Circular Economy and Corporate Sustainability

Futuring Nordics is organising this seminar in which we seek to combine the two parallel debates: how to achieve a circular economy and how to achieve business that contributes to sustainability (corporate sustainability).

Please note: We will now have to make this a fully digital event due to the latest Covid-19 restrictions. Please see updated programme below.

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Seminar topic

The time has come for fundamental change. To ensure prosperity for humanity in the long term and recovery from the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, transformation to sustainability is necessary. Achieving sustainability—i.e., a safe and just operating space for humanity—requires changing the way the business operates.

In this seminar, we seek to combine the two parallel debates on how to achieve a circular economy and how to achieve business that contributes to sustainability (corporate sustainability). While there is some overlap between these two debates, our aim is to integrate them, joined together through the recognition that neither a circular economy nor incremental corporate sustainability initiatives are sufficient if they do not contribute to achieving sustainability.

A circular economy cannot be one that is only more resource-efficient. It must be one that is resource sufficient, one that uses enough resources to facilitate the securing of the social foundation for humanity and does it in a way that ensures that we stay within the limits of our planet. Corporate sustainability initiatives must ensure that patterns of production and selling techniques that foster linear, narrowly focused business models are replaced with circular ones that broadly engage with and promote global sustainability goals. Positioning the corporate sustainability discussion within the discourse of how to achieve a sustainable circular economy highlights that we need to see transformational change in business as a part of a broader transitioning of our economy.

In this seminar, we aim to feature a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research contributions that propose solutions, whether for new policies and legislative reforms, for changes within the business, or for channelling other societal, economic, or financial incentives towards achieving sustainable business as an element of the transition towards a sustainable circular economy.


Monday 10 January 2022

13:00-13:15 Welcome

13:15-14:45 Setting the scene

  • Sustainable Circularity by Sarah Cornell (presenting author), Tiina Häyhä, Celinda Palm and Eléonore Maitre-Ekern
  • The role of the circular economy in corporate sustainability law by Beate Sjåfjell
  • Joint discussion

14:45-15:00 Break

15:00-16:30 Historical perspectives and present challenges

  • From market contracts to the circular economy—law and increasingly holistic conceptualizations of production by Jaakko Salminen
  • The Economic and Industrial Development in Time of Coronavirus Crisis: What about Circular Economy? by Chiara Feliziani
  • Joint discussion


Tuesday 11 January 2022

09:15-09:30 Welcome

09:30-10:30 Regulating the Circular Economy

  • Regulation of planned obsolescence in Europe by Taina Pihlajarinne
  • The growing regulatory role of industrial alliances in transitioning towards circular plastic value-chains by Amy O'Halloran

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:45 Regulating the Circular Economy, cont’d

  • Independent repair and the transition to a regenerative circular economy by Maja van der Velden (presenting author) and Eléonore Maitre-Ekern
  • Joint discussion

11:45-12:45 Break

12:45-13:45 Corporate behaviours in a Circular Economy

  • The ‘greening’ incumbent: Incumbent-entrant collaborations for achieving sustainable business models by Birthe Soppe (presenting author) and Hannah Schupfer
  • Designing Sustainable Business Models: The Case of Mobile Phone Start-ups by Ines Junge (presenting author) and Yangyang Zhao

13:45-14:00 Break

14:00-15:30 Corporate behaviours in a Circular Economy, cont’d

  • Tensions in circular business model development - a coopetition perspective by Sigurd Vildåsen (presenting author) and Oda Ellingsen
  • Awakening Capitalism: The Promise of the ESG Movement by Alan Palmiter
  • Joint discussion

15:30-15:45 Break

15:45-17:15 Corporate sustainability for the Circular Economy in practice

  • A safety check on circular economy - the case of recycling centers in Antwerp, Flanders by Wendy Wuyts (presenting author), Ingrid Caeyers and Paul Kengfai Wan
  • Designing for the Circular Consumer: A design tool for clothing companies to engage consumers in the circular textiles economy by Ina Obernosterer and Erika Thunstedt (both presenting)
  • Joint discussion


Wednesday 12 January 2022

09:00-09:15 Welcome

09:15-10:15 Possible ways forward

  • Circular Business Strategies – towards an ecological duty of care by Julia Hoernig
  • Can Integrating a Sustainable Business Model and Global Value Chains Revive the Value Chain’s Sustainable Growth? By Yuan Li (presenting author) and Jukka Mähönen

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-11:30 Possible ways forward, cont’d

  • Exploring circular economy criteria of EU's taxonomy for sustainable activities -a case study from the manufacturing sector by Mathias Irgens (presenting author) and Sigurd Vildåsen
  • Joint discussion

11:30-11:45 Break

11:45-12:15 Closing session: discussion about publication and possible future collaborations


Please register your participation. 
We will have to make this a fully digital event due to the latest Covid-19 restrictions.
Zoom-link will be sent to all registered participant. (If you have any questions, please contact our administration.)


Futuring Sustainable Nordic Business Models

Published Nov. 8, 2021 9:52 AM - Last modified Jan. 5, 2022 2:10 PM