MATChE Webinar Series #5: Manufacturing & Value Chain

This Webinar Episode

In this webinar you will learn about readiness of ‘Manufacturing & Value Chain’, which measures the capabilities that will help you to create new value chain engagements and partnerships, aimed at maximum value creation from finite resources. The webinar took place Jan 27, 15:30 - 16:00 and is presented by Professor Daniela Pigosso. 

Q&A from the webinar

What are circular supplies?
- Circular supplies entails both raw materials but also energy sources - basically all inputs that you need to run your manufacturing processes.

What is the name of the cards that you are mentioning now?
- They are some extremely interesting cards to support the ideations of new business models for circular economy, looking both in the upstream and the downstream areas of your value chain. They are developed by Marina Pieroni during her PhD in our team, where she investigated more than 200 different cases for circular economy implementation, and she took out best examples to support new ideations for circularity. So using the cards, you can explore what the CE opportunities are for your company. You can find the cards here.

How does the MATChe Project connect with the SDGs?
- There is a number of the Sustainable Development Goals which MATChE is connected to, but the most important link between the is SDG 12, which is Responsible Consumption and Production. It is a lot about how we actually decouple value creation from the resource consumption. Circular Economy is definitely a means to that goal. Then MATChE also support sustainability in some sectorial areas like the built environment, food waste prevention and cities, which overlap with SDG 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure; SDG2: Zero Hunger; and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities, etc.
- Chat message from an attendee to support answering this question: “according to a study done by Patrick Shroeder “The relevance of circular economy practices to the Sustainable Development Goals” the strongest relationships and synergies between circular economy practices and SDGs lie within SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 15 (Life on Land).”

Could you give an example of the role of the designer in this context, and how can they link manufacturing and value chain to circularity?
- Only when we manage to combine the design of new products with new business models, new manufacturing and production processes new value chains while keeping those products in service as long as possible and taking them back at the end-of-life. That is when we really unlock the entire potential for circular economy.
- It is important always to keep in mind that our goal is to decouple value creation from resource consumption aiming at higher sustainability performance and they should be the guiding direction for everybody working in the field.

In the production system there are several sharing and circular business that are not mentioned as CE, such as sharing transportation with others e.g. shipping or renting forklifts. Are these businesses seen as CE by the companies in your survey?
- We are not judging companies in terms of how circular they are. We are helping them to make a self-assessment and supporting them to make a transition path to move forward.
- But if a company has been leasing or sharing their services, they are not circular per se. Each company can contribute to the circular economy in many ways, but they must also look holistically at it. E.g. their products must be designed for sharing, so that they last longer (this is a nod to the shared e-scooters, that have a lifetime of 2-3 weeks).

Is there a special way to link CE to carbon negative goals?
- Circular Economy is definitely seen as a means for sustainability and especially sharing systems and product/service-system have a great potential for a significant reduction of CO2 emissions.

Changing from linear production to CE often takes more handling and higher cost. Do you see any governmental wish to increase prices for landfill in order to support CE focusing companies?
- In short, yes. At least here in Europe, there is a large focus on waste levying - and over coming years, this will create a more balanced playing field. Also the halting of import of waste to China (by China itself) is a nice example to see how it has significantly changed the conditions for waste recycling in South East Asia.

About MATChE

Having a sense of the current situation and defining where to start, is the first step in any transition. But how can you know where your opportunities for circular economy lie and how ready you are to act on them? The MATChE Readiness Assessment is a free online tool, that allows you and your colleagues to assess your company’s readiness for circular economy, understand your strengths and opportunities, and define the right area of the company to focus your transition on first. Behind the assessment and process for increasing company readiness for circular economy is the MATChE methodology. The methodology builds on research and scientific studies done at the Technical University of Denmark, considers 8 dimensions of business operations that is critical to consider, for transitioning to a circular business. The multi-dimensional approach is needed, as circular economy is a wide ranging topic, that can include all areas of your company.

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