Circular Business Models
The Resource-efficient business research group of Turku University of Applied Sciences is a strong regional developer and trainer. We take part in increasing new business opportunities in the region’s enterprises, where resource efficiency refers to utilizing the side streams of enterprises, decreasing the amount of waste, recycling materials and decreasing harmful environmental impacts, among other things.
Networks and cooperation on the interfaces of different interest groups is the foundation of our operations. The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland, the City of Turku and, naturally, the enterprises in the area are a few examples of our affiliates with whom we are developing resource efficiency into a growing industry in the area and in all of Finland.
Our group includes professionals from resource efficiency, corporate responsibility and environmental business in different tasks: as teachers, project managers, coordinators and students.
Our operating method is strong enterprise-student cooperation, i.e. operations in compliance with the innovation pedagogy developed by Turku University of Applied Sciences. The needs of the region’s enterprises and training students into professionals meet in the operations of our group.
Change is an opportunity
The sustainability of natural resources and on-going climate change are central challenges to the societies and businesses of the future. Even so, EUR 5.25 billion worth of recyclable secondary raw material is annually disposed of in Europe. If these raw materials would be utilised, carbon dioxide emissions would decrease by 148 million tonnes per year. If the level of recycling would be increased to 70 per cent, a total of 500,000 new jobs would be created in the EU area.
The better management and more efficient use of our resources would reduce dependency on import and improve the availability of strategic raw materials. The objective of the Europe 2020 strategy is to change the consumer society into a recycling society. Resource consciousness has also been highlighted as a key theme in the new strategy of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland.
Circular economy does not only refer to improving environmental issues. Circular economy can also be developed from a social and economic point of view. This takes us close to the arena of corporate responsibility which includes many opportunities for enterprises and other organizations.