Increased sustainability and competitiveness with Circular Economy

Wednesday 30 Aug 17


Tim C. McAloone
Professor, PhD
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 62 70


Daniela Cristina Antelmi Pigosso
Associate Professor
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 62 78


Fenna Blomsma
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 62 83


Marina de Pádua Pieroni
PhD student
DTU Mechanical Engineering

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DTU is project leader of the recently started CIRCit project, which will guide and support the Nordic industry in the transition towards sustainability through Circular Economy. The goal is that the Nordic industry will establish itself as a forerunner in the area and at the same time strengthen its position in a highly competitive international market. Tim McAloone from DTU Mechanical Engineering is project coordinator.

Circular Economy is a way of thinking where the main idea is to maximize value creation by utilizing raw material and resources in circular systems, also known as circular models. It can be about expanding the life of a product, by repairing or remanufacturing, or providing the product as a service. A Circular Economy also means finding business opportunities for existing and new companies for enhanced value creation e.g. by taking products back, providing new services, reusing parts and components, recycling materials, etc.

In this way, a Circular Economy can contribute to an increased efficiency in the value chain and more effective use of natural resources and energy, which leads to increased competitiveness, growth and more jobs.

Challenges and opportunities for the Nordic industry
The potential sustainability and business benefits from adopting a circularity mind-set in the Nordic industry are significant. The Nordic industry is currently faced with great opportunities on the one hand, as the Nordic societies are well-positioned to build on their advanced level of awareness and competency regarding sustainability in industry. But on the other hand, these societies are also challenged by global competitors that still get away with externalising the sustainability impacts of their business approaches.

”It is our strong belief in the CIRCit project, that taking a Circular Economy approach can lead to improved sustainability, improved innovation ability, decreased costs for industry and society, and ultimately, improved competitiveness," tells project leader Tim McAloone, "But companies cannot do it on their own. In the CIRCit project, we aim to support Nordic Industry to excel at Circular Economy, by developing and implementing a set of tools and approaches that will enable the Nordic industry to accelerate its transition towards Circular Economy.”

CIRCit will develop new tools for the Nordic industry
The project focuses on the development of tools and approaches based on the latest science and in close collaboration with companies in order to make it possible for the Nordic industry to:

  • Understand the overall potential of the implementation of Circular Economy
  • Create new business models - including new offerings and value propositions
  • Develop circular products, services and solutions - for enhanced value creation
  • Support use and handling of circular products, services and solutions through smart IT-solutions
  • Close material flows by re-using, re-manufacturing and recycling
  • Ensure that the circular solutions are also more sustainable

The tools and approaches that are developed in the CIRCit project will be freely available for the Nordic industry. If your company is considering Circular Economy, or has actually begun to integrate Circular Economy into your business, we encourage you to join us as an industry partner. Looking forward to hearing from you!

CIRCit – Circular Economy Integration in the Nordic Industry for Enhanced Sustainability and Competitiveness is carried out between 2017-2020 and is part of the Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Programme financed by NordForsk, Nordic Energy Research and Nordic Innovation. The project is led by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) together with Swerea IVF, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Innovation Center Iceland and Federation of Technology.

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