“No force can make us going back to the square one”, said Mr. Jyrki Katainen, the President of Sitra at Ethica’s Executive Roundtable event at the beginning of June. The topic of the event: ‘the New Normal and Circular Economy’. Around thirty executive level people joined the conversation led by Ethica.
There’s been a great deal of debate on how we are going to return to the “normal” situation after the covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Katainen strongly questioned this view. On the contrary, changing the course is much easier when we are not in a ‘business as usual’ situation.
In Mr. Katainen’s view, the necessity for a circular economy operating model has nothing but increased since the beginning of this year. In addition, a circular economy is crucial as an industrial dimension of climate change mitigation and improves the resilience of businesses through the emergence of local ecosystems in parallel with the existing global supply chains. Resource efficiency, harnessing value embedded in materials, new business models and holistic value creation are circularity focus areas, which should be developed as part of business strategy and operations.
Business case of circular economy & EU Green Deal
An increasing number of Finnish businesses are exploring circular economy as a megatrend and market turning point, which has a massive impact on their strategy and business environment. We at Ethica have advocated this approach for years and therefore warmly welcome this change. The business case of circular economy depends primarily of these changes in the business environment and the company’s ability to proactively develop their operations accordingly.
Although the world is still under 9% circular, the transition towards a 100% carbon-neutral & circular business environment is rapidly taking place. One of the key drivers is the EU’s Green Deal and recently published Circular Economy Action Plan. The plan states that “the EU needs to accelerate the transition towards a regenerative growth model that gives back to the planet more than it takes”. There will be a set of carrots and sticks as part of the EU Industrial Strategy and a special focus will be on circular product-service development.
Other topics at the event were how to kick-off a circular journey in the company, how to create shared understanding of what circularity means at the executive level and how to embedd it in the strategy.
Executive Roundtable Network
Ethica’s Executive Roundtable is a network of business directors, who share a strong interest in a circular economy and sustainable development values. The purpose of the network is to develop concrete solutions, share experiences and empower the members to do business based on values aligned with a regenerative growth approach.
The event was a success in all measures. Ethica has been working in the field of circular economy for seven years, and we are pleased to see how the focus of the work is now in the right place: strategy and product development. This gives the Finnish businesses an opportunity to become international frontrunners and create entirely new operating models in the post-pandemic world.
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