternative to entirely new ones.
Sitra’s circular economy team is responsible for compiling and updating the list. The list is based on four evaluation criteria: how interesting the examples are, quality of business models, the scalability of the solution and effectiveness.
“The criteria for getting on the list are getting tougher, much in the same way that emissions requirements for cars do with the proliferation of solutions,” says Kari Herlevi, Project Director of the circular economy at Sitra.
The goal of the list is also to increase our understanding of what circular economy operating models mean, in practice, to different companies and their customers. The aim is also to provide companies with inspiration and exciting ideas for developing their own business.
Sitra is challenging Finnish companies to make the change required in the process of giving up fossil fuels, overconsumption and the use of virgin raw materials. The global market is wide open for pioneering solutions, and Finland has set a course to become one of the leaders of the circular economy.
“There are currently 19 example companies on the list. Will we reach one hundred examples by the time Finland celebrates its centenary at the end of this year?” asks Herlevi, addressing his question as a challenge to companies.
See below for a description of the list and a few examples of company business models.