The third Virtual Greennovation Camp in the Interreg Nord-project GRUDE was held Tuesday Feb 9th, focusing on the utilization of side streams in rural Arctic areas. In one of the group sessions after lunch, where the overall theme was Circular Business Models, several interesting, current issues and cases were addressed by the participants. Read more about it here.
One of the topics raised was the challenge of getting small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) – with budgets and cost control, shielding their core business – involved. Thus, by-products and side streams become “out of sight, out of mind” as said by one of the participants.
In recent years, and particularly after the implementation of the UN sustainability goals in 2015, firms have increased the awareness of their own contributions towards achieving the sustainability goals. However, there are few firms that actually work with carbon accounting, sustainability strategies and life cycle analysis. If we are to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees, all parts of the business community must contribute.
Many leaders have good intentions, but they lack knowledge and capacity for implementation. How can we get SMB to prioritize side streams in their business strategy? What is needed to make the shift from linear to circular business models? As discussed at the event, this is not the issue of one sector, all sectors that have the knowledge and experience must help to promote the shift and close the knowledge gap in order to bring us closer to the circular economy!
Grethe Lilleng, SINTEF (No)